The GEOFFREY BEENE BUILDERS OF SCIENCE AWARD recognizes those who have provided inspiration and determination in building an outstanding home for research. Eligible candidates for the award are distinguished medical, health, and scientific research administrators, scientists and other leaders who have demonstrated their commitment to and advocacy for research by building an outstanding scientific research institution. 

Dr. Gary Nabel, co-recipient of the Geoffrey Beene Foundation Builders of Science Award, is the President and CEO of ModeX Therapeutics.  An eminent virologist and immunologist, Dr. Nabel served as founding director of NIH’s Vaccine Research Center (VRC) and its leader for 14 years (1999-2012). He subsequently assumed the position of chief scientific officer of Sanofi, where he provided oversight of Global R&D programs (2012-2020).  Dr. Nabel pioneered a renaissance in vaccine development through structure-based rational vaccine design. Under his leadership, the VRC made seminal advances in developing vaccines and broadly neutralizing antibodies not only against HIV but also universal influenza, Ebola, Chikungunya, and Epstein-Barr virus. His work encompasses basic mechanisms of viral molecular biology, protein structure, and immunotherapy, defining modes of immune escape, and opportunities to attack critical vulnerabilities of viruses. This work led to the discovery of the broadly neutralizing antibodies to the highly conserved CD4 binding site of HIV that are now in human efficacy trials in Africa. Through an experimental medicine program, the VRC translated scientific discovery into clinical investigation through more than 100 clinical trials, including universal influenza vaccines in the U.S. and leading to Ebola vaccines tested in Africa. Dr. Nabel’s work has also contributed to the development of countermeasures for other emerging viral infections, including Chikungunya virus, encephalitis viruses, SARS, avian influenza, and Zika virus.

More recently, Dr. Nabel and his team have developed a novel antibody platform that can recognize three targets at once, called tri-specific antibodies, now under evaluation for the treatment and prevention of HIV and cancer.  Multitargeting of immune pathways in such diseases represents a major interest of ModeX Therapeutics, the new startup that he now leads.  Dr. Nabel previously was an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the University of Michigan (1987-1999).

For more information about the Geoffrey Beene Foundation Builders of Science Award, click here.

Gary J. Nabel, MD, PhD - 2020 Geoffrey Beene Foundation Builders of Science Award