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Board of Directors

Adel Mahmoud, Ph.D.

Former President, Merck Vaccines and Chief Medical Advisor, Vaccines & Infectious Diseases, Merck
Professor, Dept. of Molecular Biology, Princeton University

Adel Mahmoud, a global infectious disease and vaccines expert, was responsible for the development and commercialization of several new important vaccines, including Gardasil®, Zostavax®, Proquad® and Rotateq® during his long tenure at Merck & Co. Dr. Mahmoud is currently Professor, Department of Molecular Biology and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. He was President, Merck Vaccines, from 1999 to 2005 and also served as Merck's Chief Medical Advisor for Vaccines and Infectious Diseases.

More recently, Dr. Mahmoud has been leading strategy development for global health agencies tackling bioterrorism and emerging diseases such as pandemic influenza and SARS. Prior to joining Merck, Dr. Mahmoud was Chairman, Department of Medicine and Physician-in-Chief (1987-1998) at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and University Hospitals of Cleveland.

Dr. Mahmoud's academic pursuits focused on investigations of the biology and function of eosinophils particularly in host resistance to helminthic infections as well as determinants of infection and disease in human schistosomiasis and other infectious agents. At Merck, Dr. Mahmoud led the effort to develop four new vaccines which have been launched in 2005-2006, including: combination of Measles, Mumps, Rubella and Varicella; Rota Virus; Shingles and Human Papillomavirus. Dr. Mahmoud's leadership in setting strategies for Global Health shaped the agenda of the Forum on Microbial Threats of the Institute of Medicine in recent years by tackling topical issues such as biological threats and bioterrorism; SARS; Pandemic Flu and others. He is an active contributor to scientific literature and authored and edited several textbooks and reports.

Dr. Mahmoud received his M.D. degree from the University of Cairo in 1963 and Ph.D from the University of London, School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 1971. He was elected to membership of the American Society for Clinical Investigation in 1978, the Association of American Physicians in 1980 and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 1987. He received the Bailey K. Ashford Award of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in 1983, and the Squibb Award of the Infectious Diseases Society of America in 1984. Dr. Mahmoud is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and a member of the Expert Advisory Panel on Parasitic Diseases of the World Health Organization. He served on the National Advisory Allergy and Infectious Diseases Council and is a past president of the Central Society for Clinical Research and the International Society for Infectious Diseases. He is currently serving as a member of the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity and Committee on Scientific Communications and National Security (CSCANS) of the National Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Adel Mahmoud who passed away in 2018 is sincerely missed.

Professor Walter G. Jaoko

Professor, Department of Medical Microbiology University of Nairobi
Director, Tropical and Infectious Diseases Clinic, Nairobi
Specialist in Tropical & Infectious Diseases Clinic
Deputy Programme Director, Kenya AIDS Vaccine Initiative

Walter Jaoko is the clinical manager and senior trial physician at the Kenya AIDS Vaccine Initiative (KAVI). He is a medical doctor by training, and is specialized in tropical medicine. He obtained his undergraduate medical degree at the University of Nairobi, Masters of Tropical Medicine from University of Liverpool, Diploma in ResearchMethodology from the University of Copenhagen, and PhD in Medical Microbiology from the University of Nairobi. He has taught undergraduate and post-graduate students at the Department of Medical Microbiology of the University of Nairobi since 1989, where he is presently a professor in the department. Together with Dr. Simbiri, and Professor Amu Anzala they founded the Center for Communicable (CD) and Non communicable Diseases within the Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Nairobi.

Professor Jaoko is a member of Kenya Medical Association, Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board, International Society for Infectious Diseases, Infectious Diseases Control & Research Programme Committee of Kenya Medical 
Research Institute (KEMRI), Vice Chairman, Clinical Trials Sub-Committee of the Pharmacy & Poisons Board 
(PPB), Ministry of Health, Developing Countries Co-coordinating Committee of the European & Developing 
Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) (2005 - 2008) WHO Malaria Rapid Diagnostic Tests Reviewer of Published reviews and Trials 
(2006 - 2009), Board of Director, Regional AIDS Training Network, General Assembly, Action Aid International Kenya, Board of Directors, International Centre for Research on Reproductive Health, Kenya (2007 - 2010), Board of Governors, Nyanza Reproductive Health Society, and Scientific Review Board, Uganda Virus Research Institute.

Professor David B. Weiner, PhD

Executive Vice President
Director, Vaccine Center
W.W. Smith Charitable Trust Professor in Cancer Research.
The Wistar Institute,
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

David B. Weiner is a world-renowned leader in immunology as well as gene vaccines and therapy. As a pioneer in the field of DNA vaccines, he has over 300 peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals to his credit, including publication in mainstream scientific journals such as Scientific American, and has been noted by the Institute for Scientific Information as one of the top cited scientists in the world. He was also the editor of several published works including: Biologically active Peptides: Design, Synthesis and Utilization, by David B. Weiner and William V. Willams; Vaccine Special Issue: DNA Vaccine Meeting 2010, DNA Vaccines - Vaccine Special Volume 2006; DNA Vaccines: Research Frontiers and Clinical Applications, Vaccine Special Volume 2004; and Expert Review of Vaccines: AIDS Vaccines, August 2004, among others.

Professor Weiner received his B.S. (Biology) from SUNY at Stony Brook, NY, 1978. M.S. (Biology) University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, 1985.Ph.D. (Developmental Biology Graduate Program) University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, 1986, and a postdoctoral fellowship in Pathology, University of Pennsylvania, 1988.

Professor Weiner serves and has served as an advisor to and collaborator with leading companies such as Pfizer (Wyeth), 3M, J&J (Centocor), and GSK. He played a key role in the start-up of biotechnology companies such as Apollon (one of the world's first DNA vaccine companies), Synbiotics, Immune Pharmaceutics, Verigen, and Symphony Pharmaceutics. He is a special employee and advisor for FDA/CBER and the NIH-NIAID-DAIDS Grant Review process.

Professor Weiner co-founded VGX Pharmaceuticals, which merged with Inovio Pharmaceuticals in June 2009.

Professor. Benson B.A. Estambale, PhD, MBChB, DTM&H

Ag. Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research, Innovation and Outreach
Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology

Benson B.A Estambale is a physician by training with postgraduate training in the management and control of tropical and infectious diseases. He is currently the Deputy Vice Chancellor of Research, Innovation, and Outreach at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology, Kenya. Professor Estambale is involved in various health research projects of public health importance including epidemiology and control of malaria, lymphatic filariasis, schistosomiasis and other neglected diseases of the poor. He is also involved in the scale-up programmes for antiretroviral therapy (ART) in various health facilities within the City of Nairobi and in rural Kenya. He is the founder Director of the University of Nairobi Institute of Tropical and Infectious Disease (UNITID). While serving as a director of the Institute for nine years, Professor Estambale also held various key positions in projects such as Principal Investigator, National Programme Coordinator and Project Director. He has served on various committees as well as being a Board Member in various research projects and programmes within the Institute and external to it. Professor Estambale was instrumental in promoting linkages with various research institutions locally and internationally, exemplified by the number of links (over 30), which he successfully negotiated since the establishing the Institute of Tropical and Infectious Disease. Under his leadership, the Institute established a financial base through fund raising and research activities where as many as 30 research projects are up and running. Professor Estambale also managed to set up training programmes ranging from postgraduate diploma, masters, and PhDs. He was instrumental in setting up scholarship programmes for the post-graduate diploma students. Based on his achievements, Professor Estambale has recently been promoted to the position of Deputy Vice Chancellor to steer the research, innovation and community outreach of the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology in Kenya.

Professor. Erle S. Robertson, PhD

Vice Chair for Research at the Department of Otorhinolaryngology
Professor of Otorhinolaryngology
Head and Neck Surgery Department
Perelman School of Medicine
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Erle S. Robertson, Ph.D., has over 25 years of experience in Molecular Biology and 20 years of experience specifically in the field of viral oncology with a focus on oncogenic viruses and gammaherpesviruses. He completed his post-doctoral training and was an instructor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Division of Infectious Disease before moving to the University of Michigan Medical School as an independent investigator. Dr. Robertson is the Director of the Tumor Virology Training Program at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the Program Leader of the Tumor Virology program of the Abramson Comprehensive Cancer Center. He is also the director of the Cell Culture core of the UPenn GI Center for Molecular and Digestive Diseases. He has over 20 years of experience training undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral candidates in tissue culture and molecular biology techniques. He directs a lab with a focus on infectious agents and mechanisms of oncogenesis mediated by viral agents leading to development of cancer. He has broad expertise in viral oncology and has also been investigating the role of tumor viruses and regulation of tumor suppressors and metastatic suppressors by viral proteins. He has been instrumental in developing strategies for identifying oncogenic viruses in a number of human cancers related to EBV and KSHV, and is currently investigating the mechanism of oncogenesis by these tumor viruses. He has trained numerous post-doctoral fellows who have successfully moved to independent faculty positions throughout the world.

Professor Robertson has won many awards, some of which are: American Society for Microbiology 1991 Sigma Xi, Award for Research, Wayne State University
1993 Cancer Research Institute Award
1994 Marquis Who’s Who in Science and Engineering
1996 Leukemia Society of America Special Fellow Award
1999 Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of America Scholar Award 2009 American Association for Advancement of Science, Fellow 2009 American Society for Microbiology, Fellow
 2010 University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Amos Rodger Mwakigonja

Senior Lecturer, Head of Pathology, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS), Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Pathologist, Muhimbili National Hospital

Amos Rodger Mwakigonja received his MD and M. Med from University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. He received his PhD in Pathology, Cytology & Experimental Pathologyfrom Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. Dr. Mwakigonja is a rising investigator in cancer research in Tanzania with major contributions in studies of Kaposi’s sarcoma in HIV/AIDS patients. Dr. Mwakigonja is an active pathologist with membership in many boards locally and international. He is a Visiting Scientist/Professor at Saga Medical School in Japan, Consultant Anatomical Pathologist - Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH), Visiting Researcher - Karolinska Institutet/Karolinska University Hospital Solna, Chair and Coordinator of Curriculum Review, School of Medicine (SoM), Member of the Health Professions Education Group (HPEGS) at MUHAS, Secretary of the Tanzania Cancer Registry Steering Committee, Director of the Tanzania Cancer Registry (TCR), Head of Pathology, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS), Member - Medical Association of Tanzania (MAT), Member - Association of Pathologists in Tanzania (APT), Member - Tanzania AIDS Society (TAS), Member of the International Academy of Pathology (IAP), Member of the Council & Educational Committee of the Association of Pathologists of East Central & Southern Africa (APECSA), Founding Member of the Council of the East African Division of the International Academy of Pathologists (EADIAP), Member of the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), Member of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), Member of the East African Registry Network (EARN), Member of Board of Surveys, MUHAS.