Dr. Richard Proctor, MD.

Richard A. Proctor, MD (University of Michigan, 1970), is a Professor Emeritus in the Departments of Medicine and Medical Microbiology, University of Wisconsin Medical School in Madison, retired from Merck as the Global Director for Infectious Diseases for Antibiotics and Antifungals, and continues an active consulting career for industry/universities/research funding agencies; collaborating at multiple University Professors and companies; writing grants; planning experiments and evaluating data for research on staphylococcal infections and novel antibiotic combinations; and reviewing manuscripts for journals.

The recipient of research grants concerning the pathogenesis of bacterial infections, emerging pathogens, and antibiotic resistance. He has made contributions in the fields of endotoxin activation of macrophages, septic shock, bacterial adhesion, S aureus pathogenesis, and antibiotic-resistant Gram-positive cocci with over 200 publications. Most recently, he has been involved in the assessment of staphylococcal vaccine immunology. Specific studies include receptors that regulate macrophage activation during endotoxemia, small-colony variants in staphylococcal infections, bacterial energetics, the protective immune response to S. aureus infections, and antimicrobial resistance. Dr. Proctor has lectured extensively both nationally and internationally and holds 14 patents.

Dr. Proctor is active in both academic and clinical societies. He has served on multiple Editorial Boards, is the past president of the Alexander von Humboldt Society of America, founding member of the International Endotoxin Society [now called the International Endotoxin and Innate Immunity Society] and Staphylococcal Diseases Gordon Research Conference. Among the honors Dr. Proctor has received are the Alexander von Humboldt Distinguished Research Professor Award (Professorship in Münster, Germany), Harold Pl Rusch Award in Translational Cancer Research, and the US Army Commanding Officer’s Award for Research while attached to Walter Reed.

Expertise: Immunology of S. aureus, clinical immunology


Dr. Vance Fowler, MD.

Vance Fowler, MD, MHS, Departments of Medicine and Molecular Genetics & Microbiology, Duke University Medical Center. Dr. Fowler is the Florence McAlister Distinguished Professor of Medicine. He has over 2 decades of continuous support as PI from the NIH for clinical and translational research in Staphylococcus aureus and other antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections. Dr. Fowler created the S. aureus Bacteremia Group, co-founded the International Collaboration on Endocarditis, and has been the Contact PI of the Antibacterial Resistance Leadership Group, an NIH Grant with a total value of > $160 million focused on clinical research in drug-resistant bacteria, since its inception in 2014. He has over 300 peer-reviewed publications with > 26,000 citations.

Expertise: Microbiology of S. aureus, Clinical research, PI on Merck Vaccine (V710) clinical trial.


Dr. Jean Lee, Ph.D.


Jean C. Lee, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, has >30 years of research experience with Staphylococcus aureus. Her primary interests are in the pathogenesis of S. aureus infections and in vaccine development targeting this important bacterial pathogen. The major goals of her laboratory have been to chemically characterize S. aureus capsular polysaccharides and to investigate their biosynthesis, function, regulation, and contributions to virulence. Dr. Lee developed and utilized animal models of S. aureus colonization and infection to study microbial interactions with the mammalian host. A major focus of her research has been the preclinical evaluation of S. aureus glycoconjugate and protein vaccine candidates in rodent models of staphylococcal disease. The Lee laboratory has targeted both surface antigens, such as capsular polysaccharides and cell wall-anchored proteins, as well as secreted toxin-based vaccines, as potential vaccine antigens. Dr. Lee’s recent studies are directed toward a better understanding of S. aureus extracellular vesicles, their biogenesis in vitro and in vivo, and the contribution of these vesicles to the host-parasite interaction.

Expertise: S. aureus pathogenesis, vaccine, and animal models


Dr. Steve Projan, Ph.D., FAAM

Dr. Steve Projan currently works as a consultant and scientific advisor in the biopharmaceutical industry as well as with public-private partnerships, mainly in infectious disease research. Dr. Projan was, until April 1, 2018, the Head of the Infectious Diseases & Vaccines Innovative Medicines unit (iMED) at MedImmune, leading a cross-functional team dedicated to the therapeutic area strategy, prioritization, and advancement of the company’s infectious disease and vaccine portfolio. Dr. Projan joined MedImmune in 2010. Prior to joining MedImmune, Dr. Projan served as vice president and global head of Infectious Diseases at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research in Cambridge MA. He previously spent 15 years at Wyeth in roles of increasing responsibility with his last post as vice president and head of Biological Technologies. During his time at Wyeth, Dr. Projan started the Biologics Discovery Group (covering all therapeutic areas) and initiated multiple collaborations and partnerships, most notably with Cambridge Antibody Technology (now a part of MedImmune/AZ). Prior to Dr. Projan’s work in the industry, he spent 14 years at the Public Health Research Institute and presently has over 120 publications to his credit. Dr. Projan received a bachelor of science (BS) degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and master’s of arts and philosophy in biological sciences and a doctorate in molecular genetics from Columbia University.

Expertise: S. aureus immunology, vaccines, clinical development


Dr. David Talan, MD.

Dr. Talan received his medical degree from the University of Illinois Medical College in Chicago and completed his residencies in Internal and Emergency Medicine and fellowship in Infectious Diseases at UCLA and its associated medical centers. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine, Emergency Medicine, and Infectious Diseases and Professor of Medicine in Residence (Emeritus) at The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and the University of Iowa School of Medicine.

From 1993 to 2014, Dr. Talan was Chairman of the Olive View-UCLA Department of Emergency Medicine. He is currently faculty of the Department of Emergency Medicine, and Department of Medicine at UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center, and recently joined the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics in the Departments of Emergency Medicine and Infectious Diseases. He is a Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians and the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

Dr. Talan is considered an authority in the area of acute infections that result in severe morbidity and death. His research focuses on emergency department-based surveillance and epidemiological research of emerging infections and clinical investigations of acute infectious diseases. He is the principal investigator (PI) of a CDC-supported emergency department-based national sentinel network for research on emerging infectious diseases in the United States called EMERGEncy ID NET, which was established in 1995. He was PI of an NIH contract to study off-patent antibiotics to treat skin and soft tissue infections caused by community-associated MRSA called STOP MRSA. Dr. Talan has several publications in the New England Journal of Medicine and JAMA, including the seminal research on the emergence of community-associated-MRSA infections. He has also been the principal or a leading investigator on a number of studies. One of which led to the American College of Surgeons to change its guidelines to include antibiotics as a first-line treatment option for appendicitis, and another, where the early release of interim vaccine effectiveness results led to the CDC’s decision to revise its mask mandate

Expertise: Emergency infectious disease, S. aureus skin, and soft tissue infections


Dr. Bruce Forrest, M.D.


Dr. Bruce Forrest serves as the President of Hudson Innovations, LLC, and as Co-Head of Life Sciences Investment Banking, Young America Capital, LLC. Dr. Forrest received his MD at the University of Adelaide, Australia, in 1991. He possesses over 25 years of global leadership in pharmaceutical development with expertise in, but not limited to, vaccines and biopharmaceuticals development in both major and emerging markets. During his career in the pharmaceutical and medical device industry, Dr. Forrest was the clinical leader for several major vaccine programs, including a meningococcal C conjugate vaccine; a live, rotavirus vaccine; a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine; and a live attenuated influenza vaccine. As a Senior Vice President at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Bruce was responsible for all late-phase development activities in Wyeth Vaccines Research. He led both clinical and pharmaceutical science development, including Fermentation and Process Development, Analytical Development, Formulation Development, GMP testing, Development Project Management, GMP Clinical Supplies Manufacturing and Distribution, Outsourcing Management, and Development Finance.

In addition, Bruce Forrest has extensive experience and field knowledge of the pharmaceutical development environment in Asia, especially Japan, where he served as Board Member, Corporate Officer, and Executive Director (Head) of R&D for Wyeth K.K. He oversaw the local product approvals for etanercept and gemtuzumab ozogamicin, as well as product registration submissions for a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, bazedoxifene, temsirolimus, venlafaxine, and tigecycline; and, was responsible for developing a successful strategy for the integration and coordination of development activities across the major markets in East Asia.

Expertise: Advanced vaccine development and commercialization