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Scientific Founders

John E. “Jack” Edwards, Jr., M.D.

Dr. Edwards is Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and Emeritus Chief, Division of Infectious Disease at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.   He is an internationally recognized expert in the biology and pathophysiology of Candida. He founded NovaDigm Therapeutics to translate the three decades of research by himself and his colleagues into products that will prevent or treat serious infectious diseases. He has participated in the preclinical development of a variety of antifungal agents and has served as a focal member of the NIH Mycoses Study Group, overseeing numerous clinical trials in antifungal strategies.


Scott G. Filler, M.D.

Dr. Filler is Professor of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine, and Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. He is an NIH-funded, international expert in the interactions between fungi and host cells, focusing on endothelial and epithelial cells. Dr. Filler's work has identified the mechanisms by which Als proteins help Candida to invade the human body. His functional studies have complemented the protein-structure, molecular biology, immunology, and animal model studies of other NovaDigm investigators, helping to define the best vaccine candidates for maximal protection against fungal infections. Dr. Filler is also a key member of the Mycoses Study Group, and has overseen, developed, and run numerous clinical trials relating to antifungal therapies.


Yue Fu, M.S.

Following his career as an Associate Professor of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Mr. Fu is currently a Research Investigator at the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation in San Diego. During his time at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, he was funded by the NIH for his work using cutting-edge molecular biology approaches to explore the pathogenic mechanisms of microorganisms, including the fungal pathogen Candida and the emerging molds Aspergillus and Rhizopus. Ultimately, his work aimed to discover new antifungal targets, agents or strategies that can block the function of one or more of these virulence factors, thereby preventing or treating serious fungal infection.


Ashraf S. Ibrahim, Ph.D.

Dr. Ibrahim is a Professor of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. He is an NIH-funded investigator with >20 years experience in studying microbial pathogenesis, host-pathogen interactions and developing in vivo models of infection, with particular expertise in the murine models utilized during preclinical development of the Candida-Staphylococcus (NDV-3) vaccine. Dr. Ibrahim has performed the key in vivo experiments that have established the efficacy of the vaccine in these models. Dr. Ibrahim's expertise in testing the effects of immune therapies in animal models, and his knowledge of Candida biology and pathogenesis, continues to be pivotal to the company's ongoing efforts.


Brad J. Spellberg, M.D.

Dr. Spellberg is Chief Medical Officer at the Los Angeles County-University of Southern California (LAC+USC) Medical Center. He is also a Professor of Clinical Medicine and Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs at the Keck School of Medicine at USC. He received his BA in Molecular Cell Biology-Immunology from UC Berkeley. He then attended medical school at UCLA, where he received numerous academic honors, including serving as the UCLA AOA Chapter Co-President, and winning the prestigious Stafford Warren Award for the topic academic performance in his graduating class. Dr. Spellberg completed his Residency in Internal Medicine and subspecialty fellowship in Infectious Diseases at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.

 


Michael R. Yeaman, Ph.D.

Dr. Yeaman is Professor of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Chief, Division of Molecular Medicine, and member of the Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. He is an NIH- and DoD-funded investigator, and teaches within the UCLA Geffen School of Medicine and Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. His expertise is focused on staphylococcal and candidal pathogenesis, immunology, animal models of infection, and molecular modeling.  His discovery of structural homology shared by immune epitopes in antigens from pathogens of different biological kingdoms pioneered the development of cross-kingdom and broad-spectrum vaccines.  From these perspectives, Dr. Yeaman and his team have contributed significantly to a broader understanding of immune function and coordination in host defense against infection.  Dr. Yeaman has served as member on multiple NIH study sections and continues to do so ad hoc, and as an editorial board member for leading journals.  His goals are to advance discovery and development of novel anti-infective and immunotherapeutic agents and strategies to address the challenge of antibiotic-resistant and emerging pathogens.  With Dr. Edwards, Dr. Yeaman and colleagues co-founded NovaDigm Therapeutics, Inc. to accelerate translation of the vaccine and potentially other novel immunotherapeutic approaches from the bench to the bedside.