NEW YORK, Aug. 12, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Board of Directors of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) announced today that Mark Feinberg, MD, PhD, has been appointed IAVI's new President and CEO, effective 8 September 2015.
"Mark brings a wealth of relevant experience and the passion to lead IAVI through the next chapter of our journey towards an AIDS vaccine," said Alex Coutinho, IAVI Board Chair. "He shares IAVI's strong commitment to program excellence, collaboration and partnership, responsible donor stewardship, and transparency."
Feinberg has been actively involved in basic, translational and clinical HIV research efforts for more than 30 years. He brings broad and integrative perspectives from his leadership experiences in academia, government and industry; his familiarity with successful approaches for product development and delivery, and his track record for collaboration and innovation in forging new multi-sector partnership models. He has extensive experience advancing scientific and public health policy initiatives that focus on the prevention and treatment of HIV infection and other infectious diseases in resource-limited settings and that champion equitable and accelerated global access to innovative drugs and vaccines.
"I have directly witnessed the devastating impact that AIDS has had on individuals, families, communities and countries around the world, especially for the most vulnerable populations," said Feinberg. "I am honored to have the opportunity to work with the IAVI team and their tremendous partners to fulfill IAVI's promise to be the most effective partner, catalyst and facilitator in supporting collective efforts to accelerate the development of an effective HIV vaccine. This goal remains a critically important one, and achieving it will require all of us to apply the best science and creativity along with a high level of openness to forging new models of collaboration."
For the past 11 years, Feinberg has served in leadership roles for the vaccine and infectious disease portfolios at Merck & Co., Inc., most recently as Chief Public Health and Science Officer for Merck Vaccines. At Merck, he helped advance product development, medical, scientific and policy efforts to support the licensure and implementation of a number of innovative vaccines, including those targeting rotavirus, human papillomavirus (HPV) and shingles. He also led establishment of major initiatives to advance research and development on diseases that disproportionately affect people living in poverty, including creation of the MSD-Wellcome Trust Hilleman Laboratories in India to develop vaccines optimized to address unmet health needs in low-income countries, as well as the creation of pioneering partnerships to demonstrate the feasibility and impact of new vaccine introduction programs in low-income countries, including collaborations in Nicaragua to implement the first national rotavirus vaccine immunization program and in Rwanda to implement the first national HPV immunization program. Most recently, he led Merck's collaborative, multi-sector public-private partnership program to expedite the development of an Ebola vaccine candidate, rVSV-ZEBOV, which has recently produced encouraging evidence of efficacy in an innovative clinical trial in Guinea.
Feinberg received his MD and PhD degrees from Stanford University and pursued postgraduate medical and scientific training at the Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Whitehead Institute. He has served on the faculty of the University of California, San Francisco, and Emory University, and as a Medical Officer in the Office of AIDS Research at the National Institutes of Health.
The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) is a global not-for-profit organization whose mission is to ensure the development of safe, effective, accessible, preventive HIV vaccines for use throughout the world. Founded in 1996, IAVI works with partners in 25 countries to research, design and develop AIDS vaccine candidates. The organization also conducts policy analysis and serves as an advocate for the AIDS vaccine field. It supports a comprehensive approach to addressing HIV and AIDS that balances the expansion and strengthening of existing HIV prevention and treatment programs with targeted investments in the design and development of new tools to prevent HIV. IAVI is dedicated to ensuring that a future AIDS vaccine will be available and accessible to all who need it. IAVI's work is made possible by generous support from many donors including: the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark; Irish Aid; the Ministry of Finance of Japan in partnership with The World Bank; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands; the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD); the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The full list of IAVI donors is available at www.iavi.org.
SOURCE International AIDS Vaccine Initiative