Scientific Leadership

SynVaccine's scientific leadership brings in state of the art technology spanning fields as diverse as virology, synthetic biology, computational biology, engineering and automation. 
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David Zigdon, Executive Chairman

David is a senior level executive with strong background in the High-Tech, Biomed, Biotech and Pharma startup industry. Mr. Zigdon is the CEO of MIGAL Galilee Research Institute Ltd an independent research organization since January 2019, before that, for a period of approximately nine years, Mr. Zigdon was CEO and President of Rad BioMed, an Israel-based evergreen family fund that invests in early-stage BioMed startups. Rad BioMed is part of the RAD Group that been named "the most fertile ground" for developing Israeli entrepreneurs. Before that David had a two-decade career as CEO/CFO of successful high tech firms, including Bynet, Bynet Electronics, Radcom (Nasdaq: RDCM), Magic Software (Nasdaq: MGIC) and Time To Know. Mr. Zigdon is a CPA and holds a BA degree (Economics) and an LLM degree from Bar Ilan University.

Prof. Tamir Tuller, CSO (PhD)

Tamir completed his graduate and post doc work at Tel-Aviv University and at the Weizmann Institute of Science as a Koshland fellow. He has formal education and training in Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, Medicine and Biology (four BSc, two MSc studies, and two PhD titles). He is the author of more than 150 peer reviewed, publications in top journals, as well as several patents in the field. Among others, his publications are related to synthetic biology, computational biology, microbiology, and virology. His multidisciplinary research focuses on the deciphering, modeling and engineering of gene expression. A co-founder of Synvaccine, Tamir’s expertise are key to  Synvaccine's technology for the computer-aided design of viral genomes for various applications. 


Dr. Avner Finger, Animal Vaccines BD advisor (DVM)

Avner brings 26 year of experience in the Animal Health industry. In his last position Dr Finger had led the global Vaccine business of Phibro Animal Health focusing in Poultry, Swine and Fish vaccines. During his years with Phibro (previously Teva) Avner successfully led the development and introduction of new vaccines and delivery key animal health technologies to the global market. His specialityies include: Veterinary Vaccines; Task oriented project management; Regulatory Affairs biologicals (EMEA, USDA); Animal Health Strategic Consulting; Supporting R&D and Regulatory projects; and leading Business Development initiatives with a clear focus on taking concepts and ideas to the market.

Dr. Modi Roopin, VP Synthetic Biology (PhD)

Modi is a highly accomplished molecular biologist with extensive experience of more than a decade in scientific management of early-stage research and development programs that involve innovative therapeutic approaches, culminating in more than 15 relevant scientific manuscripts and patents. Prior to joining SynVaccine, Modi completed two post-docs at the University of Haifa and the Weizmann Institute of Science where he led novel research work in the fields of embryonic development and cancer biology. Modi brings to Synvaccine important scientific know-how along with specialization in assay development, optimization, synthetic virology, and application of viral-based therapeutics.

Dr. Tal Almog, Business Development consultant, Pharma (PhD, MBA)

Tal is an experienced business executive in the healthcare industry with a strong scientific background. In his previous role Tal served as VP Business Development at Hadasit, Hadassah Medical Centers Tech Transfer Company, where he led the successful commercialization of dozens of bio-pharmaceutical projects to international and israeli-based companies. Prior to that, Tal served as Business Development Manager at Cellect Bio, a  publicly traded cell therapy company, where he led business collaborations with multiple companies. Tal earned his PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and his MBA at Tel-Aviv University.

Scientific Advisory Board

Prof. Emeritus Stanley Plotkin (MD)

Dr. Stanley A. Plotkin is Emeritus Professor of the University of Pennsylvania, and Adjunct Professor of the Johns Hopkins University. Until 1991, he was Professor of Pediatrics and Microbiology at the University of Pennsylvania, Professor of Virology at the Wistar Institute and at the same time, Director of Infectious Diseases and Senior Physician at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. In 1991, Dr. Plotkin left the University to join the vaccine manufacturer, Pasteur-Mérieux-Connaught, where for seven years he was Medical and Scientific Director, based at Marnes-la-Coquette,outside Paris. The same company is now named Sanofi Pasteur. He is now consultant to vaccine manufacturers, biotechnology companies and non-profit research organizations as  

principal of Vaxconsult, LLC. Dr. Plotkin attended New York University, where he received a B.A. degree, and then the State University of New York Medical School in Brooklyn, where he received an M.D. degree in 1956. His subsequent career included internship at Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital, residency in pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Hospital for Sick Children in London and three years in the Epidemic Intelligence Service of the Centers for Disease Control of the US Public Health Service. 

His bibliography includes more than 700 articles and he has edited several books including the standard textbook on vaccines, now in its 6th edition. He developed the rubella vaccine now in standard use throughout the world, is co-developer of the newly licensed pentavalent rotavirus vaccine, and has worked extensively on the development and application of other vaccines including anthrax, oral polio, rabies, varicella, and cytomegalovirus.

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Dr. Marie Mazur (PharmD)

Marie is the Director of Ready2Respond, a unique global coalition of partners committed to augmenting low- and middle-income countries’ readiness to respond against pandemics. Marie also serves on the Strategic Advisory Group of the Partnership for Influenza Vaccine Introduction (PIVI), a program from the Task Force for Global Health and the US Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention. Marie brings more than 20 years of experience in the vaccine industry. She headed up the Pandemic Response Solutions unit for Seqirus, a CSL Company. During her tenure, Seqirus became the global market leader in pandemic influenza vaccine response. In her prior role as President of the bioCSL unit, Marie led the commercial due diligence effort that resulted in the Novartis Influenza Business acquisition. Seqirus is now the only vaccine company focused on the prevention of seasonal and pandemic influenza. In 2018-2019, Marie was Co-Chair of the Bio-Defense Policy Advisory Committee at the Biotechnology Innovation Organization. Prior to joining CSL, Marie held successive global commercial leadership positions at Sanofi Pasteur, 3M Pharmaceuticals and GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals, in Europe and in the United States. Marie received her doctorate in Pharmacy, and her master’s degree in Regulatory Affairs, from Paris University in France. She is also a graduate from INSEAD Business School.

Prof. Ruth Arnon (PhD)

Formerly Vice-President of the Weizmann Institute of Science, Professor Arnon is an internationally acclaimed immunologist. Along with Prof. Michael Sela, she conceptualized and developed Copaxone®, a drug for the treatment of multiple sclerosis which was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and is presently marketed worldwide.  She is also the inventor of the new synthetic influenza vaccine and head of BiondVax’s Scientific Advisory Board. 

Prior to her appointment as Vice-President, Prof. Arnon served as Head of the Department of Chemical Immunology and as Dean of the Faculty of Biology. From 1985 to 1994, Prof. Arnon was Director of the Institute’s McArthur Center for Molecular Biology of Tropical Diseases. Prof. Arnon has made significant contributions in the fields of vaccine development, cancer research and to the study of parasitic diseases.

Prof. Nava Zisapel, Chairman (PhD)


Prof. Zisapel is Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Neurim Pharmaceuticals, Ltd. She is a full professor at Tel-Aviv University with a specialization in Neuro-biochemistry and holds the Michael Gluck Chair in Neuropharmacology and ALS Research, USA. Prof. Zisapel holds a B.Sc. in Chemistry, a M.Sc. in Biochemistry and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Tel-Aviv University. She has authored, together with her students and other scientists, over 160 original research publications in peer-reviewed journals.