Farshad GuirakhooMSc, PhD
Dr. Guirakhoo joined GeoVax as Senior Vice President of Research and Development in October 2015 and was promoted to Chief Scientific Officer in January 2017. Dr. Guirakhoo was named one of the ‘50 Most Influential People in Vaccines’ in Vaccine Nation’s 2014 list. His previous assignment was Chief Technology Officer at Vaxess Technologies, a Cambridge, MA, based biotechnology company researching thermostabilization of vaccines and biologics using silk fibroin protein. Prior to this, he served as Chief Scientific Officer at Hookipa Biotech in Vienna, Austria, developing vaccines against Cytomegalovirus and cancers based on a novel replication-deficient viral vector platform.
Prior to that, Dr. Guirakhoo held the position of Executive Director of External R&D at Sanofi Pasteur from 2007-20012. Before joining Sanofi Pasteur in 2007, Dr. Guirakhoo was Head of Virology Research at Acambis for 15 years. During this time, he co-invented the ChimeriVax technology platform in association with St. Louis University. This platform utilizes the YF 17D vaccine virus as a vector to develop chimeric live viruses. The ChimeriVax vector platform was successfully used in the development of innovative vaccines such as: a) a single dose vaccine against Japanese encephalitis (IMOJEV), marketed in Asian countries by Sanofi, b) a single dose veterinary vaccine for the prevention of West Nile encephalitis (PREVNILE), marketed by Merck Animal Health, and c) DENGVAXIA, the world’s first dengue vaccine approved in Mexico and Brazil in December 2015 and marketed by Sanofi.
This tetravalent vaccine represents a historic milestone for half of the world population who lives at risk of dengue. Dr. Guirakhoo has over 30 years of experience in developing vaccines against infectious diseases. Dr. Guirakhoo holds a BSc in Biology, a MSc in genetics, and a PhD in Virology from the Medical University of Vienna, Austria, and was awarded a National Research Council post-doctoral fellowship at the National Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Fort Collins, CO, from 1990-1992.