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, Director for Scientific Integration at CureWorks, 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.
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.
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.
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.
Fr. Nicanor Austricao 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.
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.
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.
Jen Adair, PhD
Jen 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 Dr. Dropulic.
Nikel Davis, MBA
Nikel has over 25 years of professional experience in financial management, strategic process development and accounting. He has worked with more than 10 companies offering financial consulting services across an array of industries including public accounting, not-for profits, technology and government contracting.
Nikel is responsible for spearheading several initiatives that have propelled the companies he has worked for and has played integral roles mergers & acquisitions. Nikel holds an MBA in Executive Leadership from Virginia Tech, and a bachelor’s in Accounting from Virginia State University. Nikel is co-founder of OncoTelehealth, and is also the financial consultant for several businesses including the KID Museum and The Gormley Group.
Tom Rosedale, JD
Tom Rosedale is the Managing Member of BRL Law Group, a boutique corporate law firm, and the CEO of Newfound Research LLC, a quant-based investment management firm. His legal work includes advising public companies with SEC matters; venture funds with investment transactions; and clients with M&A.
Separate from BRL, Tom has acquired and served on the boards of several businesses, including AMD Telemedicine; Intellisoft (sold to Symplr), a physician credentialing software business; and Delegated.com, a virtual dedicated assistant business. Tom also serves on the Board of Advisors of Newton-Wellesley Hospital in Newton, MA. Tom holds a B.S. in Finance from Bryant University and a Juris Doctor from Boston University School of Law.
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.
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.