Partners:





Michael Bukrinsky, Ph.D.
Jeffrey A. Ledbetter, Ph.D.
John Rossi, Ph.D.
Marcus A. Conant, M.D.
Michael Kahn, Ph.D.





Michael Bukrinsky, Ph.D.: Professor and Assistant Chairman, Department of Microbiology, George Washington University Medical Center, Washington, D.C. Dr. Bukrinsky is the world expert on the use of nuclear importation inhibitors for treating HIV infections. He is an inventor on all seven U.S. patents that form the intellectual property base of ITI and has worked with Dr. Haffar on two of those patents and five research articles. Dr. Bukrinsky has authored 66 papers, primarily on HIV-1 infections. He is the Associate Editor of Frontiers of Bioscience and is a member of the New York Academy of Sciences and American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Dr. Bukrinsky received a Ph.D. from the Laboratory of Nucleic Acids Biosynthesis, Institute of Molecular Biology, USSR Academy of Sciences in 1984. Prior to joining the faculty at the Picower Institute in 1992, he was an assistant professor in the Department of Pathology and Microbiology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Jeffrey A. Ledbetter, Ph.D.: Chief Science Officer, Trubion, Seattle, WA. Dr. Ledbetter is an expert on the immune system with over 300 publications in the field. He is providing ITI with important biological reagents and information for activating human cells so that the cells may be infected with HIV-1. He is concurrently a Research Scientist at the Regional Primate Research Center at the University of Washington. From 1997 to 1999 Dr. Ledbetter was the Chief Scientific Officer of Xcyte Therapies, a start-up biotechnology company in Seattle. He was the Executive Director of Immunologic Diseases at Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute (1996-97) after holding various research and management positions there. At Genetics Systems (a biotech company purchased by Bristol-Myers in 1985) Dr. Ledbetter was a Principal Scientists from 1981 to 1985. Prior to joining this Seattle start-up, he was a Research Fellow at Stanford University School of Medicine, Department of Genetics, in the laboratory of Dr. L.A. Herzenberg. He was also a postdoctoral fellow at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle and at the McArdle Laboratories for Cancer Research at the University of Wisconsin. He received his Ph.D. in oncology and tumor virology from the same institute. Dr. Ledbetter is on the editorial boards of Life Sciences and Journal of Clinical Immunology.

John J. Rossi, Ph.D.: Professor and Chair, Molecular Biology, Dean, City of Hope Graduate School; Beckman Research Institute, City of Hope, Duarte, CA. Dr. John Rossi is an expert in the field of ribozymes and RNA intervention. He received his doctorate from the department of Microbiology and Genetics at the University of Connecticut (Storrs, CT), and completed his post-doctoral research in the division of Biology and Medicine at Brown University (Providence, RI). Dr. Rossi joined the City of Hope National Laboratory in 1980 and has held many positions since then including Director of the department of Molecular Genetics and Chairman of the division of Biology, Beckman Research Institute, City of Hope. Dr. Rossi also served as director of the Center for Molecular Biology and Gene Therapy at Loma Linda University (Loma Linda, CA). At present, Dr. Rossi holds the positions of Chair and Professor of the division of Molecular Biology and is the Dean of the Graduate School of Biological Sciences, Beckman Research Institute, City of Hope.

Dr. Rossi serves on the editorial boards of a number of reputable scientific journals and is a consultant or science board member to various companies involved in RNA intervention as a therapeutic approach for cancer, infectious diseases, and other indications. Dr. Rossi has authored over 180 papers and is the holder of 12 issued US patents and 6 patent applications in the field of ribozymes and RNA intervention. Most recently, Dr. Rossi was the first to describe the effectiveness of siRNA as a therapeutics approach for inhibition of HIV infection in vitro (Nature Biotechnology, vol. 19 March 2002).

Marcus A. Conant, M.D., Founder and Medical Director, Conant Medical Group HIV/AIDS Clinic at Mt. Zion Hospital: Dr. Conant is one of the earliest physicians to recognize diseases associated with HIV-1 in the U.S. In 1981, he identified the first cases of Kaposi's sarcoma in San Francisco and started the Kaposi's Sarcoma Clinic at the University of California, San Francisco. The next year, with Frank Jacobsen and Richard Keller, he started the organization that became the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. In the following year, Dr. Conant obtained a three-million-dollar grant from the State of California to begin AIDS research in the State Universities. His activities in the early days of the AIDS epidemic are chronicled in Randy Shilts' book, And The Band Played On. Dr. Conant was instrumental in passing legislation in California in the late 1980's for AIDS vaccine development. He served as Chairman of the California AIDS Task Force for three years in the 1980's and co-chaired the California Leadership Committee in 1988-1989. In 1989, Dr. Conant's private practice had grown to such proportions that he opened The Conant Medical Group HIV/AIDS Clinic at Mt. Zion Hospital. The clinic rapidly grew to the largest private AIDS clinic in San Francisco and one of the largest in the world. He received his B.S. in zoology and M.D. from Duke University and served as a Flight Medical Officer in the United States Air Force. Since 1967, he has held various positions at the University of California Medical Center in San Francisco, where he is currently a Clinical Professor of Dermatology. He is an author on over 100 publications, mainly dealing with sexually transmitted diseases including HIV-1. Dr. Conant has received a number of awards, including the 1987 Chancellor's Award for Public Service from the Chancellor of the University of California, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation Leadership Award, and the 1996 Practitioner of the Year Award from the American Academy of Dermatology.

Michael Kahn, Ph.D.: Principal Investigator, Pacific Northwest Research Institute and Research Associate Professor of Pathobiology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Dr. Kahn was trained as a synthetic chemist and is an expert in designing and developing small molecule therapeutics. Dr. Kahn received his doctorate from Yale University (New Haven, CT) and completed his post-doctoral research as an NIH fellow at Columbia University. Subsequently, Dr. Kahn held academic positions at the University of Illinois (Chicago, IL), and the University of Washington (Seattle, WA). In 1992, Dr. Kahn was the scientific founder of Molecumetics (Bellevue, WA), and served as Chief Scientific Officer from 1994-2000. Dr. Kahn then joined the Pacific Northwest Research Institute. He is a consultant to Asahi Chemical Corporation (Japan), and Choong Wae Pharma Corporation (Korea). Dr. Kahn serves on the editorial board of scientific journals focused on advances in medicinal chemistry and development of investigational drugs. Dr. Kahn is the recipient of a number of scientific merit awards, and has published in excess of 70 articles and book chapters.


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