Boro Dropulić, PhD MBA
Boro received his PhD from the University of Western Australia and his MBA from the Johns Hopkins University (JHU). He has been in the gene therapy field since the late 1980s.
After a Fogarty Fellowship at the NIH, he joined the faculty at JHU where he worked on developing Lentiviral vectors as delivery systems for gene therapy. After 4 years in academia, he founded his first company ViRxSys and led the team that first demonstrated the safety of Lentiviral vectors in humans with his UPenn colleagues. Later he founded Lentigen, which first developed the Lentiviral vector used to produce Kymriah™, the first FDA-approved gene therapy product.
Later, Boro saw an opportunity to integrate Lentiviral vector technology with closed-system automated cell processing devices to enable distributive place-of-care manufacturing at hospitals, potentially improving the affordability and accessibility of gene therapy products like CAR-T cells. He therefore spearheaded the acquisition of Lentigen by Miltenyi Biotec in 2014 and led the development of a global place-of-care network of clinical centers that were able to successfully manufacture CAR-T cell products and demonstrate their therapeutic benefits in clinical trials.
Seeing a need for improved business models to support the affordability and accessibility of gene therapy products, Boro co-founded Caring Cross and serves as the Executive Director.
Rimas Orentas, PhD
Rimas received his PhD from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. After a post-graduate training at the Johns Hopkins Oncology Center, he joined the faculty of the Medical College of Wisconsin.
After 12 years in academia he worked for 5 years at the Pediatric Oncology Branch of the NCI, and for a total of 5 years at Lentigen Corporation where he served as Scientific Director. He currently is an investigator at the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research, Seattle Children’s Research Institute, Professor of Pediatrics and Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at the University of Washington School of Medicine, and Chairs the Board of Directors for Caring Cross.
Jennifer Adair, PhD
Jennifer Adair received her PhD from Washington State University. After an intramural post-doctoral training fellowship under Dr. Kenneth Olden at the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences, she joined the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle as a Research Associate in the Clinical Research Division.
Jen joined the Fred Hutch faculty in 2014 and holds joint appointments in the Departments of Medical Oncology and Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at the University of Washington. Jen is currently an Associate Professor and was named the Fleischauer Family Endowed Chair in Gene Therapy Translation in 2020 and has served on the Executive Board of Directors for the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy since 2018. She currently co-leads the Caring Cross Global Gene Therapy Initiative with Drs. Kityo and Dropulic.
Lindsay Androski, JD
Lindsay Androski is President and CEO of the Roivant Social Ventures, the venture philanthropy arm of Roivant Sciences, which applies Roivant’s investment and company incubation approach to the mission of improving equity in healthcare access and outcomes across geographies, demographics, and socioeconomics.
Ms. Androski joined Roivant in February 2016 as one of the earliest employees, where she built and led the team responsible for in-licensing or acquiring more than 30 pharmaceutical drug candidates, resulting in the launch of 16 subsidiary biotechs and several successful IPOs. Before joining Roivant, Ms. Androski spent a decade as a trial lawyer, including as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Alexandria, Virginia. Ms. Androski holds two bachelor degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, JD and MBA degrees from The University of Chicago, and is a registered patent lawyer and CFA charterholder.
Dr. Fr. Nicanor Austriaco OP, PhD, STD
Rev. Nicanor Austriaco, O.P., currently serves as Professor of Biology and of Theology at Providence College in Providence, Rhode Island, and as founding director of ThomisticEvolution.org.
This year, he is a Visiting Professor of Biological Sciences and a research fellow at the Center for Theology, Religious Studies, and Ethics at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines. Fr. Austriaco earned his Ph.D. from M.I.T in biology, his pontifical doctorate (S.Th.D) in theology from the University of Fribourg, and his M.B.A. from Providence College.
Deus Bazira, DrPH, MPH, MBA
Deus Bazira, DrPH, MPH, MBA, is an Associate Professor of Medicine and Director of the Center for Global Health Practice and Impact at the Georgetown University Medical Center.
He co-founded The Center for Global Health Practice and Impact at Georgetown University, Washington D.C., in 2019 with the Hon. Dr. Mark Dybul. Dr. Bazira was the founding Director of the Center for International Health Education and Biosecurity (CIHEB) within the Institute of Human Virology, University of Maryland School of Medicine. With a staff of over 500 based at headquarters and around the globe, he led the rapid expansion of health programs working to control major public health challenges, including HIV/AIDS, health security, and tuberculosis. He also worked as a Senior Lecturer in the Health Economics Unit within the School of Public Health and Family Medicine at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. He sits on numerous boards and advises several organizations and governments in Sub-Sahara Africa, India, and China.
Mark Dybul, MD
The Honorable Mark Dybul, MD, is the Co-Director of the Center for Global Health Practice and Impact and Professor in the Department of Medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center.
Mark holds a Joep Lange Chair in the Joep Lange Institute, University of Amsterdam. Dr. Dybul has worked on HIV and public health for more than 25 years as a clinician, scientist, teacher, and administrator. He served as the Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (2013-2017) and the US Global Coordinator and Ambassador leading the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine.
James Kenny, MBA
James Kenny co-founded K2 Realty with Paul Kaneb in 2003. Mr. Kenny received a BA and an MBA from Georgetown University and previously worked in finance at Morgan Stanley, Signature Capital.
He has also been a Vice President at Westlake Securities, focusing on health care private equity for over 15 years. Mr, Kenny serves on the Board of Regents for Georgetown University and on the Board of Directors for the NYU Cancer Center.
Victor (Xiaobin) Lu, PhD
Dr. Lu is the Senior VP at Innovative Cellular Therapeutics Inc. (ICT). He was a Product Reviewer at the U.S. FDA for 10 years responsible for reviewing cellular and gene therapy-based Investigational New Drug products and Biologics License Applications.
In 2017, he served as the Review Committee Chair for Novartis’s Kymriah BLA. Before that, he was the Senior Director at VIRxSYS and developed the first lentiviral vector-based anti-HIV gene therapy investigational product for human clinical trials. Dr. Lu was a post doctor at the UCSF and holds a Ph.D. from SUNY Buffalo, and a BS from Fudan University, Shanghai, China.
Crystal Mackall, MD
Crystal Mackall, MD, is the Ernest and Amelia Gallo Family Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine at Stanford University where she leads an internationally recognized translational research program focused on cancer immunotherapy.
She previously served as Chief of the Pediatric Oncology Branch at the National Cancer Institute and has been a global thought leader in developing immune therapies for children’s cancers. Dr. Mackall also serves as Director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, Founding Director for Cancer Cell Therapy, Associate Director of the Stanford Cancer Institute, and Leader of the Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy Program at Stanford. Dr. Mackall is co-founder of Lyell Immunopharma and Syncopation Life Sciences and serves on numerous advisory boards focused on cell and gene therapies.
Julie Makani, MD, PhD, FRCP, FTAAS
Professor Julie Makani, MD, PhD, FRCP, FTAAS, is a Physician Scientist in the Department of Haematology and Blood Transfusion at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS), Tanzania.
She has established one of the world’s largest single-center study cohorts for sickle cell disease. Prof. Makani serves as Principal Investigator of the Sickle Cell Program in MUHAS and Sickle Pan African Research Consortium (SPARCO) Clinical Coordinating Centre (CCC) within the SickleInAfrica network. She also serve as Site Principal Investigator for MUHAS for H3ABioNet and Co- Principal Investigator SickleGenAfrica. The aim is to use sickle cell disease as a model to establish scientific and healthcare solutions in Africa that are locally relevant and globally significant. She received the 2011 Royal Society Africa Award on the application of genomic research to improve health and find a cure for sickle cell disease. She is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of the UK and a Fellow of the Tanzania Academy of Sciences.
Mike McCune, MD, PhD
Joseph (“Mike”) McCune is Head of the HIV Frontiers Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates
Foundation and a Professor Emeritus of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.
After studies at Harvard College and at the Rockefeller University, he started to treat patients with HIV disease as a resident in internal medicine at UCSF from 1982-1984 and has been involved in the HIV/AIDS research field ever since. This work included postdoctoral studies with Irv Weissman at Stanford (1985-1988), exploring the fusogenic properties of the HIV envelope protein and invention of the first humanized mouse model (the SCID-hu mouse) capable of
multilineage human hematopoiesis and receptive to infection with primary isolates of HIV, and was continued in companies that he co-founded (SyStemix in 1988 and Progenesys in 1991) and at which he served first as CEO and then as a Scientific Director. In 1995, Dr. McCune returned to academia as an investigator at the Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology and then (starting in 2006) as the Chief of the Division of Experimental Medicine (which he founded) at
UCSF. Concomitantly, he was the founding PI (and Senior Associate Dean) of the Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute at UCSF (from 2005-08). In recent years, he has helped to form multidisciplinary, collaborative research teams to find a cure for HIV disease, first in the context of NIH- and amfAR-funded “collaboratories” at UCSF (2010-2016) and then as Head of the HIV Frontiers Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (2018-present). Throughout this time, he has taken care of patients with HIV disease at the San Francisco General Hospital AIDS Clinic/Ward 86 and has also actively mentored graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, many of whom have gone on to successful careers in academia or biotech/pharma.
Tom Rosedale, JD
Tom Rosedale is a partner at Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP, a full-service law firm based in Boston. He primarily advises clients on public and private company securities law matters, mergers and acquisitions, venture capital financings and private equity transactions, and general corporate matters. Tom also represents family offices with their legal needs.
Tom regularly advises companies on executive employment matters and incentive compensation arrangements, with credit facilities and he has been instrumental in settling litigation and other disputes on behalf of clients. Tom’s practice is heavily transactions-based, and he also serves as outside general counsel to clients in various industries.
Separate from Nutter, Tom has acquired and served on the boards of several businesses, including AMD Telemedicine; Intellisoft (sold to Symplr), a physician credentialing software business; Delegated.com, a virtual dedicated assistant business; Top Shelf Dog LLC, a shelf-stable super premium dog food; Caring Cross; and Vector Biomed. Tom holds a B.S. in Finance from Bryant University and a Juris Doctor from Boston University School of Law.
Barbara Savoldo, MD, PhD
Dr Savoldo is Professor of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology at the Lindeberger Cancer Center (LCC) at the University of North Carolina.
Her research interests include the gene modification of T-cells to redirect them to tumors by transgenic expression of alpha-betaTCRs or of chimeric tumor-specific receptors (CARs), in particular for hematological malignancies such as CD19+ leukemia/lymphomas and CD30+ Hodgkin’s lymphoma. These approaches are currently in clinical trials.
Dr Savoldo is the assistant director of the Lineberger Immunotherapy Program at the LCC and directs preclinical development of cancer immunotherapy approaches for hematological and solid tumors, providing support in writing protocols, developing standard operating procedures and training of staff in good manufacturing practices (GMP) and implementation of T-cell therapy clinical trials at the University of North Carolina. Dr Savoldo acquired this expertise during her 17 years at Baylor College of Medicine, where she facilitated the development and implementation of several T-cell therapy trials.
Nirav Shah, MD, MSHP
Nirav Shah, MD, MSHP, is Associate Professor of Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Division of Hematology and Oncology, specializing in lymphoma, CAR-T cell therapy, and stem cell transplant at Froedtert Hospital.
He graduated with honors and Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society membership from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine in 2008. He then completed his Internal Medicine residency at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts in 2011. Post-residency, he took a position at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Hospitalist medicine before proceeding to the University of Pennsylvania where he completed both hematology/oncology fellowship and a Master’s degree in Health Policy research in 2015. His research focus involves the development of novel CAR therapies for B-cell malignancies and is currently leading several trials utilizing a bispecific CAR20.19 construct.
Joshua Speidel, PhD
Dr. Joshua Speidel leads Government Services helping our clients identify, win and execute on government grants and contracts. Dr. Speidel is a biotechnology product development professional with experience from pre-discovery through lifecycle management of mature products destined for the HHS Pandemic Influenza Vaccine Stockpile.
Dr. Speidel has led teams in the submission of proposals resulting in $400M of awards. As a Health Scientist for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Biomedical Research and Development Authority (BARDA), he led efforts to establish the core capabilities to support the licensure of medical countermeasures in the areas of manufacturing capacity, product development, clinical studies, and long-term stockpiling. At BARDA, Dr. Speidel was responsible for the post-licensure management of three pandemic influenza vaccine stockpile programs, one advanced development program for a licensed recombinant influenza vaccine, and the Clinical Studies Network program. Dr. Speidel received a Ph.D. in Physiology and Biophysics from Cornell University, a M.Sc. in Biochemistry and Biophysics from the University of Houston and a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Pennsylvania State University.