Board of Trustees
The Sabin Vaccine Institute Board of Trustees oversees the activities of the organization and our various programs. We are grateful for the activism and generosity of our Board of Trustees, composed of international leaders in business, civil service, academia and philanthropy.
Regina Rabinovich, MD, MPH
Saad Omer, MBBS, MPH, PhD
Peter L. Thoren
Philip K. Russell, MD
H. R. Shepherd, DSc
Regina Rabinovich, MD, MPH
Executive Committee Chair
Governance Committee Chair
Dr. Regina Rabinovich took on the role of Sabin board chair in December 2020, after serving as a trustee since 2015 and chair of the Governance Committee since 2016. Dr. Rabinovich is currently the ExxonMobil Malaria Scholar in Residence at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. In addition, she is chair of the Malaria Eradication Scientific Alliance at ISGlobal, University of Barcelona, where she also serves as director of the Malaria Elimination Initiative. Dr. Rabinovich has over three decades of experience in global health across research, public health and philanthropic sectors, with focus on strategy, global health product development and the introduction and scale-up of tools and strategies resulting in impact on endemic populations.
From 2003-2012, Dr. Rabinovich served as director of the Infectious Diseases division at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, overseeing the development and implementation of strategies for the prevention, treatment and control of infectious diseases of particular relevance to malaria, pneumonia, diarrhea and neglected infectious diseases. Dr. Rabinovich also served as chief of the Clinical and Regulatory Affairs Branch at the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), focusing on the development and evaluation of vaccines through a network of U.S. clinical research units. She participated in the Children's Vaccine Initiative, a global effort to prevent infectious diseases in children in the developing world.
In 1999, Dr. Rabinovich became director of the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative, a project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to advance efforts to develop promising malaria vaccine candidates. She serves on the board of the Catholic Medical Mission Board.
Dr. Rabinovich holds a medical degree from Southern Illinois University and a master's degree in public health from the University of North Carolina.
Chief Executive Officer
Amy Finan was appointed as the chief executive officer of the Sabin Vaccine Institute on April 18, 2016. In her time as CEO, Ms. Finan has led the development and implementation of a strategic plan focusing Sabin on a mission to make vaccines more accessible, enable innovation and expand immunization across the globe.
Prior to joining Sabin, Ms. Finan served as senior vice president responsible for business development at the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), the world's largest membership organization representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions and state biotechnology centers.
During her 11-year tenure at BIO, Ms. Finan played a critical role in expanding the organization’s membership and revenue base and implementing innovative approaches to fundraising, branding, marketing and programming. In 2011 and simultaneous with her BIO responsibilities, she also served as president of the Biotechnology Institute, an organization founded by BIO in 1998 to promote life science education.
Prior to BIO, Ms. Finan led corporate communications and investor relations for the former clinical-stage biotechnology company EntreMed Inc. Between 1999 and 2001, she created and implemented the biotech initiative of Montgomery County, Maryland, which included economic development policies, incubator programs, legislative packages and communication plans. Ms. Finan began her life sciences career as a government relations director for the National Association of Biomedical Research.
Ms. Finan studied at the London School of Economics & Political Science and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science from Trinity College in Washington, D.C. A native of Columbus, Ohio, Ms. Finan has lived in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area for more than 30 years and currently resides in Bethesda, Maryland, with her family.
Norman Baylor, PhD
Dr. Norman W. Baylor is an expert in the development and licensure of new vaccines, evaluating numerous vaccines throughout his career including vaccines for acellular pertussis, varicella, pneumococcal conjugate, human papillomavirus (HPV), influenza and shingles. He is currently the president and CEO of Biologics Consulting Group, Inc, where he is responsible for the overall management and strategic direction of the company.
Prior to this, he spent 20 years at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), most recently as Director of the Office of Vaccines Research and Review (OVRR) in the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER). In this role, he oversaw all facets of the clinical and product regulatory review activity, including quality assurance and oversight of review functions in addition to planning, developing and administering CBER’s broad national and international programs and operational activities for vaccines and related products. Dr. Baylor served as FDA’s liaison to CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Vaccine Advisory Committee, and the Advisory Commission on Childhood Vaccines. He served on the board of the Infectious Disease Research Institute and continues to serve as an expert advisor to the World Health Organization on several global vaccine initiatives.
Dr. Baylor received his bachelor’s degree in medical microbiology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and his master’s degree and doctorate in microbial genetics and molecular microbiology, respectively, from the University of Kentucky.
Elizabeth Fox, PhD
Elizabeth Fox is a senior leader and technical expert with 40 years’ experience making communications, behavior, and culture central to health programs around the world. She currently serves as Chief Technical Leadership Officer at the Pan American Development Foundation. During her 23-year career at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), including as director of the Office of Health, Infectious Diseases, and Nutrition, she built and managed large global health initiatives and led multi-disciplinary teams to achieve ambitious, measurable health goals. She is a recognized expert in advancing the application of evidence-based social sciences to public health. At USAID, she redirected global health programs to increase their focus on people, communities, behavior and cultures, in addition to delivering services, medicines and medical interventions. She led a multi-agency evidence summit on Population-level Behavior Change to Enhance Child Survival and Development, and developed a roadmap for building, reporting, assessing and applying evidence for social, behavioral and community engagement interventions for women’s and children’s health.
Before joining USAID, Dr. Fox was the manager of strategic planning at the International Bureau of Broadcasting. She spent 10 years in Colombia and Argentina with the International Development Research Centre of Canada as the social sciences representative for Latin America.
Dr. Fox holds a doctorate in international relations from America University School of International Service, a master’s degree in communications from the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, and a degree in journalism from the Javieriana University in Colombia. In 1990, she held the first UNESCO chair in communication at the Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona. In 2007, she received an honorary doctorate from the Pontificia Universidad Catolica of Peru. She taught graduate level courses in communication, health, and development at the School of International Service, American University, between 2007 and 2015. Her extensive publications in the fields of health and development, social and behavioral sciences, and media and politics include numerous books on media development and social movements, health communications, and broadcasting as well as chapters in books, and articles in the Journal of Health Communication, The Handbook of Global Health Communication, the Cambridge History of Latin America and the Atlantic Monthly.
Wendy Commins Holman
Wendy Commins Holman is the CEO and founder of Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, a biotechnology company focused on developing treatments and diagnostics for underserved patient populations primarily in pediatric orphan and emerging infectious diseases. Ridgeback is partnered with National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)'s Vaccine Research Center to develop mAb114 - a late stage experimental treatment for Ebola Zaire.
Prior to founding Ridgeback in 2015, Ms. Holman was a principal at Ziff Brothers Investments and director of research at ZBI Equities, a multi-billion dollar public equity investment fund. She spent 15 years guiding investments in healthcare and novel technologies, holding various positions during her tenure, including healthcare sector head.
Ms. Holman is a member of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA). PACHA provides advice, information and recommendations to the Secretary of Health and Human Services regarding programs, policies and research to promote effective treatment, prevention and cure of HIV disease and AIDS.
Ms. Holman serves on the Penn Libraries Board of Overseers and is the campaign chair for the University of Pennsylvania’s new Biotech Commons. Holman is a trustee for the Ransom Everglades School in Miami, Florida and serves on the Endowment Oversight committee for St. Stephens Episcopal Day School in Coconut Grove, FL.
Ms. Holman earned a bachelor’s of science and economics degree from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. She lives in Miami, FL with her husband and four children.
Axel Hoos, MD, PhD
Dr. Axel Hoos is senior vice president, R&D governance chair, and Therapeutic Area (TA) head for Oncology at GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals (GSK). He is responsible for discovery and development in Oncology with focus on immuno-oncology, epigenetics, cell therapies and genetic medicine. As R&D governance chair, he oversees technical and funding review committees.
He returned GSK to Oncology after the divestment of its marketed medicines to Novartis in 2015 and is responsible for GSK's Oncology portfolio focusing on innovative medicines to deliver transformational benefit to patients. Recent portfolio expansion included the acquisition of Tesaro, a co-development partnership with Merck-Serono, and the in-licensing of the first cell therapy active in solid tumors from Adaptimmune.Dr. Hoos also serves as director on the Board of Imugene, a biotech company, co-director of the Cancer Immunotherapy Consortium and member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Cancer Research Institute.
His efforts focus on novel therapies for life-threatening diseases, scientific and technical innovation, and business and scientific collaboration. Through his leadership, a paradigm for the development of cancer immunotherapies has been defined, which helped launch the field of Immuno-Oncology (Nat. Rev. Drug Discovery 2016, 15(4):, 235-47)Previously, Dr. Hoos was the global medical lead in Immunology/Oncology at Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) where he developed Yervoy (Ipilimumab), the first life-extending therapy and the first checkpoint inhibitor drug in Immuno-Oncology. The discovery of Ipilimumab’s scientific mechanism was honored with the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine to Dr. James Allison in 2018. Before BMS, Dr. Hoos was senior director of Clinical Development at Agenus Bio (previously Antigenics), a biotech company.
Dr. Hoos holds a medical degree from Ruprecht-Karls-University and a doctoral degree in molecular oncology from the German Cancer Research Center both in Heidelberg, Germany. He trained in surgery at the Technical University in Munich and further in surgery, molecular pathology and tumor immunology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. He is an alumnus of the Program for Leadership Development at Harvard Business School.
Jeffrey P. Libson, JD
Jeffrey P. Libson is a corporate and transactional attorney to the life sciences, who has also provided his legal and leadership expertise to a number of non-profit organizations during his nearly 40-year career. He is also an adjunct professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania teaching a graduate business course in life sciences entrepreneurship.
Mr. Libson’s legal practice focuses predominantly on business matters, including financings, governance, mergers and acquisitions and strategic transactions for both public and private companies across the biotech, diagnostics, pharmaceutical, health care and digital health sectors, often serving as external general counsel.
He has been a practicing attorney at Cooley LLP for three years and was previously at Pepper Hamilton LLP for 37 years, where he served for more than 20 years as chair of the firm’s Life Sciences Practice, its largest practice group. During his tenure, he has provided counsel for more than 500 venture capital financings on both the company and investor side and has been involved with a number of IPOs, public offerings and merger and acquisition transactions.
Additionally, Mr. Libson volunteers his expertise and leadership to several nonprofit entities. In the global health community, he served as Board Secretary and External General Counsel of Aeras, the former non-profit organization focused on researching and developing a tuberculosis vaccine. In support of the life sciences community, Mr. Libson served as a board member and secretary of Life Sciences Pennsylvania (formerly, Pennsylvania Bio) for more than 15 years and as counsel to the Association of Bioscience Financial Officers. He also previously served on the boards of the Pennsylvania Life Sciences Institute and BioStrategy Partners. In support of his hometown community in Philadelphia, Mr. Libson served as board chair and continues to serve as a board member of Broad Street Ministry, a faith-based, nonprofit organization that provides a variety of social services to the neediest residents of the Philadelphia community. He also served as a Trustee for the Friends’ Central School in Philadelphia.
He received a bachelor’s degree in economics and English from Oberlin College and a doctor of jurisprudence degree from Duke University School of Law. A resident of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, he is married with four adult children.
Saad Omer, MBBS, MPH, PhD
Global Immunization Committee Chair
Saad B. Omer serves as the inaugural director of Yale Institute of Global Health. He was formerly the William H. Foege chair in Global Health and professor of Global Health, Epidemiology & Pediatrics at Emory University, Schools of Public Health and Medicine. Dr. Omer has conducted studies in Guatemala, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, South Africa and the United States. Dr. Omer’s research portfolio includes clinical trials to estimate efficacy of maternal and/or infant influenza, pertussis, polio, measles and pneumococcal vaccines and trials to evaluate drug regimens to reduce mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Moreover, he has conducted several studies on interventions to increase immunization coverage and demand. Dr. Omer’s work has been cited in global and country-specific policy recommendations and has informed clinical practice and health legislation in several countries. He has mentored more than 100 junior faculty, clinical and research post-doctoral fellows, Ph.D. and other graduate students.
Dr. Omer has published approximately 250 papers in peer-reviewed journals including the New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, the Lancet, British Medical Journal, Pediatrics, American Journal of Public Health and Science. Moreover, he has written op-eds for publications such as the New York Times, Politico and the Washington Post.
He has received multiple awards – including the Maurice Hilleman Award by the National Foundation of Infectious Diseases for his seminal work on the impact of maternal influenza immunization on respiratory illness in infants younger than 6 months – for whom there is no vaccine. He has served on several advisory panels including the U.S. National Vaccine Advisory Committee, the Public Health Committee of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria - Vaccine Innovation Working Group, and WHO Expert Advisory Group for Healthcare Worker Vaccination. Dr. Omer earned a doctorate in global disease epidemiology and control, a master’s degree in public health from Johns Hopkins University, and a bachelor’s degree in medicine and surgery from the Aga Khan University Medical College.
David Salisbury, CB, FMedSci, FRCP, FRCPCH, FFPH
With more than 40 years of experience, David Salisbury is a well-known and well-respected leader in immunization program policy and implementation, with first-hand experience managing the UK’s national immunization program and strategic expertise ranging from vaccine research to disease eradication. He is currently an Associate Fellow of the Centre on Global Health Security at Chatham House, London, as well as Chair of the Global Commission for Certification of Poliomyelitis Eradication.
Professor Salisbury has shaped global approaches to immunization through a variety of important leadership or advisory roles: chair of the World Health Organization Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE), co-chair of the Pandemic Influenza Working Group of the Global Health Security Initiative, and chair of the Research & Development Working Group of the Decade of Vaccines Initiative. Under his leadership from 2010 to 2012, this working group produced the road map for development and introduction of new vaccines targeted for the decade. His current work includes leading the Global Polio Eradication Certification Commission, as well as focusing on the impact of vaccines in the decreasing the threat of antimicrobial resistance.
From 2007 to 2013, Professor Salisbury was the Director of Immunization at the Department of Health for the United Kingdom. He had been responsible for the UK’s national immunization program, directing research, strategy, policy, vaccine purchase and implementation. He led the introduction of numerous new vaccines and vaccine programs, including MMR, Hib, rotavirus vaccine, varicella zoster vaccine, meningococcal C vaccine influenza vaccine for children, pertussis and influenza vaccines for pregnant women, and pneumococcal conjugate vaccine. Also, during his tenure, immunization coverage increased steadily for routine vaccines.
Professor Salisbury has published more than 100 papers on immunization and pediatric topics in peer-reviewed journals, including the Lancet, Nature, Science, Vaccine, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, and the International Journal of Infectious Diseases. He is a frequent international lecturer and advisor on vaccines and vaccination.
Professor Salisbury was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath in the Queen’s Birthday Honors in 2001 for his services in the field of immunization. He was made a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2014. Professor Salisbury is also a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, and the Faculty of Public Health. He is a graduate of London University and trained as pediatrician at Oxford and at the Hospital for Sick Children, London.
Jacqueline Shea, PhD
Dr. Jacqueline Shea joined Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc., as its chief operating officer in March 2019, and was previously the chief executive officer at Aeras. An accomplished operational and business development executive with more than 20 years of experience in the life sciences industry, Dr. Shea combines commercial acumen with her strong scientific base in molecular biology, immunology and infectious disease.
Prior to Aeras she spent eight years in a variety of senior management roles with Emergent BioSolutions, including five years as general manager and vice president of The Oxford-Emergent Tuberculosis Consortium. Dr. Shea has spent much of her career dedicated to developing products to prevent and treat infectious diseases. She has played a leading role in advancing new TB vaccines over the past decade. She holds 20 patents, including those for gene identification technology and Salmonella virulence genes.
Dr. Shea received her doctorate from the National Institute for Medical Research in the U.K. and earned a bachelor’s degree in applied biology.
JoAnn Suzich, PhD
Dr. JoAnn Suzich is an influential biotechnology leader with real-world experience translating science into global solutions for patient care with a focus on developing vaccines and antibodies against many of the deadly and debilitating viruses. Her work has played a critical role in the advancement and treatment of health issues affecting women and children. She currently serves as Head of Research at Immunocore after an impressive career at AstraZeneca/MedImmune where she started as a bench scientist and was elevated to Vice President and then Therapeutic Head before retiring in 2019.
During her tenure as Vice President for Research & Development at MedImmune, she was responsible for research on novel vaccines, as well as overseeing the company's research in the development of antibodies and antibody-like molecules for the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases including RSV, influenza, Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. As Research Director, Dr. Suzich managed the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine program from its inception to out-licensing following Phase 1 clinical trials. She also serves as an advisor for organizations such as the Human Vaccines Project and the Global Women’s Health Institute at Purdue University.
Dr. Suzich earned a doctorate in biochemistry from Purdue University and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Susquehanna University, where she now serves on the Board of Trustees.
Peter L. Thoren
Finance & Audit Committee Chair
Peter L. Thoren is executive vice president of Access Industries, a privately held, U.S.-based industrial group with long-term investments worldwide and offices in New York, London and Moscow. Access’s industrial focus spans four key sectors: natural resources and chemicals, media and telecommunications, venture capital and technology, and real estate. Before joining Access in 2001, Mr. Thoren was senior vice president and general counsel of Walker Digital Corporation. Previously, he served in senior management positions with Salomon Inc. and Citigroup, and was an attorney with Rogers & Wells law firm in New York. In addition to corporate boards, Mr. Thoren is on the boards of the New York Academy of Sciences, ThanksUSA and the Darien Historical Society.
A native of Washington, D.C., Mr. Thoren graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Phi Beta Kappa) and has degrees from the London School of Economics and Political Science and Georgetown University Law Center. He is a member of the New York State Bar and of the Council on Foreign Relations. Mr. Thoren is married and has three grown children.
Philip K. Russell, MD
In Memoriam of Founding President and 28-year Trustee
Major General (Ret) Philip King Russell was a physician, scientist and global health advocate. Dr. Russell earned his medical degree from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and joined the U.S. Army. During his service in Pakistan, Thailand and Vietnam, Dr. Russell witnessed how living conditions fostered the spread of infectious diseases and dedicated his career to their prevention.
Dr. Russell became Commandant of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, where he conducted laboratory and clinical research on viral and parasitic diseases; his work contributed to the development of vaccines for adenovirus, meningitis and hepatitis A and B. After retiring from the military, Dr. Russell became professor of international health at Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health.
In 1993, he joined Heloisa Sabin, Dr. Herman Shepherd and Dr. Robert Chanock in founding the Sabin Vaccine Institute. Dr. Russell was also a founding member of the Board of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative and served as an advisor to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, National Institutes of Health and the World Health Organization. Following the anthrax attacks in 2001, Dr. Russell came out of retirement to help oversee anthrax and smallpox vaccine development efforts.
At the time of his passing in January 2021, Dr. Russell lived with his wife of 65 years, Connie, in Denver.
In Memoriam of Founder and Honorary Trustee
Heloisa Sabin was a founding member of the Sabin Vaccine Institute and served as a trustee or honorary trustee of the Institute from 1993 to 2016. Wife of the late Dr. Albert B. Sabin, Ms. Sabin dedicated much of her life to continuing the work and legacy of her husband.
An outspoken advocate in the effort to end vaccine preventable diseases, Ms. Sabin shared Dr. Sabin's dedication to the elimination of needless human suffering and poverty. Following her husband's death in 1993, Ms. Sabin joined with Dr. Herman Shepherd, Dr. Robert Chanock and Dr. Philip Russell to found the Sabin Vaccine Institute. She continuously championed the work and legacy of Dr. Sabin by promoting the role of vaccines in eliminating needless deaths from preventable and treatable diseases. Originally from Brazil, Ms. Sabin lived in Washington, DC, until her death in October of 2016.
H. R. Shepherd, DSc
In Memoriam of the Founding Chair
Dr. Shepherd was Founding Chair of the Sabin Vaccine Institute and served on the Board of Trustees from 1993 to 2010. He also served as the Institute's President for eight years. Until 1993 he was Chairman and CEO of Armstrong Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which he founded as Aerosol Techniques in 1955.
A world-recognized expert on aerosol technologies, Dr. Shepherd spearheaded the development of the metered dose inhaler. He also led a successful effort to fund the nation's first research laboratory dedicated to aerosol pharmaceuticals at Columbia University College of Pharmacy and he is the author of Aerosols: Science and Technology, the first definitive text on the potential of aerosol medications.