Scientific Advisory Board
Dennis A. Carson, M.D.
Director, Moores UCSD Cancer Center
Dr. Carson is an internationally recognized immunologist and cancer biologist who is Professor of Medicine at the University of California San Diego and formerly Director of the UCSD Cancer Center. Trained as a rheumatologist, he made a major contribution to cancer care when he developed 2-chlorodeoxyadenosine (2-CdA or Leustatin) as a cure for hairy cell leukemia. The author of nearly 450 papers, Dr. Carson is also a vaccinologist who originated the concept of "DNA vaccination" using intramuscular injections of DNA encoding vaccine proteins. He is also the co-discoverer of the role of CpG DNA (a TLR9 agonist) as a vaccine adjuvant and immunomodulatory agent. Most recently, he has been developing novel forms of TLR7 agonists for use in vaccines. He has founded six companies: Vical, Inc. (DNA vaccines); Dynavax Technologies (CpG TLR9 therapeutics); Triangle Pharmaceuticals (antivirals, now part of Gilead); Salmedix (cancer therapeutics, now part of Cephalon); Wintherix (WNT pathway cancer therapeutics); and TeLoRmedix (TLR therapeutics). He was elected to Membership in both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Institute of Medicine. Dr. Carson received his Bachelor's degree from Haverford, his M.D. from Columbia, and had postdoctoral training at the Salk Institute. Prior to coming to UCSD, he was head of the immunology division at The Scripps Research Institute.
Shan Lu, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor of Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Dr. Lu is an expert on the design and testing of vaccines. He received his M.D. degree from Nanjing Medical College and took his Internal Medicine residency training at the UMass Memorial Medical Center where he is now on faculty teaching clinical medicine to medical students, interns, and residents. He received his Ph.D. at the UMass Medical School for his studies in the structure of antigens. He did his postdoctoral fellow in virology under Dr. Harriet Robinson. Dr. Lu is known as the originator of the DNA prime/protein boost approach to vaccination as a means of eliciting strong antibody responses. He is an expert on vaccines for HIV and and other infectious diseases, and was recently elected President of the International Society for Vaccines. He is one of the few people to have developed a candidate vaccine starting at the bench and going all the way to a clinical trial in humans.
Douglas D. Richman, M.D.
Director, UCSD Center for AIDS Research
Dr. Richman is a leader in both basic and clinical virology whose work on HIV has significantly improved the treatment of HIV infection and AIDS. A Professor of Medicine at UCSD, Dr. Richman is the founder of the UCSD Antiviral Research Center. His molecular studies of HIV were the first to identify the development of drug resistance in this virus and he was also among the first to prove that HIV survives during therapy in a clinically latent form. More recently, Dr. Richman proved that infected people can make neutralizing antibodies against HIV but the virus mutates to escape these antibodies. An authority on several viruses besides HIV, notably influenza, Dr. Richman is the editor Clinical Virology, the definitive reference book on this subject. He is the author of more than 500 papers and is ranked as the most cited author in the HIV/AIDS field with over 12,000 citations of his papers. He has also conducted clinical studies of HIV vaccines and is a member of the NIH AIDS Vaccine Research Committee. Dr. Richman received his Bachelor's degree from Dartmouth, his M.D. and clinical training at Stanford, and postdoctoral training at Harvard and the NIH.