Frank Tufaro, PhD, Chief Executive Officer. Frank Tufaro has extensive experience with the founding, financing, and operation of biotechnology firms. Prior to DNAtrix, Frank was part of the founding team of Neurovir, Inc., a Vancouver-based biotech company with a mission to develop herpes-simplex virus oncolytic vectors for treating cancer. Frank was instrumental in raising venture financing that established NeuroVir as the major player in the field of viral oncology. Frank also co-founded Nurel Therapeutics (Pittsburgh) a gene therapy company later sold to Diamyd Medical AB (Sweden), and Allera Health Products, Inc. (St. Petersburg, FL). From 1987-2002, Frank was a Professor of Microbiology at the University of British Columbia, wherein his laboratory worked on herpes simplex virus and gene therapy for cancer. Frank received his BSc in Cell and Molecular Biology, a PhD in Developmental Biology from McGill University in Montreal, Canada and was a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Steve McKnight, at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center (Seattle, WA) and the Carnegie Institution of Washington (Baltimore, MD).
Imre Kovesdi, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer. Dr. Kovesdi serves as the Chief Scientific Officer of DNAtrix. Prior to joining DNAtrix, Dr. Kovesdi served as the Chief Executive Officer of Vectorlogics Inc, a privately-held biotechnology firm based in Birmingham, Alabama. Prior to joining Vectorlogics, he served as Chief Scientific Officer with GenVec Inc (NASDAQ:GNVC). He joined GenVec in 1993 as one of its first employees and held several senior positions directing research, development and manufacturing before being appointed as CSO. Dr. Kovesdi was also a major contributor to GenVec’s intellectual property portfolio. Prior to joining GenVec, he led projects in the development of gene expression systems and therapeutic gene design at the Medical Research Division of the New York-based American Cyanamid Company. He was a postdoctoral fellow at The Rockefeller University in New York, holds a PhD in molecular biology from Simon Fraser University and a degree in electrical engineering from University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. Dr. Kovesdi is the holder of over 100 US and foreign patents and has authored over 130 scientific articles in the areas of virology, gene delivery and molecular biology. Dr. Kovesdi has served on the boards of a number of biotechnology and information technology companies.
Helena Chaye, PhD, Senior Vice President Operations and Intellectual Property. Dr. Chaye has over 17 years of experience in law, business development, intellectual property management, technology transfer and licensing, and corporate affairs and operations. Her legal practice included providing advice on general corporate commercial matters, mergers acquisitions, and corporate finance. She represented venture capital funds in hi- tech and biotech financings. Her career in biotechnology started at the Canadian Genetic Diseases Network (CGDN) as the Business Development Manager where she directed the commercialization strategy of early stage technologies from member institutes. Subsequent to CGDN, Dr. Chaye joined MediGene, Inc., a public biopharmaceutical company, as the Director of Business Development. Prior to joining DNAtrix, she held the position of VP Corporate Affairs and IP at Jennerex, Inc., a private biotechnology company developing oncolytic vaccinia virotherapy. At Jennerex, she was responsible for business development, IP management, corporate affairs and various aspects operations. She received her PhD in genetics from the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, Canada) and her law degree from Dalhousie University (Halifax, Canada).
Erin Mitchell, PhD, Director of Manufacturing. Erin Mitchell has 10 years of experience in process development and manufacturing in several different firms. As Director of Manufacturing and Process Development at MediGene Inc., Erin assembled and directed a team of scientists and technicians that developed a scalable manufacturing process for herpesvirus. Prior to that, Erin was a key part of the team that developed the process used for the phase I clinical trial of NeuroVir’s herpesvirus product and oversaw the successful production of that material at a Contract Manufacturing Organization. Erin received her BSc in Biochemistry from McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, her MSc in Biochemistry from The University of Toronto in Toronto, Canada and her PhD in Immunology from Cambridge University (Cambridge, England).