Mark Feinberg, M.D., Ph.D., is president and CEO of IAVI where he leads a global team working to advance the development of vaccines and other biomedical innovations to protect against infection with HIV, TB, and other infectious diseases that disproportionately impact low-income countries.
Prior to joining IAVI in late 2015, Feinberg served as chief public health and science officer with Merck Vaccines. In this role, he helped advance the development and global availability of vaccines against rotavirus, human papillomavirus, and other infectious diseases. He also led a range of research initiatives to address unmet health needs in low-income countries including the establishment of the MSD-Wellcome Trust Hilleman Laboratories and the coordination of a private-public partnership to expedite Ebola vaccine development. Previously, he spent more than 20 years exploring HIV/AIDS pathogenesis, treatment, and prevention research and the biology of emerging diseases in both academia and government.
Feinberg holds an M.D. and a Ph.D. from Stanford University, and B.A. degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He pursued post-graduate medical training in internal medicine at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and postdoctoral fellowship training in the laboratory of Dr. David Baltimore at the Whitehead Institute. He has previously served as a faculty member at the University of California, San Francisco and the Emory University School of Medicine and as a medical officer in the Office of AIDS Research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and as a fellow in the Advanced Leadership Initiative at Harvard University.
Feinberg is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Association of American Physicians. He served as the chair of the Interim Scientific Advisory Committee of the Collaboration for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and currently serves as a member of the CEPI Joint Coordinating Group.
Ana Céspedes provides oversight and strategic direction to address the operational needs of the organization and facilitates coordination across the global senior leadership team.
Prior to joining IAVI, Céspedes held several roles at Merck KGaA (Darmstadt, Germany), based in Boston, MA, most recently serving as global head of strategy and engagement, government, and public affairs. Céspedes founded and led the global market access and pricing function for the company and worked with stakeholders to communicate the clinical, economic, and societal value of innovative medicines. Previously, Céspedes led the first integrated corporate affairs group at Serono Iberia and Merck Spain, was managing director of the Spanish branch of the company’s nonprofit organization, and worked as a senior consultant at Arthur Andersen.
Céspedes is a founding member of the National Congress of Corporate Affairs in Spain, the London School of Economics Market Access Academy, and the Cooperation for Oncology Data.
She holds a B.S. and a Pharm.D. from the Complutense University of Madrid, and an MBA from IESE Business School.
Stephen Baker is the executive director of IAVI’s Human Immunology Laboratory in London. He leads the lab in their efforts to deliver immunogenicity and correlates of immunity data for clinical vaccine trials. In addition, he is developing a project of work aiming to generate new solutions for drug resistant bacterial infections.
Baker has 25 years of academic research experience, previously being based in the Department of Medicine at the University of Cambridge and within the overseas unit structure at the University of Oxford. His research focuses on studying the mechanisms and epidemiological influences of antimicrobial resistant Gram-negative bacteria. His research group exploits various genomic and laboratory techniques to understand how antimicrobial resistant bacterial emerge, spread, and how best they can be combated. He has published >400 scientific articles and is a recognized name in global health with a portfolio of work ranging from typhoid fever and other enteric diseases to hospital acquired infections and zoonoses.
Baker holds a Ph.D. in infectious diseases from Imperial College London and completed postdoctoral positions at the Sanger Institute and the University of Oxford. He is a Wellcome senior fellow and an honorary faculty member of the Wellcome Sanger Institute.
W. Ripley (“Rip”) Ballou, M.D., is senior scientific advisor. He provides guidance across a range of IAVI programs.
Ballou previously was Vice President and Head at GSK Global Vaccines U.S. R&D Center in Rockville, Maryland. Prior to that, he was Vice President and Head, Clinical Research and Translational Science, Vaccine Discovery and Development at GSK Vaccines. He also served as Deputy Director for Vaccines, Infectious Diseases Development, Global Health, at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Trained in internal Medicine and infectious diseases, he began his work on vaccines at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research where he led the team that with GSK co-developed RTS,S, the world’s most advanced malaria vaccine.
Ballou received his M.D. from Emory University School of Medicine and completed his residency and fellowship in infectious diseases at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
Kundai Chinyenze, M.D., MPH, leads the ADVANCE and Africa teams to improve the systems and governance of ADVANCE, strengthen IAVI’s East Africa office, and enhance the connectivity across all IAVI activities in Africa. Chinyenze also leads the identification and maximization of additional sources of funding to ensure the long-term sustainability of ADVANCE’s work in Africa.
Chinyenze has more than 18 years of work experience in East and Southern Africa, including 16 years in clinical HIV/AIDS care, program management, and HIV prevention research. Her expertise spans across clinical trial safety monitoring in HIV vaccine and antibody trials, design and implementation of epidemiologic and clinical trials, and development of health programs in primary health care and HIV/AIDS. She also possesses extensive experience in HIV Vaccine R&D and has worked with multiple collaborators in HIV research in Africa and Europe.
Chinyenze holds an MBChB from the University of Zimbabwe and an MPH from the University of Leeds, among other professional trainings. In 2010, Chinyenze received the Leeds University John Griffith Prize for distinctive work in public health.
Sree Chitoor oversees information technology (IT) and is the architect for applying technology innovation and systems to facilitate the execution of IAVI’s programs and strategy. She ensures that technology is seamlessly integrated into all aspects of the organization.
Prior to joining IAVI, Chitoor was the head of IT at Catalent, where she focused on driving major strategic technology initiatives, collaboration, and delivering IT value add to the business. Earlier in her career from 2002-2020, Chitoor held several IT leadership roles across Merck and Otsuka Pharmaceuticals and led initiatives including integrated clinical cloud platforms, clinical data analytics, reporting, and aggregation platforms across the R&D portfolio while adopting cloud, agile development methodology, and product strategies.
Chitoor earned her M.S. from Stevens Institute of Technology, and MBA from Duke, Fuqua School of Business. She moved to U.S. after completing her B.S. in computer science engineering from Madras University, India.
Min Ding provides leadership on legal affairs, business development, intellectual property, and risk management at IAVI. He advises the board of directors, CEO, COO, and other senior management team members on governance and strategy, and is responsible for all legal matters at IAVI, including structuring and negotiating IAVI’s collaborations with academic, industry, and public sector partners to ensure that products developed will be globally accessible and affordable.
Prior to joining IAVI, Ding practiced law for 20 years in law firms and pharmaceutical companies, building tremendous relevant experience and a strong set of core legal capabilities. Most recently, he spent eight years at The Medicines Company (later acquired by Novartis), a specialty pharmaceutical company, with increasing responsibilities and most recently as Vice President, Innovation Leader and Corporate Counsel.
Min earned an undergraduate degree from Beijing University, a Ph.D. in microbiology and molecular genetics from the University of Vermont, and J.D. from Columbia University.
Mario Gagliano is responsible for driving IAVI’s strategic human resources (HR) management and global people strategy. In addition to being a thought partner to the senior management team, he guides the HR team to ensure that IAVI is a place where our people can excel and accomplish our mission. He oversees the smooth execution of human resources operations and provides advisory services for leadership, coaching, employee relations, compensation, organizational design, and other HR disciplines.
Prior to joining IAVI, Gagliano was Vice President, HR U.S. Commercial Operations and Global Diagnostics at Zoetis, Inc, the world’s largest animal health company. Prior to this he worked at Pfizer, Inc. for nearly 19 years. During his time at Pfizer, Gagliano held HR leadership roles supporting commercial, manufacturing, and corporate functions throughout their global businesses, most recently as the Head of HR for their Emerging Markets business.
Gagliano holds an MBA from Monmouth University and a B.S. in psychology and business from Ithaca College.
Rajat Goyal, M.D., oversees IAVI’s strategic direction in India. In this role, he has spearheaded the establishment of high-end R&D partnerships and programs with the Government of India, international governments and development agencies, and industry leaders and manufacturers to accelerate integrated discovery and enable equitable access for innovative biomedical products in low- and middle-income countries. Goyal has played a critical role in conceptualizing and setting up multilateral research partnerships facilitating North-South and South-South scientific cooperation to address diseases of concern in India and across the globe.
Goyal has been working in the fields of cancer, HIV, vaccine research and development, and public health for more than 20 years. Previously, he was vice president at ICON, managing clinical operations for the Asia-Pacific region. Prior to that, he was global director of PATH’s Advancing Rotavirus Vaccine Development project, where he oversaw product development and a range of other health interventions. He also served as a vice president of Reliance Life Sciences’ in Mumbai.
Goyal holds an M.D. from Haffkine Institute of Research and Training in Mumbai. He was a research fellow at Rush Cancer Institute in Chicago, and a visiting fellow at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and the Royal Marsden Hospital in London.
Marion Gruber, Ph.D., M.S., leads the development and execution of IAVI’s public health and regulatory science efforts to advance product development programs to facilitate global access to preventive and therapeutic products critical for global public health.
Prior to joining IAVI, from 1992 to 2021, Gruber served as a public health official at the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), where she held positions of increasing leadership responsibility in research, regulatory affairs, and policy. From 2011 to 2021, she was the director of the FDA’s Office of Vaccines Research and Review (OVRR). She was responsible for the review, planning, development, and administration of OVRR’s national and international programs directing a multi-disciplinary team engaged in vaccine and related biological product development, regulation, and licensure, including overseeing licensure and approval for COVID-19 vaccines. Other key responsibilities included collaboration with top agency officials, industry representatives, foreign government representatives, other national regulatory authorities as well as global organizations such as the World Health Organization and CEPI, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, to advise on regulatory policy, programs, and licensure strategies for preventive vaccines to facilitate access to these products.
Gruber received a Ph.D. in microbiology from the Christian Albrecht University, Kiel, Germany and an M.S. in biology from the University of Ulm, Germany.
Swati Gupta, DrPH, MPH, leads IAVI’s Emerging Infectious Disease product portfolio and the organization’s epidemiology work. She has a particular focus in leveraging IAVI’s recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus (rVSV) platform and expertise to expand product development efforts beyond HIV, including leading the vaccine development programs for other emerging infectious diseases such as Lassa Fever, Marburg, and most recently SARS-CoV-2.
Previously, Gupta was an executive director with Merck Vaccines, where she worked on the development of innovative partnership models to address cross-cutting issues related to vaccine science and technology. As part of this role, she worked with key external stakeholders to facilitate accelerated Ebola vaccine development efforts to enhance preparedness for the ongoing public health crisis and for potential future outbreaks.
From 2000 to 2014, Gupta was in the Department of Epidemiology at Merck Research Laboratories where she led a number international, prospective cohort studies in support of vaccine and infectious disease products in development, including research on diseases such as HIV, HPV, influenza, dengue, and C.difficile. From 1998 to 2000, Gupta worked as a scientist in HIV Surveillance at the Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre (British equivalent of the U.S. CDC) in the U.K. She has also worked at the Bureau of Tuberculosis Control at the New York City Department of Health.
Gupta holds a doctorate in epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and a Master of Public Health in infectious disease epidemiology from Yale University School of Medicine.
Jon Heinrichs leads IAVI’s antibody program strategy and translational immunology function. In this role, he oversees translation of IAVI’s monoclonal antibody development program into clinical evaluation, including our HIV broadly neutralizing antibody program for prevention of HIV acquisition. In the translational immunology area, he partners across the organization to identify and co-develop new and complementary research programs, including using state-of-the-art immunologic methods to delineate correlates of protection for vaccine candidates across our portfolio and to contribute to the evidence base to support licensure.
Heinrichs has had a distinguished career in vaccine R&D, with thirty years of experience at leading biopharmaceutical companies, including Sanofi Pasteur, Merck, and MedImmune (now part of AstraZeneca). Most recently he served as global head of innovation and emerging sciences at Sanofi and led development of the monoclonal antibody nirsevimab (Beyfortus), now licensed for the prevention of RSV disease in infants.
Heinrichs earned his Ph.D. and M.S. in microbiology and molecular genetics from Rutgers University and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in the Laboratory of Bacterial Pathogenesis and Immunology at The Rockefeller University in New York.
Polet Juma leads the financial and operational functions in IAVI’s Kenya country office and the regional programs in Africa.
Juma has over 15 years experience working as a finance and operations professional; building systems and teams that perform the accounting, procurement, logistics, compliance, and human resources functions. Prior to joining IAVI, Juma led finance and administration teams at Palladium, where she successfully managed and closed out a USAID-funded Health Systems Strengthening program. Prior to that, Juma worked at the National Democratic Institute Kenya offices where, working with multiple funders, she oversaw the establishment of the finance and administration team, putting into place the internal systems responsible for finance, sub-awards management, and operations in-country and provided similar remote assistance to Somalia and Sudan projects.
Juma is a certified public accountant, and she holds an executive MBA from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology and a Bachelor of Science degree from Moi University.
Kent Kester, M.D., leads the translational medicine function at IAVI. He drives forward our preclinical and clinical product development programs at all levels of the organization, across all labs and offices, with a particular focus on leveraging innovative technologies and approaches to accelerating projects.
Kester was most recently vice president and head of translational science and biomarkers at Sanofi Pasteur. Before that, he served for 24 years in the U.S. Army at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, a U.S. military medical research institute that he directed as its commander, leading multiple research platforms and serving as the lead policy advisor for the U.S. Army Surgeon General in infectious diseases and medical research and development.
Kester holds leadership and membership positions on many prestigious boards and committees, including the National Academy of Medicine Forum on Microbial Threats, the National Academy’s Standing Committee on Emerging Infectious Diseases and 21st Century Health Threats, the Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria, and the CEPI Scientific Advisory Committee.
He received his M.D. from Jefferson Medical College and completed his fellowship in infectious diseases at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
Catherine Kirtane leads IAVI’s Operational Excellence team, which is focused on providing operational and project management support across the organization to drive process improvement, performance measurement, strategic planning, and execution.
Kirtane has more than 13 years of global health and population health experience across advisory and operational roles in nonprofits, management consulting, and integrated health systems. Prior to joining IAVI, she led performance measurement of population health programs for Northwell Health Solutions.
Kirtane holds an MBA and MPH in Global Health Management from Boston University and an M.A. in Economics from University of British Columbia.
Hester Kuipers leads the IAVI team and office from its base in Amsterdam, overseeing the policy, advocacy, resource mobilization, and communications programs, as well as IAVI’s relations in Europe with donors, government representatives, researchers, civil society, and the press. Kuipers joined IAVI Europe in 2006, initially as director of Communications and from 2010 as director of Advocacy & Communications. In these roles, Kuipers was responsible for handling IAVI’s press relations and external communications, developing advocacy programs across 10 European countries and the European Union institutions, engaging civil society, members of parliament, researchers, and policymakers, and contributing to relevant policy consultations.
Previously, Kuipers was a director at Excerpta Medica, an Elsevier Science company providing services in scientific publications and medical communications. She started her career as an immunology scientist, at the University of Cambridge, Department of Surgery, in the United Kingdom, and at Novartis Pharma Ltd. in Switzerland.
Kuipers has an M.S. in biology from the University of Utrecht in The Netherlands.
Dagna Laufer, M.D., oversees planning and implementation for clinical development of IAVI-sponsored vaccine candidates. Since 2008, Laufer has served in several key medical and clinical roles at IAVI, ensuring the safety and effectiveness of vaccine research.
Prior to joining IAVI, Laufer was Director, Clinical Viral Vaccines Research, at Wyeth, which conducted early phase prophylactic and therapeutic HIV clinical trials. She also led the Phase IV (post-licensure) team for the seven-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (Prevnar®) as well as the Phase IV work internationally for vaccine products.
Laufer earned her M.D. at New York Medical College and her B.A. at Johns Hopkins University. She trained in pediatrics at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia and as a fellow in pediatric infectious diseases at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Shelly Malhotra heads IAVI’s efforts to ensure the affordability, availability, acceptability and broad adoption of vaccine and therapeutic candidates. She leads IAVI’s access strategy, policy engagement, and stakeholder engagement efforts geared at creating an enabling environment and defining novel collaboration strategies to ensure the accessibility of future IAVI innovations.
Malhotra has worked in global health for two decades, with a focus on harnessing public-private partnerships to support access to innovations for the past 18 years. Previously, as the director of market access at TB Alliance, she oversaw launch planning and introduction for an innovative product development partnership for pediatric and adult TB regimens, including overseeing technical partnerships spanning 20+ high burden countries to support introduction. Prior to her work with TB Alliance, Malhotra lived and worked in Cambodia, Thailand, and throughout the Asia Pacific region, where she led a range of global health, research, and capacity-strengthening initiatives with organizations including Hope Worldwide, AmeriCares, and the UN Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery.
Malhotra holds a B.A. from Brown University and a Master’s degree and doctoral candidacy in sociology from University of California, Berkeley.
Chris Parks leads IAVI’s Vaccine Design and Development Laboratory in New York where he guides preclinical development of multiple vaccine candidates that are based on vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) vaccine vector technology.
Parks has worked in vaccine research and development for over 25 years and has been involved in preclinical development and evaluation of vaccine candidates for multiple viral diseases. Before joining IAVI, he led a team of researchers as the senior director of viral vaccines at Wyeth Vaccines, where his team played key roles in preclinical development and evaluation of vaccine candidates against mulitple respiratory viruses and HIV-1, and developed technologies essential to advance recombinant viral vaccines and vaccine vectors for use in people.
Parks received his Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, The Milton S. Hersey Medical Center, and completed postdoctoral training at Princeton University in the Department of Molecular Biology.
Sangeetha Sagar leads IAVI’s efforts to rapidly advance the most promising vaccine and antibody candidates from the laboratory into clinical trials, accelerating the product development process.
Sagar has 29 years of experience in all aspects of chemistry, manufacturing, and controls (CMC) development and supply of vaccines, gene and cell therapy products, and mono and multi-specific antibodies and conjugates. Most recently, Sagar was the global head of biotherapeutics development and supply at Janssen, Johnson and Johnson, leading all aspects of end-to-end biotherapeutics development. Prior to that, she was at Sanofi Pasteur leading quality, CMC innovation, and the COVID vaccine initiative for the company. She was at Merck & Co., Inc for 22 years working in roles of increasing responsibility from “in the lab” to global leadership of BioProcess R&D for biologics.
Sagar has her Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and was a John E. Fogarty NIH post-doctoral fellow at the CNRS in Marseille, France.
Lewis Schrager is the leader of IAVI’s efforts to develop vaccines to prevent tuberculosis.
Schrager has extensive experience in clinical infectious disease, HIV epidemiology and pathogenesis research, vaccine regulation, and vaccine development. For 10 years, Schrager served in the Division of AIDS, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases as the project officer to the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study, which discovered the relationship of CD4+ T-cell count to risk of defining AIDS-defining illnesses, and the relationship of viral load to HIV disease progression, on his watch. For seven years, Schrager served as the chief of one of the two clinical review branches in the Office of Vaccine Research and Review, CBER, FDA. In 2013, Schrager joined Aeras as the VP of Scientific Affairs, playing a central role in advancing global efforts to develop tuberculosis vaccines.
Schrager holds an M.D. from the Vanderbilt School of Medicine. He completed clinical training in internal medicine at the University Hospital-Bellevue Medical Center and a fellowship in infectious diseases at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center.
Louis Schwartz manages IAVI’s financial operations, supervising global financial planning and forecasting, grants and contracts, audit and compliance, knowledge management, and information technology departments.
Schwartz has more than 30 years of experience in international finance and management in both the public and private sectors. Before joining IAVI, he served as vice president for finance and administration at the American Jewish World Service, where he oversaw the organization’s budget and led the finance, information technology, human resources, and facilities teams. Prior to that, he was chief financial officer at the nonprofit Neighborhood Housing Services of New York City, and at Troika Dialog, a Russian investment bank. He also held various finance leadership positions in commercial banking in Moscow and New York City. He is a member of the CFO Roundtable and Dobbs Ferry School District’s Board of Education.
He holds a B.A. in business administration from Georgetown University.
Eric Skjeveland, MBA, leads business development and alliance management at IAVI, building new partnerships to enable and expedite innovation and overseeing the execution of plans to advance high-value collaborations to deliver on our mission and achieve global health impact.
Skjeveland came to IAVI after a nearly three-decade long career at Merck. Most recently, he was global leader, Joint Venture Operations, at Merck Vaccines and managed the MSP Vaccine Company — a joint venture between Merck and Sanofi Pasteur for the pediatric vaccine Vaxelis®. Prior to that, he managed a portfolio of commercial global alliances with strategic partners in Asia Pacific, Middle East, South America, and Europe. He held several other U.S. and global commercial leadership roles while at Merck, including international product manager, senior director customer marketing, and national sales and marketing director.
Skjeveland earned an MBA from the Opus College of Business at the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN, and a B.S. from St. John’s University, Collegeville, MN. He is a Certified Strategic Alliance Professional (CSAP) and a Six Sigma Executive Belt.
Devin Sok, Ph.D., leads IAVI’s discovery and innovation efforts to ensure that they are achieved seamlessly across IAVI’s impact areas. He works with IAVI staff and external partners to support our laboratory programs in identifying and gaining access to the most promising new research platforms and technologies, fosters strategic collaboration among our research laboratories, drives enhanced scientific dialog within IAVI, and strengthens the IAVI scientific community by developing IAVI scientists.
Since joining IAVI, Sok has directed antibody discovery and development programs and vaccine immune response analysis at the Sok lab at the IAVI Neutralizing Antibody Center at Scripps Research. Additionally, he leads the scientific strategies and direction for the Antibody Translational Research Program in India and in the ADVANCE (Accelerate the Development of Vaccines and New Technologies to Combat the AIDS Epidemic) program in Africa. As the scientific lead of ADVANCE, Sok has developed a cohesive strategic framework that aligns to and advances scientific objectives at the leadership and organizational levels.
Sok received his Ph.D. in immunology and microbiology under Dennis Burton at Scripps Research. He earned his B.S. degree from Stanford University.
Karie Youngdahl leads the global communications function at IAVI. She is the chief architect of IAVI’s global communications strategy and activities, advising the CEO and senior leadership on all aspects of external and internal communications. She oversees the organization’s publications and media relations functions and works with key stakeholders across the public and private sectors on strategic communications for joint projects and interests.
Previously Youngdahl served as director of Public Health Initiatives at The College of Physicians of Philadelphia and its Mütter Museum. There she initiated and led a number of high-impact projects, including the Philadelphia Public Health Grand Rounds in partnership with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, the award-winning History of Vaccines website, and the Museum’s flagship digital exhibit, Memento Mütter.
Youngdahl holds a B.A. from Stanford University and an MPH from Thomas Jefferson University School of Population Health.