- Marty Moore Ph.D., Founder and Chief Executive Officer
- Dr. Moore is an Associate Professor at Emory University and a recognized leader in RSV research. He has been running an NIH-funded laboratory in the Department of Pediatrics at Emory since 2008 and is Director of the Emory Children’s Center for Childhood Infections and Vaccines (CCIV). Dr. Moore invented a “virus reverse engineering” platform technology and novel strategies and methods for making vaccine candidates by synthetic biology. As applied to RSV vaccines, this technology was recognized as Emory University’s innovation of the year in 2013. With more than 50 publications, Dr. Moore is co-inventor of 20 RSV-related technologies, and is a frequent national/international lecturer on RSV.
- Piers Whitehead, M.A., Chief Business Officer
- Piers Whitehead serves as Meissa’s Chief Business Officer. He has over 20 years of commercial and business development experience in the vaccine industry, first as a consultant and for the last 15 years as an officer of small vaccine companies, specifically, VaxGen, Neovacs and PaxVax. Over his career he has led partnership negotiations in Asia (Korea and Japan), Europe and the US, and raised over $450m in non-dilutive cash via transactions as well as playing key roles in capital raising activities including a successful IPO. Prior to his career in the biotechnology industry, Piers spent 10 years at Mercer Management Consulting, where he headed the San Francisco Office and led marketing, strategy and manufacturing projects for clients including the GAVI Alliance, UNICEF and several pharmaceutical companies. He has published extensively on the vaccine industry and related public policy matters. He holds a B.A. from Oriel College Oxford.
- Roderick Tang, Ph.D., Founder and Chief Scientific Officer
- Prior to joining Meissa Vaccines, Dr. Tang was a staff scientist at Aviron (Mountain View, CA), a vaccine startup, for four years, helping to bring in $850K through SBIR grants and generating a live, vectored RSV clinical candidate. As a senior and subsequently Principal Scientist at MedImmune (Mountain View, CA), a subsidiary of Astrazenaca, he led RSV vaccine R&D teams for 11 years, resulting in three successful Phase 1 IND submissions for live, attenuated, vectored, and subunit RSV vaccines. He has more than 30 publications and is co-inventor of six live, attenuated, vectored, and subunit RSV vaccine patents. He has extensive experience in vaccine pharmacology and CMC requirements for IND filing. Most recently, Dr. Tang served as a vaccine product development consultant for the World Bank (Washington, DC), the Sabin Vaccine Institute (Houston, TX), and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (New York, NY).
- Marc Gurwith, M.D., J.D., Chief Medical Officer
- Marc Gurwith, MD has 30 years experience in drug and vaccine development and has been CMO at a number of companies, including PaxVax, VaxGen, and GeneLabs. He has worked on the development of a number of vaccines including vaccines for pertussis, rotavirus, influenza, HIV, anthrax, and cholera. Prior to joining industry, he help academic positions in infectious diseases at University of Manitoba, University of Kansas, UCLA, and Michigan State University, where he was Head of Infectious Diseases. He is the author of over 100 publications. Dr. Gurwith is a fellow of the Infectious Disease Society of America, currently a member of The Brighton Collaboration Viral Vaccine Vector Safety Working Group, and on the Scientific Advisory Board for the Keystone Symposia. He is currently PI or co-PI on a number of NIH grants and contracts. Marc received his BA from Yale University, MD from Harvard, was an EIS Officer for the CDC, and completed his internal medicine and infectious diseases training at Stanford University. Dr. Gurwith also has a JD from Temple University.
- Alan Russell, Ph.D., M.B.A., J.D., Vice President of Scientific Affairs
- Dr. Russell has more than 40 years of experience in the development of biologics, pharmaceutical, and drug delivery products, and medical devices, with extensive knowledge in the area of regulatory affairs, product development, clinical studies, and quality assurance. He served as Vice President of Scientific Affairs at Chiron Corporation, where he directed the development of several biologics and HCV and HIV diagnostic products. He held the same position at Beecham Laboratories, where he was responsible for obtaining FDA approval for Augmentin tablets. Prior to Beecham, he held various management positions at Syntex Corporation, including director of regulatory affairs for investigational drugs. His medical device experience included directing the regulatory and clinical strategy for a non-invasive glucose monitor as Senior Vice President, Scientific Affairs at Cygnus Inc., and obtaining PMA approvals for a variety of LASIK treatments as Vice President, Regulatory and Clinical Affairs at VISX, Inc. He holds a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of New South Wales and M.B.A. and J.D. degrees from the University of Santa Clara, where he also taught food and drug law.
- Barbara Schlingmann, Ph.D., Senior Scientist
- Dr. Schlingmann is the newest member of the Meissa Vaccines team, having joined in August 2017. Dr. Schlingmann brings four years of pulmonary epithelial cell biology and ten years of molecular biology experience to Meissa Vaccines. As a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Moore's laboratory at Emory University, she established novel methods in RSV virology and engineered novel viral vaccine candidates. Dr. Schlingmann received her Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of Veterinary Medicine in Hannover, Germany before she joined Emory University as a postdoctoral fellow and a German exchange service (DAAD) scholar. Dr. Schlingmann has 14 peer-reviewed scientific publications and one patent pending.
Kenneth J. Kelley, M.B.A., Senior Advisor
- Ken Kelley serves as a Senior Advisor of Meissa. He concurrently works across industry, government and civil society organizations with a common theme of developing vaccines and medical countermeasures against infectious diseases. Ken is a White House Presidential Executive Fellow and Senior Advisor to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease Vaccine Research Center and to the Acting Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. Ken is also an advisor to the Harvard Global Health Institute and serves on the Board of Trustees of the Sabin Vaccine Institute. Previously, Ken was a successful venture capitalist in life sciences in Silicon Valley with Institutional Venture Partners, Latterell Venture Partners and K2 BioVentures, having invested in 33 biotech startups of which 24 successfully executed public offerings or profitable exits. He was also founder and CEO of three successful biotech companies, IntraBiotics Pharmaceuticals, Fluxion Biosciences and PaxVax. At PaxVax, Ken led the development of Vaxchora, an oral cholera vaccine and the first new class of vaccine approved by the US FDA in 10 years. Ken was an Advanced Leadership Initiative Fellow at Harvard in 2015 and a Senior Fellow in 2016. He is a Fellow in the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineers and he holds an MBA from Stanford and a BA in molecular biology from Harvard.
Robert Belshe, M.D.
- Diana and J. Joseph Adorjan Endowed Professor of Infectious Diseases and Immunology, Emeritus, St. Louis University School of Medicine
- One of the foremost vaccine researchers in the US and a leader in the development of new vaccines for influenza, pertussis, and other diseases
- Principal Investigator of the Saint Louis University Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit (VTEU), RET, and PI, Virology Laboratory
- Currently on the National Advisory Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NAAID) Council
Janet Englund, M.D.
- Professor of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Seattle Children's Hospital
- Clinical Associate at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
- Extensive expertise in vaccine-preventable diseases and viral respiratory diseases in young children and immunocompromised people
- Actively involved in vaccine policy and implementation through the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, the Infectious Disease Society of America, the ACIP (American Committee on Immunization Practices), and the WHO (World Health Organization)
Peter Wright, M.D.
- Professor of Pediatrics, Geisel School of Medicine, Dartmouth College
- Chair WHO Polio Research Committee and was chair for other WHO Steering Committees for Measles, Polio, and Acute Respiratory Illness
- Paul G. Rogers Ambassador for Global Health, Research!America
- Central role in the development and testing of live, attenuated RSV vaccines
James Crowe Jr., M.D.
- Professor of Pediatrics and Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
- Director, Vanderbilt Vaccine Center
- Elected Member, Institute of Medicine of the National Academies
- Has made major contributions to RSV vaccine research and to our knowledge of the human antibody response to a variety of important viruses such as RSV, influenza, HIV, Marburg, Ebola, and dengue
James Gern, M.D.
- Professor of Pediatrics, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health
- Leading expert on rhinovirus biology
- Leading clinical scientist who has made major advances in our understanding of the role of respiratory viruses in asthma pathogenesis
- Principal Investigator for the University of Wisconsin Asthma and Allergic Diseases Clinical Research Center (AADCRC)
Dean Erdman, Dr.PH.
- Retired, Team Lead of Respiratory Viruses Diagnostic Team, Division of Viral Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Leading expert on rhinovirus molecular epidemiology