Dr. Felgner received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry/Neuroscience from Michigan State University in 1978 and also completed Postdoctoral training in Biophysics at University of Virginia. He has over 25 years of experience in the biotechnology industry, including senior research positions at Syntex Research where he developed the first cationic lipid reagent for gene transfer. In 1988, Dr. Felgner became Director of Product Development, Chief Scientific Officer and founder of a start-up company, Vical, Inc. With colleagues at Vical and at the University of Wisconsin, Dr. Felgner made a landmark discovery regarding functional reporter gene sequences and demonstrated that potent antiviral immune responses could be generated following intramuscular injection of plasmids encoding viral antigens. These findings have led to development of a new class of infectious disease vaccines referred to as "DNA vaccines". Dr. Felgner has been issued more than 35 patents and published over 100 scientific papers, and for his numerous biotechnology innovations, he received the Southern California 1996 “Inventor of the Year” award. He went on to found Antigen Discovery, Inc. and served as a Professor at the University of California Irvine.
Interviewed by Mark Jones, PhD, UCSD
At the time of this interview, Dr. Felgner was Director of Product Development, Chief Scientific Officer and founder of Vical, Inc.