Scientific Advisory Board

Our board of scientific advisors has been carefully constructed to guide Vironexis to fulfill our mission.

Meet our scientific advisory board

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Jerry Mendell, M.D.

Dr. Mendell is a professor of neurology at the Ohio State University and a principal investigator at Nationwide Children’s Hospital Research Institute. He is an internationally recognized neuromuscular physician and scientist who has successfully translated his work in adeno-associated virus (AAV) into novel clinical trials in children with neuromuscular disorders. His work in spinal muscular atrophy was a top runner-up for the 2017 Science Breakthrough of the Year, and in collaboration with Sarepta is studying AAV-mediated gene therapy for patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Dawn Chandler, PhD

Dr. Chandler is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Ohio State University and a principal investigator in the Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Diseases at Nationwide Children’s Hospital Research Institute. She received her PhD in Genes & Development from the University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in Houston where she became an expert in the genetics and biochemistry of RNA splicing. She completed post-docs in Human Genetics and Cancer Genetics at MD Anderson Cancer Center.

John Byrd, MD

Dr. Byrd is the D. Warren Brown Chair of Leukemia Research, Distinguished University Professor of Medicine Medicinal Chemistry, and Veterinary Biosciences, and Senior Advisor for Cancer Experimental Therapeutics at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cance Center. His research interests include adult lymphoid and myeloid leukemias and lymphomas. Dr. Byrd is active in developing therapeutic antibodies and other targeted agents in his pursuit of non-toxic therapies for leukemia. The basic-science and clinical work of Dr. Byrd and his colleagues played a key role in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s February 2014 approval for expanding the use of ibrutinib to treat certain patients with CLL.

Kevin Cassady, MD

Dr. Cassady is an Associate Professor at The Ohio State University a member of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Division and the Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at Nationwide Children’s Hospital Research Institute in Columbus, Ohio. He is board-certified in pediatric infectious diseases and has studied herpes simplex (HSV) virology for 20 years. His primary interests have been understanding how HSV induces and modulates antiviral interferon signaling proteins during the initial hours of infection and how this limits viral replication and neurovirulence. He developed an avirulent HSV/CMV chimeric virus as an anti-tumor therapeutic that is in clinical trials in patients with recurrent Glioblastoma multiforme.

Dean Lee, MD, PhD

Dr. Lee is a professor of pediatrics at the Ohio State University and a principal investigator at Nationwide Children’s Hospital Research Institute. He has extensive experience in cellular therapy beginning with a K12 fellowship in the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy under Malcolm Brenner, which focused on pre-clinical studies of CD33 CAR T cells. In 2006 he joined Laurence Cooper at MD Anderson Cancer Center and helped develop the Sleeping Beauty transposon system for CAR T cells. His current research focus is on the use of adoptive NK cells as cancer immunotherapy, which he has to early-phase human trials. He leads the joint Cellular Therapy and Cancer Immunology Program at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center as well as the Cell Therapy Steering Committee of the Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Consortium, and is a member of the Cell Therapy Committee of the Children’s Oncology Group and the NIH Recombinant Advisory Committee.

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