J. Joseph Kim, Ph.D.

President, Chief Executive Officer, Director

JOSEPH KIM was appointed President and CEO of Inovio Pharmaceuticals in June 2009. Dr. Kim co-founded VGX Pharmaceuticals, a synthetic vaccine company, in 2000 to develop intellectual property related to immunotherapeutics licensed from the University of Pennsylvania. He led that company for nine years and combined VGX with Inovio Biomedical in 2009 to form Inovio Pharmaceuticals. Previously, Dr. Kim was a senior vaccine developer at Merck & Co. where he successfully led efforts in manufacturing and process development for several FDA-approved products for hepatitis and developmental vaccines and therapeutics for HIV/AIDS.

Dr. Kim earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering and Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he was a U.S. Senate Honors Scholar. He holds a PhD in Biochemical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Business Administration degree in Finance from the Wharton School. Dr. Kim has published more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers, holds numerous patents and sits on several editorial boards and review panels.

Dr. Kim has been recognized with numerous honors in the past several years, including:

2002: MIT's Technology Review, one of the world's Top 100 Young Innovators
2002: Philadelphia Business Journal, one of "40 under 40" dynamic professionals
2003 & 2006: Details Magazine, selected as one of "50 Most Influential Men"
2004: World Economic Forum, selection of Dr. Kim and VGX Pharmaceuticals as one of 30 Technology Pioneers
2005: Newsweek International, profiled in annual "Who's Next" issue as one of 10 leaders, scientists, and executives at the forefront of change and impact in the world
2006: Forum of Young Global Leaders, an affiliate of the World Economic Forum, named a Young Global Leader among 175 leading executives, public figures and intellectuals under the age of 40 from 50 countries.
2012: Member, The Global Agenda Council of the World Economic Forum;
Life Sciences CEO of the Year 
2013: Board of Trustees, International Vaccine Institute;
Achievement in Drug Discovery and Development Award from the Korean American Society in Biotech and Pharmaceuticals  
2015: Member, Aspen Institute Health Innovators Fellowship
A group of 20 healthcare leaders challenged to generate new solutions to improve healthcare treatments, access and delivery
2015: Entrepreneur of the Year for Greater Philadelphia; selected by Ernst & Young

Peter Kies

Chief Financial Officer

PETER KIES has been Chief Financial Officer of Inovio since 2002. During the prior 16 years, Mr. Kies acquired broad expertise in the functional and strategic management of biotechnology and high technology companies across the full spectrum of corporate growth, from IPO to profitability. He was previously Chief Financial Officer at Newgen Results Corporation and held positions at Cytel Corporation and Ernst & Young, LLP. Mr. Kies holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from United States International University in San Diego, California.


Niranjan Y. Sardesai, Ph.D.

Chief Operating Officer

NIRANJAN Y. SARDESAI was appointed Chief Operating Officer of Inovio in January 2012. He served as the Company’s Senior Vice President of Research and Development following the June 2009 merger with VGX Pharmaceuticals, at which company he held the same position. Dr. Sardesai joined VGX Pharmaceuticals in 2006 where he helped formulate the company’s product development and growth strategies and reorganized the company into a DNA vaccine and immunotherapies company. Across VGX and Inovio, Dr. Sardesai drove multiple M&A and licensing transactions to consolidate key technologies, establish the corporate footprint, and develop its immunotherapies platform and product pipeline. He led the strategic out-licensing of Inovio’s pipeline products to secure major licensing deals with big pharma companies. He has raised over $130 MM in non-dilutive grants and contract funding from government and non-government organizations and served as Principal Investigator on multi-institutional programs developing Inovio’s oncology and infectious disease products. Under his leadership, Inovio’s development stage products have been recognized by several pharmaceutical industry awards for innovation and the potential to address significant unmet needs.

Dr. Sardesai was previously the founder and President of NVision Consulting Inc., a firm providing strategic counsel to entrepreneurial life sciences companies. He served as Director of Research and Development at Fujirebio Diagnostics, Inc., where he oversaw the expansion of the company’s oncology portfolio. Products developed under his leadership include groundbreaking new tests for mesothelioma (MESOMARK™), bladder cancer and a multi-marker test for ovarian cancer.

Dr. Sardesai received a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology and an MBA (entrepreneurship and finance) from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he was the recipient of the Shils-Zeidman Award in Entrepreneurship. He was awarded fellowships at the Scripps Research Institute and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Dr. Sardesai received his Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. He has authored over 100+ peer-reviewed manuscripts and book chapters with particular contributions in vaccines and immunotherapies, oncology, and medical devices; presented at over 120+ invited lectures and presentations, and filed several patents. Dr. Sardesai was recently recognized by Pharmavoice magazine as one of the top 100 most influential and inspirational leaders from across the life sciences and healthcare industry (2015).

Mark L. Bagarazzi, M.D.

Chief Medical Officer

MARK L. BAGARAZZI joined Inovio Pharmaceuticals as Chief Medical Officer in January 2010 where he has responsibility for all clinical development and regulatory activities. Prior to joining Inovio, Dr. Bagarazzi was director of Worldwide Regulatory Affairs for Vaccines and Biologics at Merck Research Laboratories where he was responsible for the licensure of RotaTeq™ and led the development team for Merck’s vaccine for the prevention of herpes zoster (shingles), ZOSTAVAX™. Dr. Bagarazzi was an assistant professor of pediatrics at Drexel College of Medicine where he served as director of the pediatric HIV/AIDS program at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children. He is a guest lecturer on vaccines and immunotherapeutics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and had previously been a guest lecturer at Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. Bagarazzi completed his pediatric residency at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children and completed a fellowship in pediatric infectious diseases at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He was board certified in both Pediatrics and Pediatric Infectious Diseases. He has authored or co-authored dozens of scientific papers focused on the subject of DNA vaccines that have been published in peer-reviewed medical journals. Dr. Bagarazzi received his M.D. degree with honors from New Jersey Medical School of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering magna cum laude from New Jersey Institute of Technology.

Thomas Kim, Esq.

General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

THOMAS KIM is an experienced corporate attorney and a registered patent attorney, and has served as the senior in-house counsel for Inovio, and its predecessor companies, since 2007.  He leads the legal department as General Counsel, and he also serves as the Corporate Secretary.  At Inovio, he has built an intellectual property department from the ground up, and has overseen the integration of portfolios from several M&A deals.  In addition, Mr. Kim works with senior management and the Board on a regular basis on various corporate matters, including mergers and acquisitions, agreements, corporate financing, employment, and compliance and risk management.

Mr. Kim has counseled pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies for over 14 years. He has practiced law at both large law firms and at Fortune 100 companies including Monsanto and DuPont.  Prior to Inovio, Mr. Kim served as Senior Counsel to the gene discovery group at DuPont Company, where he provided legal counsel on a variety of patent issues and drafted and prosecuted patent applications related to DNA molecules and transgenic organisms.

Mr. Kim received a J.D. from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, a M.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Illinois, and a B.S. in Chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, State of Illinois, and is registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Scott M. White, M.D.

Vice President, Clinical Development

SCOTT M. WHITE joined Inovio Pharmaceuticals as Vice President, Clinical Development in February 2015 where he has responsibility for the clinical development of the infectious diseases portfolio. Prior to joining Inovio he was a Senior Director with GlaxoSmithKline where he had led the worldwide clinical development of several products spanning antibacterial, antiviral, hematologic and dermatologic therapeutic areas. In 2012 he was the industry project leader for the design and establishment of the COMBACTE EU Clinical Trial Network for antibacterial agents funded through the Innovative Medicines Initiative public private partnership program. Dr. White was an assistant professor of medicine at the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Medicine and the Baylor College of Medicine where he led NIH-funded research into the role of hematopoietic growth factors in normal and pathologic blood cell development and function.

Dr. White completed his internal medicine residency at the Hershey Medical Center and subsequent infectious diseases fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh. He has authored and co-authored several scientific papers on the topics of hematopoietic growth factors driving neoplastic transformation of blood and solid organ cells, as well as a textbook chapters regarding bacterial resistance, transplant infectious diseases and hematopoietic growth factors. Dr. White received his M.D. from the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine and his B.S. with Honors from the Pennsylvania State University.

Zane Yang, M.D.

Vice President, Clinical Development, Oncology

ZANE YANG joined Inovio as Vice President, Clinical Development, Oncology in December 2014 where he has responsibility for advancing Inovio's oncology portfolio of DNA immunotherapies through clinical trials to commercialization. Dr. Yang joins Inovio from Janssen Pharmaceuticals where he was Director, Oncology Medical Affairs in the U.S. Dr. Yang led the prostate cancer and solid tumor therapeutic area including development and commercialization of Zytiga®, for the treatment of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. Prior to Janssen, he was Director of Global Medical Affairs and Clinical Development at Novartis Oncology, and Director of Clinical Development at Merck & Co.

Dr. Yang, who earned his M.D. at Beijing Medical University, was a Fellow at Emory University's Winship Cancer Institute and the Wistar Institute. Before transitioning to the pharmaceutical industry he was an associate professor at the University of Virginia Medical Center.

Jessica C. Lee, MPH

Vice President, Clinical Operations and Compliance

JESSICA LEE is a seasoned clinical research professional with more than 20 years of vaccine and drug development experience in the pharmaceutical industry and academia. Prior to joining Inovio in 2006, she managed and led clinical programs in infectious disease, oncology and molecular diagnostics at Bristol Myers Squibb, Merck & Co, and SmithKline Beecham (now GlaxoSmithKline) and has been involved in numerous INDs and NDAs. In her current role, Ms. Lee provides strategic leadership for the operational execution of the company’s pipeline and clinical compliance. She received her MPH from Drexel University School of Public Health, MSc in Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs from Temple University School of Pharmacy and BS in Molecular Biology from Drexel University.

Jennifer Laux, MBA

Vice President, Commercial

JENNIFER LAUX is a life sciences commercial executive, who has more than 20 years of leadership experience in marketing, new product planning, and strategic consulting. Her experience ranges from leading multi-billion dollar product franchises to developing initial commercialization plans for biotech start-ups. Ms. Laux joined Inovio in 2014 to lead development of the commercialization strategy for the company’s portfolio of oncology and infectious disease immunotherapies. Previously, Ms. Laux was Vice President of Cardiovascular Marketing at Boehringer Ingelheim. Prior to this, she held senior leadership positions at Merck & Co in marketing and market research for the Cardiovascular, Oncology, Biosimilar, and Women’s Health businesses. Her international experience includes marketing for Procter & Gamble in Brussels and Elizabeth Arden in Paris, as well as multiple consulting engagements with global clients at Bain & Company. Ms. Laux received an MBA in Marketing from the Wharton School, an MA in International Studies from the University of Pennsylvania, and a BA in International Relations and English from Georgetown University.


Stephen Kemmerrer

Vice President, Engineering Operations

STEPHEN KEMMERRER is responsible for engineering, manufacturing, materials, distribution and all quality and regulatory aspects of electroporation instruments used in the delivery of Inovio’s synthetic vaccines.  Prior to joining Inovio in 2007, he held senior engineering and management positions at K2 Engineering, CancerVax and BioSite.  In 2002, he co-founded Sorrento BioSurgical, a start-up based on human tissue mesh technology.  Previously, he was Director of Engineering at Advanced Tissue Sciences, Engineering Manager at Pacific Device and Project Engineer at Hughes Aircraft Space and Communications.  Mr. Kemmerrer holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from UC Berkeley and an MBA from San Diego State University.

Bernie Hertel

Vice President, Investor Relations and Communications

BERNIE HERTEL has over 25 years of entrepreneurial, investing and marketing/communications experience with private and publicly traded growth ventures in various industries. At Inovio since 2004, he has led the development and execution of the company’s investor relations and communications strategy, which has contributed to building a substantial shareholder base, expanding analyst/media coverage and institutional investor interest, raising significant new capital for the company, and increasing share liquidity and market valuation. He has a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of British Columbia.



EJ Brandreth, MBA

Vice President, Quality Assurance

E.J. BRANDRETH has over 30 years in life sciences including small molecules, devices and a wide variety of pivotal biotechnology products. He was previously Sr. Vice President of Quality and Regulatory Affairs at Ajinomoto Althea Technologies, specializing in CMO biotech processing and aseptic filling. He was the Sr. Director of Quality for BioMarin where he helped build the commercial orphan drug facility and launched Aldurazyme® and Naglazyme®. During the start of IDEC Pharmaceuticals he held various management positions in QA, Validation and Regulatory Affairs, and was a core team member for the development and launch of Rituxan® and Zevalin®. He is the past Chairman of the PDA Biotech Advisory Board, and is the past President of ISPE, San Diego. He holds an MBA from UOP and a BA in Biology from UCSD.


Laurent Humeau, Ph.D.

Vice President, Research & Development

LAURENT HUMEAU is the Vice President of Research & Development, based at the Inovio San Diego Research Center. Laurent provides the technical and strategic leadership for the R&D group including: preclinical development of immunotherapy and vaccine candidates, immunology and immune monitoring approaches, method development, product characterization, and analytical development. Prior to Inovio, Laurent was Senior Director of Translational Research, Human Therapeutics Division for Intrexon and previously Chief Scientific Officer, Vice President of R&D at VIRxSYS Corporation. Laurent holds a Ph.D., summa cum laude, from Denis Diderot/Paris 7 university and a MS degree from Pierre & Marie Curie/Paris 6 university, Paris, France.