Leadership: Ambitious Minds on an Audacious Mission
In NexImmune’s quest to change the course of cancer treatment and to address other serious diseases, we rely on our team of proven leaders to point the way. We have brought together a diverse team of bold thinkers who have the experience, ingenuity, and dedication to fulfill the promise of our T cell therapies to revitalize the lives of patients.
Scott Carmer – Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Carmer brings 25 years of diverse leadership experience as a Senior Executive and Chief Commercialization Officer in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry, with top-tier companies including AstraZeneca, MedImmune, Genentech, Amgen and GlaxoSmithKline. At AstraZeneca, he led the US Specialty Care Division with responsibility for the company’s portfolio of specialty care biopharmaceutical products. Prior to AstraZeneca, Mr. Carmer served as Executive Vice President, Commercial Operations of MedImmune. Mr. Carmer was also Vice President, Rheumatology Sales & Marketing for Genentech, where he was responsible for the US launches of Rituxan and ACTEMRA. Prior to Genentech, Mr. Carmer held several leadership roles of increasing responsibility at Amgen, leading to his role as Executive Director of Global Marketing. Mr. Carmer started his career at GlaxoSmithKline, where he held key roles in Global Brand Management, Business Development, Commercial Operations, Managed Care and Field Sales.
Jerome (Jerry) Zeldis, M.D., Ph.D. – Executive Vice President, Research and Development
Before joining NexImmune, Dr. Zeldis was the Chief Medical Officer and President of Clinical Research, Regulatory, and Safety at Sorrento Therapeutics, as well as the CEO of Celgene Global Health, and Chief Medical Officer of Celgene Corporation. Prior to that he was Celgene’s Senior Vice President of Clinical Research and Medical Affairs and was at Celgene since February 1997. He attended Brown University for an A.B., M.S., followed by Yale University for an M.Phil., M.D., Ph.D. in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry (Immunochemistry). Dr. Zeldis trained in Internal Medicine at the UCLA Center for the Health Sciences and Gastroenterology at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He was Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School, Associate Professor of Medicine at University of California, Davis, Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at Cornell Medical School, and Professor of Clinical Medicine at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Prior to working at Celgene, Dr. Zeldis worked at Sandoz Research Institute and Janssen Research Institute in both clinical research and medical development. He has served as a Board member for multiple start-up biotechnology companies and currently serves on the Board for PTC Therapeutics, Soligenix, Immodulon, and NexGel. He has published 122 peer-reviewed articles and 43 US patents.
Bob Knight, M.D. – Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Knight is a seasoned executive with extensive experience leading early- and late-stage immunotherapy product development teams. Prior to joining NexImmune, Dr. Knight led the Yescarta® clinical program at Kite Pharmaceuticals (a Gilead Company) and, prior to that, spent 16 years at Celgene Corporation as a Vice President in Clinical Research. During his tenure at Celgene, he helped lead the development of the company’s IMiD and targeted therapy programs, including thalidomide, lenalidomide, and enasidenib. In addition to his roles at Kite and Celgene, Dr. Knight also led the cancer immunotherapy development program at Sorrento Therapeutics as the company’s Senior Vice President and Head of Clinical Research.
Kristi Jones – Chief Operating Officer
Ms. Jones brings more than 25 years of business leadership experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries across strategic and operational roles. For five years prior to joining NexImmune, Ms. Jones was with Astra Zeneca and its subsidiary MedImmune. From 2013-2015, Ms. Jones was Vice President of Portfolio Strategy and Management at AstraZeneca, where she played an instrumental role in building a scientifically innovative, diverse portfolio creating new value for the company. Prior to that she served as Vice President of Global Strategic Marketing to shape product plans and prepare MedImmune for multiple launches. Previously, Ms. Jones held multiple leadership roles with increasing responsibility at Genentech, where she worked for 16 years, including Head of Immunology and Ophthalmology in Global Portfolio and Product Strategy, Endocrine and Pulmonary Franchise, and Immunology Business Unit Operations and Pipeline Planning. Ms. Jones also serves in a consulting role for various companies and organizations and serves on the Life Science Panel for Springboard Enterprises focused on start-up companies led by women.
John Trainer – Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Trainer has over 20 years of experience in various financial, transactional, strategic and commercial roles in the biopharma industry. Before joining NexImmune, he was Vice President and Head of Partnering and Strategy for MedImmune, the biologics R&D unit of the global pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca. Previous to that role, Mr. Trainer was Vice President, Corporate Development for AstraZeneca as well as the global commercial leader for AstraZeneca’s infection, neuroscience and gastrointestinal therapeutic areas. In these roles he has led multiple significant transactions, including spinouts and financings, divestments, collaborations and in-licenses as well as managing P&L performance. Mr. Trainer also served in Board roles on AstraZeneca investments and continues to work as an advisor to life science companies. Before joining MedImmune / AstraZeneca, Mr. Trainer was as a strategy consultant at Monitor Group, where he worked in healthcare and other industries on various strategic questions including M&A strategy. Mr. Trainer received his MBA from Harvard Business School and his AB from Harvard College.
Daniel Bednarik Ph.D. – Senior Vice President, Molecular Engineering & Protein Design
Dr. Bednarik has over 30 years of experience as a translational scientist and executive specializing in moving promising technologies into product development. He was previously Vice President, Molecular Engineering Unit at Intrexon Corp. where he led a team of scientists developing innovative methods for cellular therapies for cancer. Prior to that, Dr. Bednarik held senior positions at Cardiome Pharma Corporation, Artesian Therapeutics, Inc., and Gene Logic, Inc. and led various projects focused on translational medicine spanning several therapeutic areas including cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Among other accomplishments he created the largest known cardiovascular transcriptomic gene expression database for Gene Logic, Inc. He was also the recipient of a $1.7M DARPA contract in 2006 for the development of a novel non-host method for rapid vaccine manufacture. Earlier in his career, Dr. Bednarik served as a Senior Scientist for Human Genome Sciences (HGS) and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Johns Hopkins University Oncology Center.
Mathias Oelke, Ph.D. – Senior Vice President, Preclinical Immunotherapy and Head of Cell Biology
Dr. Oelke is a scientific co-founder of NexImmune and a pioneer of the artificial Antigen Presenting Cell (aAPC) technology. He is also an expert in cellular immunology and T cell research. Dr. Oelke has more than 20 years of research experience in cancer immunotherapy and has a long-standing interest developing methods for antigen-specific stimulation of T cells for therapeutic use. He has numerous peer-reviewed publications and is a co-inventor on more than 20 patents and patent applications describing NexImmune’s proprietary aAPC technology, with additional pending patent applications in related fields of cancer immunotherapy. Prior to joining NexImmune in 2014, Dr. Oelke was, from 2003-2014, on the faculty at the Johns Hopkins University. Earlier in his career Dr. Oelke, who is a chemist by training, received his Ph.D. in Biology from University of Freiburg, where he first became interested in the critical role of antigen presenting cells and their use in immunotherapy.