February 22, 2016

Two Leading Experts Join IAVI’s Vaccine Design and Development Teams

The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) is pleased to welcome two new senior members to its vaccine design and development teams.

Effective 1 February, Philip R. Johnson has joined IAVI as a Senior Advisor to help with forward planning of vaccine discovery efforts and exploration of innovative approaches to evaluate platform technologies to accelerate progress in HIV vaccine R&D. Johnson’s extensive scientific and leadership experience includes 20 years with the National Institutes of Health and the Columbus (Ohio) Children’s Hospital and 10 years as Chief Scientific Officer & Executive Vice President of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He has overseen basic, clinical and translational research covering influenza, respiratory syncytial viruses and HIV, and pioneered the use of recombinant adeno-associated-virus (AAV) vectors to deliver genes encoding for neutralizing antibodies or antibody-like molecules that inhibit HIV entry. Johnson and IAVI have worked together for more than a decade on AAV-vector-based approaches; an ongoing Phase 1 trial also involves the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the University of Surrey. Johnson received his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and completed a pediatric residency and an infectious diseases fellowship at Vanderbilt University.

And effective 15 February, Robert Lemon has become an Executive Director of the Vaccine Product Development Center at IAVI. In this position, he will lead teams that help Collaboration for AIDS Vaccine Discovery grantees, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to move their promising vaccine candidates into clinical testing. During more than 20 years at Wyeth, Pfizer and Merck, Lemon led the development, manufacturing and tech transfer that enabled global launch of seven new pharmaceutical products; the successful scale-up for commercialization of two biological products, and the successful scale-up and globalization of development and manufacturing of Merck’s Hepatitis A and Rotavirus vaccines. Lemon received his Bachelor of Science in Biology & Environmental Science from SUNY Plattsburgh and his Master of Business Administration in Leadership & Global Management from the University of Phoenix.

“Phil and Bob will contribute a wealth of design and development experience to IAVI’s efforts to help bring the world an AIDS vaccine,” said Mark Feinberg, IAVI President and CEO. “We are proud to welcome them to the IAVI family.”