Malaria Vaccine InitiativeAccelerating the development of malaria vaccine candidates.

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Spokespersons' Biographical Information


Dr. Jean-Pierre Garnier
Executive Director, Chief Executive Officer

JP Garnier is Chief Executive Officer of GlaxoSmithKline. He assumed this role in January 2001 with the merger of SmithKline Beecham and Glaxo Wellcome. He joined SmithKline Beecham in 1990 as President of its pharmaceuticals from 1994 until his appointment as Chief Operating Officer in 1995. He was elected to the company's Board of Directors in 1992. He became Chief Executive Officer of SmithKline Beecham in April 2000.

Prior to SmithKline Beecham, JP served as President of Schering-Plough's US business. During his 15 years at Schering, he held various management positions, including general manager of several overseas subsidiaries. In 1983, he joined the US Pharmaceutical Products Division serving as Vice President of Marketing. He was then named Senior Vice President and General Manager of the OTC business and assumed responsibility for sales marketing for the US prescription business prior to becoming President.

JP holds a Ph.D. in pharmacology and an MS in pharmaceutical science for the University of Louis Pasteur in France. As a Fulbright Scholar, he earned an MBA at Stanford University, California, in 1974. In 2002, he was honored with the Fulbright Association's Lifetime Achievement Medal.

GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals (GSK Bio)

Jean Stéphenne
President and General Manager

Jean Stéphenne has overseen GSK Bio (the company's vaccines business) since 1991, serving as Vice President and General Manager, then Senior Vice President and General Manager, until his appointment as President and General Manager in 1998.

Prior to this, he was Vice President of Human Vaccines Research and Development and Production from 1988 to 1991. Mr. Stéphenne joined the company in 1974 as head of bacterial and viral vaccines production, becoming Vaccine Production Director in 1980. He served in a variety of capacities as Vaccine Plant Director and R&D Director from 1981 to 1991.

Jean received an Engineer in Chemistry and Bioindustries degree from the University of Gembloux, Belgium, in 1972 and also has a degree in Management from the University of Louvain, Belgium. He has served as President of the Union of French Speaking Companies (1998-2000), is a member of the European Association of Vaccines Producers, and a member of the Management Committee of the Belgian Companies Federation. He is also a member of the Board of several Belgian companies.

W. Ripley Ballou, MD
Vice President, Emerging Diseases, New Product Development

A co-creator of the RTS,S malaria vaccine, Dr. W. Ripley Ballou spent 20 years researching malaria at the US Army’s Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and three years at a small biotechnology company before joining GSK Bio in 2003 as Vice President of Emerging Diseases.

As both Principal Investigator and a volunteer for the infected-mosquito “challenge” of the world’s first recombinant malaria vaccine at Walter Reed in 1987, Ballou, 53, is now in charge of GSK Bio’s Emerging Diseases program that includes malaria, TB, HIV and cancer vaccine development efforts.

The oldest of nine boys in a military family, Ballou moved 23 times before he went to college, attending high school in Mclean, Va. He studied applied biology at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and later attended Emory University’s School of Medicine in Atlanta, Ga, where he earned his MD in 1977. He subsequently entered the Army where he studied Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases.

Joe Cohen, Ph.D.
Vice-President, R&D Emerging Diseases & HIV

Dr. Joe Cohen, one of the inventors and original patent holder of the RTS,S/AS02A malaria vaccine, joined GSK Bio in 1984 and took over the leadership of the company’s malaria vaccine program three years later. He has spent 17 years working to expand upon the “fundamental insight” he and his GSK colleagues had in 1987 – that combining the recombinant technology in GSK’s Hepatitis B vaccine with pieces of the malaria pathogen and adequately formulating the resulting hybrid protein could produce a successful malaria vaccine.

Joe Cohen spent 11 years working on various vaccine formulations in GSK Bio’s molecular biology department, and in 1995 he became the department’s director. In 1999, Cohen helped to create GSK Bio’s new program for vaccines for emerging diseases. .

He completed his post-doctoral studies at New York’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine and later taught there before joining GSK Bio.

In 2005, he has been appointed Vice-President R&D Emerging Diseases & HIV.

Debbie Myers
Vice President, Director External and Government Affairs & Public Partnerships

Ms. Myers is currently the Director of External and Governmental Affairs & Public Partnerships at the vaccine subsidiary of GlaxoSmithKline, a position she has held since January 2002. During the time she has held this position, Ms. Myers has been responsible for: raising the profile of GSKBio; developing and implementing outreach programs to external stakeholders including international organizations, NGOs, and donor/funding organization; and increasing GSK Bio's participation in the ongoing dialogue on diseases for the developing world. Before joining GSK Bio she was at Fisher Scientific, the laboratory equipment company, as Director of Business Development. She has held positions at SmithKline Beecham and Rhone-Poulenc.

Before joining the private sector, Ms. Myers sent 10 years at the Inter-American Development Bank, a multilateral development bank focusing on Latin America and the Caribbean, in Washington, DC.

She has an MA from Central Michigan University and a BA from UCLA.

The PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI)

Melinda Moree, Ph.D.

Dr. Moree develops and directs the overall strategy and implementation of MVI. Leading the team in advancing malaria vaccine development, she ensures adequate funding to fulfill MVI’s mission, the highest quality for all program activities, continued commitment to existing relationships, and the forging of new, focused partnerships.

Dr. Moree previously led business development for MVI and helped define the financial and non-financial basis for public-private development efforts. An earlier association with PATH included two years as an international health consultant and liaison between PATH and USAID. Dr. Moree has both public and private sector experience in product development and technology transfer. Prior to joining PATH, she was Manager of Advanced Research at EKOS Corporation. She received her Ph.D. in medical microbiology from the University of Maryland at Baltimore.

Filip Dubovsky, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.A.P
Scientific Director

A pediatrician, infectious disease specialist, and vaccinologist by training, Dr. Dubovsky directs portfolio management, technology assessment, and project development for MVI. He also provides scientific oversight to all MVI product development teams.

Dr. Dubovsky received his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Alabama-Birmingham, and completed his pediatric residency and chief residency at Stanford University. At the Center for Vaccine Development, he specialized in molecular biology, studying molecular pathogenesis of diseases that primarily affect developing countries, while being certified in Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the University of Maryland at Baltimore. He received his Master of Public Health degree and certification in Vaccine Science and Policy from the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health. Dr. Dubovsky has served on NIH study section, participated as a WHO expert on ethics of Pediatric Clinical trials, and served as technical consultant to US and European biotechnology companies. He is currently a member of the WHO Advisory Committee on Malaria Vaccines.

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Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH)