Advancing our Science and Innovation
Dr. Avery August is a Professor and former Chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. He is currently HHMI Professor and Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. His previous position was as Distinguished Professor of Immunology in the Department of Veterinary & Biomedical Sciences, and Director of the Center for Molecular Immunology & Infectious Disease, at The Pennsylvania State University at University Park, where he started as an Assistant Professor in 1999. He received a B.S. degree in Medical Technology from the California State University at Los Angeles, and a Ph.D. degree in Immunology from the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences. He was a Postdoctoral fellow at The Rockefeller University with the late Hidesaburo Hanafusa. His research interests include regulation of immune response by intracellular signaling events, CD8+ T cell memory development, and production of inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines by CD4+ and CD8+ T cells during lung inflammation or infection.
Prof. P. Reddanna has been working for the past 30 years in the area of inflammation and cancer. He has standardized assay methods for lipoxygenase and cyclooxygenases, the target enzymes for the development of anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer drugs, their cloning, expression, purification and characterization. His papers on leukotriene synthesis along with Prof. E.J. Corey, the Nobel Laureate and the discovery of a new pathway for the conversion of Leukotriene C4 to Leukotriene F4 are significant contributions. He has shown that Vitamin E inhibits 5-lipoxygenase for the first time. In collaboration with NCL, Pune, he has developed potent lipoxygenase inhibitor. He has provided scientific evidence for “Bronco-T”, an Ayurvedic product developed by M/S Surya pharmaceuticals, for the treatment of allergy and asthma. His group has proved that C-Phycocyanin and vitamin-D analogs are selective inhibitors of Cyclooxygenase-2, which induce apoptosis in cancer cell lines. He is the first one to initiate university-industry collaborations and receive the grant from DST under the program of Drugs & Pharmaceuticals (now PDRSF). He has completed two projects for Dr Reddy’s Laboratories and one project each to Shantha Biotechnics Pvt. Ltd., Indian Immunologicals (ivermectins), Medgene Biotech, Surya Pharmaceuticals (Bronco T), Pacific Hospital Pvt Ltd., Dabur Research Foundation, Natco Pharma & Laila Impex. He has conducted a DBT- sponsored short-term training course on PUFAs and Eicosanoids, which was attended by representatives from industries, research institutes, corporate hospitals and universities. He has helped Natco Pharma in the development of potent Gleevec analogs for CML. Technologies were developed to improve the shelf life of tomato and custard apple in collaboration with ANGRAU, as part of AP-Netherlands Biotech program. Recognizing these achievements, Chemtech Foundation has awarded the “Pharmabio Excellency Award” in 2005, Royan International Foundation, awarded the “Royan Best Researcher Award” in 2007 and Federation of Andhra Pradesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FAPCCI) He has published around 150 papers in peer reviewed journals; Guided 30 students for Ph.D. and trained more than 100 students for M. Sc. Projects. Already completed 20 projects funded by Government agencies like DST, DBT, CSIR, UGC and ICMR, International agencies. He also has undertaken projects from leading Pharma and biotech companies like Dr.Reddy’s Labs, Dabur Research Foundation, Indian Immunologicals, Shantha Biotech, Natco Pharma, Onconova, ABL Technologies, Surya Pharmaceuticals, Celestial Labs, Laila Impex etc.
Dr. Frances Rena Bahjat is an experienced professional with more than two decades of experience encompassing target discovery, preclinical and clinical development of biologics and small molecules for immune-related diseases including cancer. Prior to joining Apexigen at California, as the Vice President of Discovery Research, she served as Senior Director of In vivo Studies for Bristol-Myers Squibb responsible for overseeing Biologics Discovery Pharmacology and In vivo Antibody Discovery operations at the Company's research facility in Redwood City. Prior to joining BMS, Dr. Bahjat was an Assistant Professor in the Dept of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at Oregon Health & Science University where she conducted NIH-funded basic and translational research and facilitated preclinical development of innate agonist therapeutics for clinical use. She also served as Associate Director of Pharmacology R&D at Rigel Pharmaceuticals where she contributed to the preclinical development of small molecule kinase inhibitors for cancer, allergy, and autoimmune diseases, including Tavalisse™ for Chronic Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP). Dr. Bahjat also held positions at Oncovir, Nuvelo (now Arca Biopharma), Corgentech-AlgoRX, and Nereus Pharmaceuticals (San Diego, CA). Dr. Bahjat studied Biomedical Sciences and Immunology at the University of Florida College of Medicine in Gainesville, Florida where she earned her Doctorate in Immunology studying TNF biology including its role in aberrant immune responses in autoimmune disease rodent models. She obtained her B.S degree in Biology from Benedictine University. She attended Indiana University at South Bend to Study Biology. With her scientific expertise and guidance, she brings a clear business vision, a clear road map, and an execution plan to her projects. She has scientific integrity and a great passion for good science. Rena shows a deep commitment to scientific investigation, demonstrating this in her thoroughness in research and problem-solving. In the area of pre-clinical models, Rena is definitely a notable expert in her field, providing guidance to complicated needs.
Prof. Mandava Venkata Subba Rao is a highly reputed Veterinary Microbiologist, laboratory, animal health, and higher education specialist. A dynamic and creative leader, focusing on timely delivery and teamwork, endowed with strong planning, organizational, motivational, and prioritization skills. With over 40+ years of multi-disciplinary experience in teaching, R & D, he worked with international groups on FAO, World Bank, USAID, EC, and Winrock / Arcadis euroconsult and Somaliland development fund projects. He has significant international exposure and familiarity with multicultural environments. He has designed the laboratory strengthening component of the World Bank’s pandemic preparedness Avian Influenza control program of India and Nepal. He has coordinated FAO’s country and regional technical assistance programs besides undertaking laboratory need assessments and strengthening laboratory services with the ultimate goal of bringing them to ISO standards and helping in establishing quality management systems in national laboratories in the region. Prof. Rao did his B.V.Sc. (1968) in A.P. Agricultural University, Hyderabad, in Veterinary and animal husbandry, M.V.Sc. (1971) from Agra University, Agra, in Veterinary Bacteriology & Virology (incl. Immunology) and Vet. Pathology. Later he did his Ph.D. (1979) from Jawaharlal Lal Nehru Krishi Vishwa Vidyalaya. Jabalpur, where he worked on ‘Antigenic analysis of sheep pox, goat pox, and contagious pustular dermatitis viruses’. He started his career as a Research Assistant in 1971 at the prestigious Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), Izatnagar. Then he moved to the well-known National Animal Disease Centre, Ames, Iowa, USA as IAEA Fellow for Post-doctoral training in advanced Viral Immunology (incl. Hybridoma) and Molecular Virology at Iowa State Univ., Ames, USA.