- Noubar Afeyan, Ph.D., Co-Founder and Chairman, Moderna; Managing Partner & CEO, Flagship Pioneering
- John Aunins, Executive Vice President, CMC Seres Health, Inc.
- Fred E. Regnier, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, Purdue University
- Professor James R. Swartz, Department of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering Stanford University
- Jack Szostak, Ph.D., Professor of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, and Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University
- Richard C. Willson, Ph.D., Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, University of Houston
Noubar Afeyan, Ph.D
Co-Founder and Chairman, Moderna; Managing Partner & CEO, Flagship Pioneering
Dr. Noubar Afeyan is co-founder and chairman of Moderna, and managing partner and CEO of Flagship Pioneering, a leading early stage venture capital firm. He also leads the firm’s VentureLabs unit that invents and launches transformative startups. He is a senior lecturer at MIT’s Sloan School of Management where he has taught courses on technology entrepreneurship, innovation, and leadership since 2000. Dr. Afeyan has authored numerous scientific publications and patents since earning his Ph.D. in Biochemical Engineering from MIT in 1987. He lectures widely in the United States and internationally on diverse topics ranging from entrepreneurship, innovation, and venture capital to biological engineering, drug discovery, medical technologies, and renewable energy. During his 24-year career as inventor, entrepreneur, CEO and venture capitalist, Dr. Afeyan has co-founded and helped build 24 successful life science and technology startups.
Currently Dr. Afeyan serves on a number of public and private company boards in addition to Moderna, and he is a member of several advisory boards including the Yale Climate & Energy Initiative and the SKOLKOVO School of Management in Moscow. He is also a member of the board of overseers of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Previously, he was founder and CEO of PerSeptive Biosystems, a leader in the bio-instrumentation field that grew to over $100 million in annual sales within six years from its first sales, and he was a member of the founding team, director, and investor in several highly successful ventures including Chemgenics Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Millennium Pharmaceuticals), Color Kinetics (acquired by Philips), and Adnexus Therapeutics (acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb).
Executive Vice President, CMC, Seres Health, Inc.
John Aunins is a 24-year veteran in the biotech field, with deep experience in bioprocess development, manufacturing support, and project leadership. He led process and product development teams at Merck Research Laboratories for Vaqta®, Varivax®, Zostavax®, ProQuad®, Rotateq®, and Gardasil®. The Vaqta and Gardasil process teams were awarded with ACS Industrial Biotechnology Awards for innovation, contribution to bioengineering, and societal impact. He is a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, and an adjunct full professor at the Instituto de Tecnologia Quimica e Biologica (ITQB) in Oeiras, Portugal. He is author of over 50 articles and book chapters, and has chaired five international conferences in vaccines and bioprocess technology. John obtained his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from MIT in 1989 under Institute Professor Daniel I.C. Wang.
Fred E. Regnier, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, Purdue University
Dr. Fred E. Regnier is a distinguished professor of chemistry at Purdue University. He is generally regarded as one of the world authorities on proteomics. Additionally, he is accomplished entrepreneur, cofounding several companies such as BioSeparations, PerSeptive Biosystems, Beyond Genomics, Novilytic, and Perfinity Biosystems. He also serves on the boards of several companies. He has published more than 300 journal articles and 70 book chapters and reviews, has more than 40 patents, has edited two books, and has won numerous national and international awards and distinctions for his research in analytical chemistry and biochemistry. Dr. Regnier received his B.S. from the Nebraska State College and holds a Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University. He did his postdoctoral training at the University of Chicago and Harvard University under the direction of John H. Law and Edward O. Wilson, respectively.
Professor James R. Swartz
Department of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering, Stanford University
Dr. James Swartz obtained his B.S. in chemical engineering from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. After working two years for Union Oil Co. of California, he earned his M.S. in chemical engineering and D.Sc. in biochemical engineering at MIT. Following a scientific exchange visit to the U.S.S.R. and an initial research position at Eli Lilly and Co., he joined Genentech in 1981, where he served in both scientific and managerial positions related to rDNA protein production and protein pharmaceutical development for nearly 18 years.
In 1998, he moved to Stanford University as professor of chemical engineering focusing on cell-free biology. In 1999, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering, and, in 2003, helped initiate Stanford’s new Department of Bioengineering. He was named the Leland T. Edwards Professor in the School of Engineering in 2006 and the James H. Clark Professor in 2009. He is a founder of Sutro Biopharma, Inc., dedicated to developing cell-free protein pharmaceutical technologies, and of GreenLight Biosciences, a cell-free metabolic engineering company, and of Bullet Biotechnology, a company developing patient-specific anti-cancer therapeutic vaccines. His research seeks to reproduce and direct complex metabolism in a cell-free environment. Current applications include improved vaccine architectures, new cancer diagnostics, and biological hydrogen production from sunlight and biomass.
Jack Szostak, Ph.D.
Professor of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, and Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University
Moderna Scientific Advisory Board Chairman, 2009 Nobel Prize in Medicine, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School, and Alex Rich Distinguished Investigator, Dept. of Molecular Biology and the Center for Computational and Integrative Biology at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Dr. Jack Szostak was appointed chair of the scientific advisory board in August 2011. He is an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School, and the Alex Rich Distinguished Investigator in the Department of Molecular Biology and the Center for Computational and Integrative Biology at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Szostak’s early research on telomere structure and function, and the role of telomere maintenance in preventing cellular senescence, was recognized by the 2006 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award and the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, shared with Drs. Elizabeth Blackburn and Carol Greider. In the 1990s Dr. Szostak and his colleagues developed in vitro selection as a tool for the isolation of functional RNA, DNA, and protein molecules from large pools of random sequences. Dr. Szostak’s current research interests are in the laboratory synthesis of self-replicating systems and the origin of life. Dr. Szostak is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Richard C. Willson, Ph.D.
Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, University of Houston
Richard Willson is Huffington-Woestemeyer Distinguished Endowed Professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Biochemistry and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Houston, and a Senior Affiliate of the Houston Methodist Research Institute. He holds B.S. (honors) and M.S. degrees in chemical dngineering from Caltech, and completed his Ph.D. in biochemical engineering (C.L. Cooney, R.C. Reid) and postdoctoral studies in biochemistry (J. King) at MIT. Dr. Willson is the recipient of the Presidential Young Investigator Award under the first Bush administration, an elected fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, elected member of Phi Kappa Phi and Sigma Xi, former president of the International Society for Molecular Recognition, and recipient of the ACS Division of Biochemical Technology Van Lanen award. His research has included extensive biophysical characterization of nucleic acid aptamer recognition by methods ranging from isothermal titration calorimetry to single-molecule FRET, the development of novel nucleic acid diagnostics, and the introduction of several methods of nucleic acid purification. He has published over 100 refereed papers and roughly 60 patents, and was a founder of Combicat, Stematix, and Visigen (acquired by Life Technologies, 2008).