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Vesigen Therapeutics, Inc. Announces Expansion of Scientific Advisory Board

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Vesigen Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company developing transformative therapeutics by engineering naturally existing vesicles, today announced the expansion of the Scientific Advisory Board with the appointments of Connie Cepko, PhD and Kate Fitzgerald, PhD.

“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Cepko and Dr. Fitzgerald to our Scientific Advisory Board,” said Dr. Joseph Nabhan, Chief Scientific Officer of Vesigen Therapeutics. “At Vesigen, we’re developing therapeutics using a differentiated delivery technology to treat a range of diseases with unmet need. Dr. Cepko brings a wealth of knowledge in retinal diseases and Dr. Fitzgerald adds extensive expertise in innate immune system sensing and signaling. We look forward to their valuable contributions to our drug discovery programs.”


Dr. Cepko is the Bullard Professor of Genetics and Neuroscience at Harvard Medical School in the Department of Genetics and in the Department of Ophthalmology. She co-directs the Leder Human Biology and Translational Medicine Program for PhD students at Harvard University. Her ground-breaking research has advanced understanding of the development of the central nervous system (CNS) and mechanisms of retinal degeneration.

A HHMI Investigator and author of over 230 peer-reviewed publications, Dr. Cepko has earned distinguished honors for her work, ranging from induction to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1999 to receiving a Leading Women Award in 2003, presented by the Patriots’ Trail Girl Scout Council in Boston. Dr. Cepko was also elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2002.

She trained in virology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with Dr. Phillip Sharp where she earned her PhD and later was a postdoctoral fellow at the MIT Whitehead Institute with Dr. Richard Mulligan, where she created some of the first retroviral vectors. Her laboratory is developing gene therapy to treat retinal degenerative diseases, such as retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration.


Dr. Fitzgerald is Professor and Vice Chair of Medicine, Chief of the Division of Innate Immunity, and the Worcester Foundation in Biomedical Sciences Research Chair at the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School. Her work is focused on the innate immune system aimed at understanding the molecular basis of the inflammatory response during Infection and in autoinflammatory diseases. The long-term goal of her work is to determine how innate immune sensing and signaling contribute to infectious, inflammatory, and autoimmune diseases in humans.

Dr. Fitzgerald completed her education in Ireland. She received her B.Sc. in Biochemistry in 1995 from University College Cork, Ireland and her PhD in Biochemistry in 1999 from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. After pursing a post-doctoral fellowship at Trinity College Dublin, she joined UMass Chan as Instructor where she has been since 2001. She is currently a tenured Professor of Medicine.

Dr. Fitzgerald is an elected fellow of the American Society of Microbiology and an elected member of the Royal Irish Academy, the National Academy of Sciences (USA) and the National Academy of Medicine (USA). She is the recipient of several awards including the Thermo-Fischer Meritorious Career Award (from the American Association of Immunology), the Saint Patrick’s Day Medal (from the Irish Government and Science Foundation Ireland) and the Milstein Award for Excellence in Interferon and Cytokine research (from the International Cytokine and Interferon Society), amongst others.

She has extensive service both locally at UMass Chan and nationally including service on local and national advisory boards (e.g., Massachusetts Center For Pathogen Readiness, NIAID Board of Scientific Councillors, Burroughs Wellcome Fund Pathogenesis of Infectious Diseases and the Cancer Research Institute). She was also the recent past President of the International Cytokine and Interferon Society.

About Vesigen Therapeutics

Vesigen Therapeutics is a biotechnology company developing novel therapeutics enabled by the engineering of naturally existing vesicles for delivery. Vesigen’s patented technology, called ARMMs (ARRDC1 Mediated Microvesicles), can be used to precisely deliver a wide range of payloads, including gene editing complexes, proteins, and RNAs to a unique set of tissue and cell types. Vesigen has demonstrated highly efficient in vitro and in vivo functional delivery of a range of payloads across multiple cell types and is committed to developing transformative medicines that address current unmet medical needs. ARMMs were discovered and engineered into a drug delivery system at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

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Vanessa Le
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Last Updated: 07-Feb-2023