Chief Executive Officer

Vik is the founder of Immunaccel and has extensive experience in the life sciences industry. He is a founding Partner at Envisage Life Sciences LLC and sits on the boards of several early stage life science and digital health ventures. Prior to the forming Immunaccel, he served as the Director of Business Development at Amplimmune (a member of the AstraZeneca Group since 2013). At Amplimmune, Vik was instrumental in securing a multi-million dollar option buy-out deal for an early stage biologic with Daiichi Sankyo, a leading Japanese biopharmaceutical company. Vik brings a wide range of experience in business development, corporate and partnering strategy, project and alliance management, licensing, contract negotiations and obtaining non-dilutive funding.

Scientific Advisor

Dr. Yao is the Senior Vice President of Oncology at Top Alliance Biosciences where he oversees all oncology program development activities. Prior to Top Alliance, Dr. Yao was Senior Research Scientist and Head of New Target Discovery at Amplimmune Inc., ( a member of the AstraZeneca Group). Prior to industry, Dr. Yao was an Associate Research Scientist at the Yale School of Medicine where he worked closely with Dr. Lieping Chen, a pioneer in the immuno-oncology arena. Dr. Yao completed his Post Doctoral Fellow in Dr. Lieping Chen’s lab at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and has several key publications and book chapters in the field of immuno-oncology.

Scientific Advisor

Dr. Liu has more than 20 years of research and industry experience with broad knowledge and proven success in the discovery and development of biological drug candidates in oncology and autoimmune diseases. She was one of the founding members of Amplimmune (now MedImmune/AstraZeneca) where she held various key positions with increasing responsibilities, including Executive Director of Translational Science/Scientific Affairs and VP of New Products. Prior to that, she served as Senior Director of Biological Product Development at MaxCyte, where she was responsible for development, in vitro and in vivo characterization and manufacture of various gene & cell based therapeutics including CAR-T, CAR-NK & DC therapies. Dr. Liu is an author or co-author of many research and review articles in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters in the areas of cancer immunotherapy, gene/cell therapy and cell biology. She is an inventor of numerous US and European patents and patent applications. Dr. Liu received her Ph.D. degree in Virology and Cell Biology from the University of Texas, Austin and her B.S. degree in Virology and Molecular Biology from Wuhan University in China. She conducted her postdoctoral training in Tumor Cell Biology at the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Clinical Advisor

Dr. Brown is the director of the new Inova Center for Drug Discovery and Development and as deputy director for Drug Discovery for the Inova Schar Cancer Institute (ISCI). Dr. Brown is a physician scientist who has expertise in the design, synthesis, and evaluation of new drugs and is one of only a handful of physician scientists in the United States who hold a PhD in synthetic chemistry and an MD.

Clinical Advisor

Dr. Amaravadi is the Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology Oncology at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Amaravadi is a physician scientist with expertise in autophagy, conducting early phase clinical trials, and clinically treating patients with advanced melanoma. He was one of the first to demonstrate that autophagy is a targetable mechanism of resistance in cancer therapy using animal models.

Advisor on Next Gen Platforms

Ali has a deep background in the science and business of biomedicine and healthcare. Ali has done extensive work in the field of molecular biology of aging and nanobiotechnology and has authored about 20 publications. He received his PhD in BioChemistry from J.W. Goethe University in Germany, and also studied business at UC, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and MIT’s Sloan School of Management. After receiving his Ph.D., Ali was in Corporate Development at Applied Biosystems (now: Thermo Fisher) where he conducted technology scouting and in-licensing. From 2008-2015, Ali built the biomedical consumables business at Sony DADC (part of SONY Corporation). As a member of the management team at Sony DADC BioSciences, he has headed as VP & Head of Business Development the Americas business based out of Cambridge, MA. In December 2015, Ali Tinazli joined HP’s CTOs office in Palo Alto (CA) and is leading the corporate-wide, global strategy for Healthcare and Life Sciences. In addition to his bioscience and industry domain experience, Ali brings strong entrepreneurial experience and hands-on knowledge of the biosciences start-up community. He currently sits on the Advisory Board of a bioinformatics/computer processor company, and serves as a Board Member at various start-up companies in the biomedical/digital health space.

Interim General Counsel

Jay Kesan brings extensive experience to Immunaccel in corporate and technology law matters. He has received numerous, multi-year research grants and awards for his work in the areas of patent/intellectual property policy and cyber security and privacy regulation from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), The National Academy of Sciences—Board of Science, Technology and Economic Policy (STEP), the private sector, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Energy Biosciences Institute, the Federal Judicial Center, the Net Institute, the Coleman Foundation, and the University of Illinois Campus Research Board. Jay served as one of the inaugural Thomas A. Edison Scholars at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). He has been actively involved in virtually every aspect of patent litigation as counsel, technical expert, legal expert, Special Master, and appellate counsel. He is an inventor and patentee himself, and he serves on the boards of directors/advisors of start-up technology companies.

Board of Directors

Dr. Steven N. Chatfield, Ph.D. is the Chairman of ProKarium (UK) and on the Board of Vaccitech (UK). Previously he served as the Executive Vice President of Strategic Investments Division at Emergent BioSolutions, Inc. since April 2013 until March 31st 2014. Dr. Chatfield served as the President of Biosciences Division and Executive Vice President at Emergent BioSolutions, Inc. from January 2012 to April 2013. Dr. Chatfield served as Senior Vice President of Strategic Investments at Emergent BioSolutions, Inc. since March 2010 and as its Chief Business Officer since May 2011. He served as Senior Vice President of Biodefense of Emergent BioSolutions Inc. from December 1, 2009 to March 2010. He served as the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Scientific Officer at Emergent Product Development UK Limited. He served as Chief Scientific Officer of Emergent BioSolutions Inc. from January 2005 to August 2007 and President of Emergent Product Development UK Limited from June 2005 to August 2007. Dr. Chatfield also served as Chief Executive Officer and Chief Scientific Officer of Emergent Product Development UK Ltd. He has more than 25 years of working experience in the field of vaccine research and development in both the United States and Europe-including process and analytical development, toxicology, GMP manufacturing, regulatory submissions and clinical studies. He has held executive level positions with Medeva PLC, Evans Medical and Wellcome Biotechnology. Dr. Chatfield received his Ph.D. from the University of Birmingham.