Our Team

Who we are

Management

CEO & Board Director

Dr. Thomas G. Evans

Dr. Thomas G. Evans received his MD from the University of Virginia and trained in Internal Medicine at UCSF, and in Infectious Diseases back at Virginia.

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He established a laboratory during his first position at the University of Utah and directed the HIV clinic. He moved to the University of Rochester as Associate Professor for 5 years, before becoming Infectious Diseases Division Chief and tenured full Professor at the University of California, Davis. His academic research centered on leishmania and HIV vaccine development and led to him joining Vical, a DNA vaccine developer as Chief Medical Officer in 2002. In 2005 he joined the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research as Global Head of Infectious Diseases Translational Medicine and Research. In September 2008 he moved to Shanghai as VP for Translational Sciences in Asia for Novartis. In September 2010 he joined Aeras, a non-profit Product Development Partnership with a mission to develop global tuberculosis vaccines, as the Chief Scientific Officer, and became CEO in February 2013. He joined Vaccitech in the spring of 2016. He has over 140 authored publications.

Chief Operating Officer

Chris Ellis

Chris Ellis obtained both his Registered General Nurse and Registered Mental Nurse qualifications before spending several years working within the National Health Service.

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Chris left the NHS for clinical research in 1992 and now has over 24 years’ experience in drug development. Chris has worked across all phases of research and has spent time working for Clinical Research Organisations, Site Management Organisations and Biotechnology companies during this time. Chris joined Vaccitech as Clinical Operations Head in August 2016 having previously been Project Lead with responsibility for the lead oncolytic virus programme in a biotechnology company in Oxfordshire.

Chief Business Officer

Graham Griffiths

Graham joins from Agalimmune Limited, a clinical stage Biotech developing directly administered immunotherapies for oncology indications.

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As co-founder and Chief Operating Officer, Graham led the licensing, funding and development of a novel cancer immunotherapy and played a lead role in the company’s successful sale to NASDAQ-listed BioLineRx in 2017. Graham qualified as a solicitor in 2005, before moving to co-found technology company MET that was subsequently sold to a group of private investors. He was an investment fund manager at Matrix Securities and for 9 years contributed across the portfolio of life sciences companies within the Animatrix Capital group. Graham’s focus was on developing early stage products and companies targeting the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and infectious diseases. Graham holds a BA Hons degree in Law with French from Newcastle University.

Chief Development Officer

Dr Keith Howard

Dr Keith Howard joined Vaccitech in February 2018 from MedImmune, where he was Senior Director FluMist Manufacturing Science and Technology.

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After completed his PhD on Leishmania donovani life cycle-related gene expression at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, he developed HSV1-based gene therapy vectors for the treatment of neurological disorders and lysosomal storage diseases; firstly at University College London and then at Cantab Pharmaceuticals Ltd in Cambridge. From 2002, he was Head of Vector Development at Oxxon Therapeutics Ltd in Oxford, developing recombinant poxvirus vectors. Subsequently, he was Director of Virology R&D at Baxter Vaccines at Orth an der Donau in Austria, developing vaccines against seasonal and pandemic influenza, chikungunya virus, Ross River virus, SARS coronavirus, and rotavirus. In 2014, Keith transitioned to Pfizer; heading the local MS&T function in analytical and process development work for tick-borne encephalitis and meningitis C vaccines.

Who we are

Board of Directors

Non-Executive Director

Steven Chatfield

Steven Chatfield has spent more than 35 years working in the field of research and development within the Biopharma industry and now works as an independent consultant.

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His career has focussed on leading the development of new healthcare interventions with a particular emphasis on vaccines and immunotherapy products to combat infectious disease, including experience in the biodefense sector. His previous roles include Executive positions at Medeva plc, Microscience Ltd, and Emergent Biosolutions.  Steve also served as an Executive Director of the Health Protection Agency where he was responsible for emergency preparedness and response.  He focuses on translational research to drive new technologies and products towards commercialisation through a thorough understanding of the product development process, from research to product launch.  Steve holds a PhD in microbiology and has published more than 100 papers in the field of biotechnology.

Professor of Vaccinology

Professor Sarah Gilbert

Professor Sarah Gilbert is Professor of Vaccinology at Oxford University and the programme director for a Wellcome Trust Strategic Award on Human and Veterinary vaccines at the Jenner Institute.

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She is a member of the Oxford University Clinical Biomanufacturing Facility management committee, and an acknowledged expert in the preclinical and clinical development of viral vectored vaccines. Professor Gilbert’s chief research interest is the development of vaccines that work by inducing strong and protective T cell responses, in addition to working on the development of the viral vector platform technology and its application in rapid vaccine development for emerging pathogens.

Board Director

Professor Adrian Hill

Professor Adrian Hill is the Director of the Jenner Institute at Oxford University and a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator, Professor of Human Genetics and a NIHR Senior Investigator.

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He heads a leading malaria vaccine development programme and also regularly consults on nationally on pandemic threats. His group led the first clinical vaccine trial against the Ebola virus outbreak strain in the major West African emergency in 2014. Professor Hill’s immunogenetics programme focuses on genome-wide and exome-wide association studies of bacterial diseases, particularly tuberculosis and pneumococcal disease, in African and European populations.

Non-Executive Director

Andrew McLean

Andrew McLean is the lead life sciences investor for Oxford Sciences Innovation. OSI is a £350 million company investing in the most exciting start-ups built on world-leading Oxford science.

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Prior to joining OSI Andrew consulted in the pharmaceutical & biotech practice at McKinsey. Andrew is a physician by training, studied philosophy, politics & economics at Christ Church in Oxford and his work background includes stints in wine shops, hospitals & Goldman Sachs.

Non-Executive Director

Pierre A Morgon

Pierre is CEO of MRGN Advisors and Regional Partner for Switzerland at Mérieux Développement. He is also Chairman of the Board of Virometix, as well as Non-Executive Director to the Boards of Theradiag, of Eurocine Vaccines, and of Alma Biotherapeutics.

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Pierre has over 30 years of experience in the global life science industry, especially with vaccines and immunotherapy, at the helm of international operations, in C-level positions at global level and as CEO of start-ups. He is a lecturer in several MBA programs in world-class business schools and in life science conferences. He holds a Doctorate of Pharmacy, a Master in Business Law and a MBA. He is also an alumnus of INSEAD and IMD.

Non-Executive Director

Adam Stoten

Adam Stoten is the Chief Operating Officer for Oxford University Innovation Ltd (OUI), the technology transfer company of the University of Oxford, and is responsible for the Licensing & Ventures and Consulting Services activities, in addition to several business support groups.

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He has worked for more than 15 years in the pharma/biotech sector in commercial roles encompassing business development and licensing, new venture formation, product development, lobbying/advocacy and general management. Prior to his current role Adam led the Life Sciences Licensing & Ventures Group at OUI, where he oversaw the formation of more than 20 new spin out companies. Adam previously worked as Deputy General Manager for the Oxford-Emergent Tuberculosis Consortium Ltd, a joint venture between the University of Oxford and Emergent BioSolutions Inc, which raised more than $30M to conduct the first ever efficacy study of a next generation TB vaccine in infants.

Who we are

Scientific Advisory Board

Scientific Advisor

Steve Dewhurst PhD

Dr. Dewhurst is Professor and Chair of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Rochester (Rochester, NY, USA), and the Vice Dean for Research at the UR School of Medicine and Dentistry.

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He is a former member of the NIH Recombinant Advisory Committee (RAC), the past President of a start up vaccine company (Codevax), and the current director of the UR’s Upstate Stem Cell cGMP Facility – which supports the development of cGMP-compliant cell production methods and the manufacturing of cell-based products for clinical trial.  He joined the UR in 1990 and has over 25 years’ experience as a molecular virologist, working principally on HIV and the influenza virus.

Scientific Advisor

Benoit Van den Eynde

Benoit Van den Eynde (MD, PhD) is an expert in tumor immunology. He is currently Director of Ludwig Cancer Research in Brussels and co-director of the de Duve Institute in Brussels.

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He is Full Professor of Immunology at the Université catholique de Louvain in Brussels and trains scientists from all over the world in his laboratory. In 2016, he also became Professor in tumor immunology at the University of Oxford, where he started a new group at Ludwig Oxford. He serves as member of several national and international scientific committees and editorial boards, and is a full member of the Belgian Royal Academy of Medicine. His work has focused on the identification and characterization of tumor antigens recognized by CD8 T lymphocytes, a field that he has pioneered together with his mentor Thierry Boon. His study of the processing of such antigens led him to the discovery of peptide splicing by the proteasome and of novel proteasome subtypes.  He also described how tumors resist immune rejection by catabolizing tryptophan, through the expression of indoleamine dioxygenase (IDO) or tryptophan dioxygenase (TDO), conducting the first proof-of-concept for the use of inhibitors of these enzymes for cancer therapy.

Scientific Advisor

Patricia Fast, MD, Ph.D.

Dr. Fast, an immunologist and pediatrician worked in biotech on influenza vaccine and both at the US NIH and, currently at the nonprofit International AIDS Vaccine Initiative to help test preventive HIV vaccine candidates the US, Africa and Europe.

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During the Ebolavirus epidemic, she helped the World Health Organization organize the first trials of the successful vaccine. She is also Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Stanford University School of Medicine.

Scientific Advisor

Jerome H. Kim, MD

Dr. Jerome H. Kim is currently the Director General of the International Vaccine Institute, which works to discover, develop and deliver safe effective and affordable vaccines for Global Health.

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IVI’s oral cholera vaccine, prequalified by Sanofi and EuBiologics, is used around the world to prevent that deadly diarrheal disease.  IVI’s typhoid conjugate vaccine is entering Phase II testing by two vaccine companies.  Prior to IVI Dr. Kim led the Army’s advanced development program for HIV vaccines, the RV144 HIV vaccine trial and correlates analysis, and a molecular virology laboratory at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.  He is a graduate with high honors and highest honors in History and Biology, respectively, from the University of Hawaii, and received an MD degree from Yale University School of Medicine.

Scientific Advisor

Drew Pardoll, MD, PhD

Dr. Pardoll is an Abeloff Professor of Oncology, Medicine, Pathology and Molecular Biology and Genetics at the Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine.

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He is the Director of the Bloomberg Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy and Director of the Cancer Immunology Program at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins. Dr. Pardoll attended Johns Hopkins University, where he earned his M.D., Ph.D., in 1982 and completed his Medical Residency and Oncology Fellowship in 1985. He then worked for three years at the National Institutes of Health as a Medical Staff Fellow. Dr. Pardoll joined the departments of oncology and medicine in 1988. Over the past two decades, Dr. Pardoll has studied molecular aspects of dendritic cell biology and immune regulation, particularly related to mechanisms by which cancer cells evade elimination by the immune system. He is an inventor of a number of immunotherapies, including GVAX cancer vaccines and Listeria monocytogenes based cancer vaccines. Dr. Pardoll’s basic immunology discoveries include the identification of γδ-T cells, NKT cells and IKDC. He elucidated the role of Stat3 signaling in tumor immune evasion and in Th17 development, leading to the discovery that Stat3-driven Th17 responses promote carcinogenesis. Dr. Pardoll discovered one of the two ligands for the PD-1 inhibitory receptor and leads the Hopkins cancer immunology program that developed PD-1 pathway-targeted antibodies, demonstrating their clinical activity in multiple cancer types.

Scientific Advisor

Jacqui Shea, PhD

Dr. Shea is the CEO at Aeras. She has more than 20 years’ experience in the life science industry, working across a range of R&D and senior commercial management roles.

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Prior to Aeras she spent eight years in a variety of senior management roles with Emergent BioSolutions. Dr. Shea initially trained as a molecular biologist and cell cycle geneticist and has spent most of her career dedicated to developing products to prevent and treat infectious diseases. She received a PhD from the National Institute for Medical Research in the UK.

Scientific Advisor

Professor Justin Stebbing

Professor Justin Stebbing specialises in a range of malignancies, and their treatment with immunotherapy. He originally trained in medicine at Trinity College Oxford.

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After completion of junior doctor posts in Oxford, he undertook training and a residency program at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in the US, returning to London to continue his career in oncology at The Royal Marsden and then St Bartholomew’s Hospitals. Professor Stebbing’s original PhD research investigated the interplay between the immune system and cancer; he was appointed a senior lecturer in 2007, and a Professor in 2009. His focus at Imperial is on new therapies in cancer, and the systemic management of patients with solid malignancies including a number of new biomarker-based approaches, with an emphasis on circulating tumour cells and cell free DNA. His laboratory work is concentrated on new druggable target discovery and gene regulation examining the role of non-coding RNAs in stem cells. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, the American Board of Internal Medicine and the Royal College of Pathologists, and sits on the advisory Boards of a number of international cancer committees. He chairs the World Vaccine Congress and the Irish Cancer Society oversight committee and is on the editorial board of a number of world leading general medical and cancer journals.

Scientific Advisor

Mark Tuthill, MD, PhD

Dr Tuthill is a consultant oncologist at the Churchill Hospital which is part of Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

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He treats cancers of the prostate, kidney, bladder, germ cell tumours and breast cancer. Dr Tuthill qualified from University College London (University of London) in 2002. He was awarded BSc Honours (Immunology and Cell Pathology, University College London) in 2001. He became a member of the Royal College of Physicians (UK) in 2005. He trained in Medical Oncology in London at the Hammersmith Hospital, Charing Cross Hospital, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and the Royal Marsden Hospital. He graduated with a post graduate diploma in Oncology from the Institute of Cancer Research in 2009. He was awarded a MRC Clinical Research Fellowship (2009) and studied for PhD in tumour immunology (2014) at the MRC Clinical Sciences Centre and Imperial College (London). He was appointed Consultant Medical Oncologist at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in 2015.

Who we are

Staff

Clinical Study Manager

Louise Bussey

Louise joined Vaccitech in January 2018 from Circassia Ltd. She started out in the industry as a CTA and has progressed up to Clinical Project Manager before joining the team here.

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Previous work includes supporting allergy trials for Cat, Grass and House Dust Mite and managing early phase respiratory studies. With a BSc in Geography, she is currently completing her MSc in Clinical Research.

Head of Clinical Operations

Lisa Johnson

Lisa Johnson joins Vaccitech, as the Head of Clinical Operations, from Allergan where she worked as an Associate Director in Global Site Management Operations.

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Lisa has more than 16 years experience in the Pharmaceutical industry having worked for Johnson and Johnson, Daiichi Sankyo, AstraZeneca and Quintiles. She has worked in a variety of Project Management, Operational Study Leader, Global SOP committee and Clinical Research Associate roles. She spent six months living and working in Israel as a researcher in cell culture products and process development. Her degree is in Pharmacology and she was awarded the undergraduate prize for Physiology for her dissertation in the role of nitric oxide in NANC inhibition of the rat colon.

Research Associate

Kinga Piotrowska

Kinga Piotrowska joined Vaccitech from Oxford BioMedica, where she was Senior Biotechnologist and participated in Advanced Therapy Medicinal Product Manufacture.

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Prior to joining OXB, Kinga developed new products for Thermo Fisher Scientific. Kinga holds MSc in Biotechnology and has 10 years of GMP experience.

Executive Administrator

Pippa Rathbone

Pippa Rathbone is the Executive Administrator for Vaccitech Ltd. Her background is within the executive search and IT industry.

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Pippa has supported teams in high intensity technology brands such as Microsoft and been part of the Board Management team at Odgers Berndtson, the UK’s largest senior executive and board recruitment business.

Director Virology

Sarah Sebastian

Sarah Sebastian is a research scientist with more than 15 years experience in virology, parasitology and vaccinology.

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She obtained a PhD from Columbia University, New York, on the topic of retroviral restriction by cellular host factors, and also holds an MSc in Control of Infectious Diseases from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Prior to joining Vaccitech in January 2018, she was a senior scientist at the Jenner Institute at the University of Oxford, where she worked on genetic engineering of viral vaccine vectors with the aim to improve vaccine immunogenicity.

Research Associate

Barsha Thapa

Barsha joined Vaccitech Ltd in 2018 as a Research Associate. She completed her MSc degree in Clinical Microbiology from the University of Nottingham.

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Prior to this, she worked at the Pirbright Institute in the Vesicular Reference Laboratory for Foot-and-mouth disease virus and Swine vesicular disease virus.

Clinical Trial Administrator

Annabel Wheatley

Annabel Wheatley obtained her Registered General Nurse qualification at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London.

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Annabel left the NHS for clinical research in 1987 and has worked across all phases of drug development within a variety of Clinical Research Organisations, Endocrine Unit St Bartholomew’s Hospital, GDRU Ltd, SmithKline Beecham and then GlaxoSmithKline as a Clinical Research Scientist for 11 years.  Annabel joined Vaccitech as Clinical Trials Assistant in February 2018.