Medical Advisory Board

Our Medical Advisory Board is comprised of internationally recognized individuals in the fields of oncology and cancer surgery. Our Medical Advisory Board advises and assists our management by reviewing and evaluating our research strategy and research, development and clinical programs.

To accomplish this purpose, the Medical Advisory Board will review and monitor the processes and procedures, infrastructure underlying our major discovery and clinical development programs and consists of the following individuals:

Michael G. Hanna, Jr., Ph.D., our Founder and Chairman Emeritus. Michael G. Hanna, Jr., Ph.D., a pioneer in cancer immunotherapy co-founded Vaccinogen in 2007 and served as Chairman and CEO. Currently, Dr. Hanna is Chairman Emeritus of the Company’s Board of Directors.

Dr. Hanna is the discoverer and developer of Vaccinogen’s lead product, OncoVAX®, an autologous vaccine designed to elicit a specific immune response against colon cancer cells. Vaccinogen believes OncoVAX® is the first product to show a significant reduction in recurrence of disease in State II colon cancer patients.

Prior to co-founding Vaccinogen, Dr. Hanna founded PerImmune Inc. in 1994, for which he served as President and Chief Executive Officer before it merged with Intracel Corp. in 1998. He continued to work for Intracel Resources as Chief Scientific Officer and Chairman.

From 1984 to 1994, he served as Chief Operating Officer of Organon Teknika/Biotechnology Research Institute and Senior Vice President of Organon Teknika Corporation, a subsidiary of Akzo Nobel, The Netherlands. During his tenure there, he developed and obtained approvals for TICE BCG for the treatment of carcinoma in situ (CIS) bladder cancer, which remains the standard of care for prophylaxis of recurrence of superficial bladder cancer and therapy of CIS. From 1975 1983, Dr. Hanna served as the Director of the National Cancer Institute, Frederick Cancer Research Center (MD USA). In this position, Dr. Hanna created a center of research excellence for the NCI and established the Biological Response Modifier Program which led in the development of resources for immunotherapy of cancer.

While Dr. Hanna was on staff at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (1964-1975), he was also a consultant with NASA for the lunar receiving laboratory during Apollo 11 and 12, for which his expertise in immunology was used in the testing of the lunar core powder for immunogenic or pathogenic materials.

In addition to cancer therapy research and development, Dr. Hanna has been involved in Homeland Security. He served as Chairman of the Department of Commerce Biotechnology Advisory Committee (1984-89) and also participated in the Department of Defense Technical Working Group for Biotechnology (1988–89). PerImmune completed a Department of Defense contract to manufacture the current effective therapeutic for Botulinum toxin, an equine heptavalent anti-toxin.

Dr. Hanna’s research resulted in over 225 publications in international peer-reviewed journals, and book chapters, and he holds 10 patents related to immunotherapy. Dr. Hanna has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards and has served on many editorial boards, including for Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics.

Dr. Hanna received his PhD in experimental pathology and immunology from the University of Tennessee.


John Macdonald• John S. Macdonald, MD, professor of medicine, New York Medical College. Previously, Dr. Macdonald has served on the medical staffs at Georgetown University Medical School, University of Kentucky, Temple University New York Medical College and Saint Vincent's Hospital’s Comprehensive Cancer Center where he was chief of medical oncology.

Dr. Macdonald graduated from Harvard University medical school and is board certified in internal medicine and medical oncology as well as a specialist in gastrointestinal cancer and cancer immunotherapy. Dr. Macdonald is the recipient of the distinguished American Cancer Society Junior Faculty Fellowship as well as having received numerous awards and distinctions including being named in the Best Doctors in America listing and the Good Housekeeping "Best 300 Doctors in America."


Ben Carson•Benjamin S. Carson, Sr., MD is Chairman of the Board of and a member of Vaccinogen’s Medical Advisory Board.

Dr. Carson is an Emeritus Professor of Neurosurgery, Oncology, Plastic Surgery and Pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. In 1984, he was named Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, a position he retired from in June 2013. Dr. Carson is lauded for major innovations in surgery, including the first intrauterine procedure to relieve pressure on the brain of a hydrocephalic fetal twin, and resurrected the procedure for cerebral hemispherectomy (the removal of half the brain) to alleviate uncontrollable seizures, of which he has performed more than 100. He made medical history in 1987 when he became the first surgeon to successfully separate occipital craniopagus twins, and was involved in several other subsequent separations. He was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve on the President’s Council on Bioethics in 2004 and in 2008, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor. He has also authored more than 100 neurosurgical publications. He has been awarded more than 60 honorary doctorate degrees and dozens of national merit citations.

Dr. Carson sits on the board of directors of numerous organizations, including Kellogg Company, Costco Wholesale Corporation, the Academy of Achievement, and is an Emeritus Fellow of the Yale Corporation, the governing body of Yale University.


• Herbert C. Hoover, MD, Ph.D., our Medical Advisor. Dr. Hoover serves as a Consulting Medical Advisor for Vaccinogen and has been the one clinician involved in all of the clinical trials of OncoVAX®. Dr. Hoover initiated the original pilot trial of active specific immunotherapy in patients with colon cancer at Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1981. He served in a medical advisory role with Organon Teknika/Biotechnology Research, PerImmune and Intracel.

Dr. Hoover has had numerous honors and awards throughout his career including the Charles B. Thornton Advanced Technology Achievement Award (for the development of tumor-specific human monoclonal antibodies) as well as the Best Doctors in America recognition. He shares multiple patents for the development of monoclonal antibodies and active-specific immunotherapy and has published nearly 100 scientific articles.

Dr. Hoover received his MD from the University of Kansas School of Medicine in 1970. His surgical residency was served at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School from 1970 to 1977 with a Chief Residency in 1978. He was a Clinical Associate in the Surgery Branch of the NCI, NIH in Bethesda from 1972 to 1974.


• Jan Vermorken, MD, Ph.D., Dr. Vermorken served on the medical staff of oncology, at the University Hospital Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and is Emeritus Professor of Oncology at the University of Antwerp and past head of the Department of Medical Oncology at the Antwerp University Hospital in Edegem, Belgium, where he still works as a consultant.  Dr. Vermorken was principal investigator of the OncoVAX 8701 Phase IIIa clinical trial.  Dr. Vermorken’s main field of interest is in gynecological oncology, and head and neck oncology.  In addition, he coordinated large clinical trials in breast and colon cancer, including the OncoVAX’s Phase III trial (8701).  His main research areas concern early clinical and pharmacological studies with new drugs, studies on the interaction of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, HPV in various malignancies and immunological approaches.

Dr. Vermorken is a member of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) Gynecological Cancer Group (GCG) and the EORTC Head and Neck Cancer Group (HNCG).  He chaired the EORTC-GCG from 1983 to 1989 and the EORTC-HNCG from 2006 to 2009.  He is still an active member with both groups. 

He is an officer for ESMO, was a member of the ESMO executive committee during the time that he chaired the ESMO National Representative Committee (1991 – 1996) and the ESMO Education Committee (1996 – 2002) and is a prominent member of the ESMO faculty.  He is also a member of the International Gynecological Cancer Society (IGCS), was founding chair of the Gynecological Cancer Intergroup (GCIG) and was Chairman of the Belgian Association of Cancer Research (BACR) from 2003 to 2011, now still being part of its board.

Dr. Vermorken is a member of six editorial boards of international journals, reviewer of 13 cancer journals and author or co-author of more than 500 publications in international journals.  Since January 2009, Dr. Vermorken has been Editor-in-Chief of Annals of Oncology. On March 1, 2013 he received the title of Commander in the Order of Leopold for his contributions to oncology.

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