Management

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  • Charles J. Link Jr, MD, co-founded NewLink Genetics in 1999 with the idea of leveraging the body's immune system to fight cancer. He is chief executive officer, chief scientific officer, and chairman of the Board of Directors. Dr Link was appointed by United States Senator John Glenn of Ohio to the United States Air Force Academy where he studied chemistry. Prior to graduating, he was accepted to a special program at Stanford University School of Medicine in Stanford, California, where he received his bachelor's degree in chemistry and his medical degree. Dr Link interned at the University of California, San Francisco, and completed his residency and fellowship training in medical oncology at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, where he also served as an attending physician. Dr Link practiced oncology for 18 years, most recently caring for patients part-time at Medical Oncology and Hematology Associates of Iowa from 1995 to 2013. He also served as director of the Human Gene Therapy Research Institute, which is part of the John Stoddard Cancer Center at Iowa Methodist Medical Center. In addition to spending time with his family, Dr Link enjoys exercising and pouring over scientific journals.

    • Nicholas Vahanian, MD, co-founded NewLink Genetics in 1999. He has served as President of the company since 2009 and as a member of the Board of Directors since 2015.  Previously, he served as Chief Medical Officer and Chief Operations Officer. Dr Vahanian has extensive experience in clinical trial design and drug development. He began his research career at the National Cancer Institute and subsequently worked at the National Center for Human Genome Research Institute, both at the National Institutes of Health. He worked under the tutelage of Dr Michael Blaese, a pioneer in the field of human gene therapy. Dr Vahanian holds a BS in biology from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia and an MBA from the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Indiana. He attended St. Bartholomew’s and Royal London Hospital Medical College and earned his medical degree and subsequently completed a Molecular Oncology Fellowship at the John Stoddard Cancer Research Institute.

      • Eugene P. Kennedy, MD, FACS, is Chief Medical Officer at NewLink Genetics, where he leads clinical development across all immuno-oncology product candidates as well as investigator initiated trials. Prior to joining NewLink Genetics, he was on faculty and clinical staff at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he served as associate professor of Surgery and held leadership positions as chief of the Section of Pancreaticobiliary Surgery and co-director of the Jefferson Pancreas, Biliary, and Related Cancers Center. Previously, Dr Kennedy held faculty positions at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, and the Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans, Louisiana. He has considerable experience in clinical trial design and implementation, leading both investigator initiated and industry sponsored efforts.

        • Carl Langren has served as NewLink Genetics’ Chief Financial Officer since July 2018. Previously, he was Vice President of Finance of NewLink, Chief Financial Officer of BioProtection Systems, Housby Mixer Group, and Equity Dynamics, Inc. He served as a Principal in Capital Management Solutions, President of Iowa Machinery and Supply, Treasurer of DFM Corporation, and Tax Manager with McGladrey Pullen and Company.

          Carl received a BA in accounting from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa.

          • Mario Mautino, PhD, serves as NewLink Genetics’ Senior Vice President, Research and Development and the company’s Intellectual Property Officer, leading the drug development efforts including CMC, non-clinical toxicology and DMPK, clinical pharmacology as well as research on pharmacology and mechanisms of action of our lead drug candidates.  

            Dr. Mautino received his licentiate in biological chemistry in 1990 and his PhD in molecular genetics in 1995 from the National University of Córdoba in Córdoba, Argentina, where he also conducted 2 years of postdoctoral research in molecular epigenetics. He trained from 1997 to 2001 as a postdoctoral fellow in human gene therapy and HIV virology at the Clinical Gene Therapy Branch, National Institutes of Health. 

            Dr. Mautino joined NewLink as a Senior Scientist in 2001 and later occupied the position of Vice President of Drug Discovery, establishing and leading NewLink’s small molecule drug discovery program targeting the IDO, TDO and PTEN pathways, and contributing to advancing indoximod, NLG802 and NLG919 to clinical development. 

            • Gabriela R. Rossi, PhD, vice president of biologics development, joined NewLink Genetics in 2003. Prior to her appointment as vice president, Dr Rossi held positions as director of the Tumor Immunology Department and as a senior scientist. Dr Rossi received her PhD in immunology at the National University of Córdoba in Córdoba, Argentina. She continued postdoctoral training at the Holland Laboratories American Red Cross in Maryland, and her postdoctoral work at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Gene Therapy Branch and the National Cancer Institute Surgery Branch in Bethesda, Maryland. She has extensive experience within the HyperAcute® platform. Dr Rossi has 2 children. One of her favorite things to do is long distance running; she has finished 14 marathons and one 50K.

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