Modex OPKO


management team



Chairman, ModeX Therapeutics, President of OPKO Health and Vice Chairman

Dr. Zerhouni co-founded ModeX Therapeutics and has been the Chairman of the Board since its founding in 2020. Dr. Zerhouni started his academic career in biomedical imaging and biomedical engineering; he served as chair of his department, and then executive vice-dean and dean of research of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He was the 15th Director of the NIH from 2002 to 2008, and subsequently served as one of the first presidential science envoys to foster scientific and technological collaborations with other nations. Dr. Zerhouni was President for Global Research and Development at Sanofi from 2011 to 2018. During his tenure at Sanofi, he led the transformation of the R&D organization, resulting in marked improvement of R&D productivity; he presided over 30 programs, 11 of which received regulatory approvals and launched commercially.  He is an experienced entrepreneur having founded or co-founded several start-up companies which have successfully reached market stage and profitability.

Dr. Zerhouni is a member of the national Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Engineering. He served on the National Cancer Institute’s board of Scientific Advisors before becoming NIH director. He was the founding Chief Scientific Editor of Science Translational Medicine of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS). He served as a senior fellow for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for Global Health, and was on the boards of Actelion Pharmaceuticals, the Lasker Foundation, and the Research America, and the Foundation for NIH.


Gary Nabel

President and CEO, ModeX Therapeutics, Chief Innovation Officer and Director of OPKO Health

Dr. Nabel co-founded ModeX Therapeutics and has been the President and CEO since its founding in 2020. Dr. Nabel started his academic career at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Michigan, he then joined the National Institute of Health, became the founding director of the Vaccine Research Center, where he pioneered a renaissance in vaccine development and provided overall direction and scientific leadership of the basic, clinical, and translational research activities and guided development of novel vaccine strategies. Dr. Nabel was Chief Scientific Officer at Sanofi from 2012 to 2020 where he provided scientific oversight of Sanofi’s research portfolio guiding numerous projects into clinical development and eventual registration. During his tenure at Sanofi, he led the Breakthrough Laboratory where he developed the first trispecific antibody now in development for HIV.  

Dr. Nabel is an elected fellow of the Association of American Physicians, the American Academy of the Arts and Sciences, and the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences. He has received many awards and honors, including the U.S. Army Medical Department’s Order of Military Medical Merit, the Amgen Scientific Achievement Award from the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He served as the Chair of Board of the Directors for the Keystone Scientific Symposia from 2017 to 2019, and as the Editor for the Journal of Virology from 1995-2005.


Vijay Chhajlani

Chief Technology Officer, ModeX Therapeutics

Dr. Chhajlani has more than 25 years of experience in pharmaceutical industry and extensive knowledge of discovery and development of small molecule as well as protein therapeutics. Most recently, Vijay was the Vice President within the Product Development and Technical Operations at Jounce therapeutics where he played CMC leadership role in Gene to cGMP manufacturing of several clinical candidates. Prior to Jounce, Vijay has held positions of increasing leadership at Shire Pharmaceuticals and Bristol-Myers-Squibb for process and analytical development of complex biologics for late phase development and commercialization. Prior to biologics CMC work, Vijay led the small molecule Hit to Lead programs in cardiovascular, metabolic and neuroscience therapy areas at AstraZeneca in Sweden and USA.

Vijay earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Cancer Research Institute at Bombay University, India. He completed his Pharmacology Fellowship from Johns Hopkins University and conducted independent research serving as Associate Professor at Uppsala University, Sweden. He is credited with more than 50 peer reviewed scientific publications and several patents, most notably for the discovery of Melanocortin 1 receptor gene.


John Mascola

Chief Scientific Officer, ModeX Therapeutics

Dr. Mascola joined ModeX therapeutics as Chief Scientific Officer on April 1st, 2022. Dr. Mascola is an accomplished physician scientist, virologist and immunologist. He was most recently the Director of the Vaccine Research Center, NIAID, NIH where he oversaw research programs on vaccines and antibody therapeutics and the development of investigational products for major diseases such as HIV, Ebola, Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Chikungunya, and Malaria. Under his leadership, the VRC established collaborative partnerships leading to the licensure of therapeutic antibodies and vaccines for Ebola and COVID-19.

Dr. Mascola earned a Medical Degree from the Georgetown University and completed a residency in internal medicine and fellowship in infectious diseases. From 1993 to 2000, Dr. Mascola was a research physician at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research where he began his studies on HIV immunology and vaccine development. He joined the Vaccine Research Center at NIAID, NIH as a founding investigator in 2000 and served as its director from 2013-2022. Dr. Mascola has received numerous awards and recognitions, including the outstanding service medal form the U.S. Department of Health and Human services. He has been elected to the American Society of Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians and the National Academy of Medicine.


Elizabeth Nabel

Executive Vice President for Strategy, ModeX Therapeutics

Dr. Elizabeth (Betsy) Nabel is Executive Vice President for Strategy at ModeX Therapeutics, and Professor of Medicine Emerita at Harvard Medical School. From 2010 to 2021, she served as the President of Brigham Health and its Brigham and Women’s Hospital, an academic medical center consisting of hospitals and physician organizations operating inpatient and outpatient facilities, clinics, primary care health centers, diagnostic and treatment facilities, research laboratories, and postgraduate medical and scientific education and training programs, and was Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Prior to that, Dr. Nabel held a variety of leadership roles, including Director of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health; and Chief of Cardiology and Director of the Cardiovascular Research Institute at the University of Michigan. At the NHLBI, one of her signature advocacy efforts was the Red Dress Heart Truth campaign, which raises heart awareness in women through unprecedented industry partnerships. Building on her lifelong commitment to improving health through science, from 2015-18, Nabel was the first chief health and medical advisor to the National Football League, where she provided strategic input to the NFL’s medical, health and scientific efforts. An accomplished physician-scientist, Dr. Nabel’s work on the molecular genetics of cardiovascular diseases produced 17 patents, >250 scientific publications, and two start-up companies.

She is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. Her honors include the Distinguished Bostonian Award, the Kober Medal from the Association of American Physicians, two Distinguished Achievement Awards from the American Heart Association, and eleven honorary doctorates, among others. She serves on the boards of Medtronic, Moderna, Lyell Immunopharma, Accolade and the Lasker Foundation.


Chih-Jen Wei

Head of Virology and Infectious Diseases, ModeX Therapeutics

Dr. Wei earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Biophysics from the University of Houston and has diverse scientific and leadership experience conducting research in the areas of molecular biology, biochemistry, virology and vaccine development. After his post-doctoral training at NHLBI, NIH, he joined the Vaccine Research Center at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease and focused on the development of vaccines for viral pathogens such as pandemic influenza, HIV, and Ebola. Several vaccine candidates including gene-based and novel recombinant vaccines for influenza viruses he developed had entered clinical trials. In his last position at Sanofi, Dr. Wei was Head of Vaccines, Adjuvants and Antibody Drug Conjugates and led the efforts of next-generation vaccine discovery for infectious disease and co-managed the Sanofi North America Breakthrough Lab. He oversaw various multidisciplinary vaccine and immunotherapy R&D projects and collaborations including development of universal influenza vaccine, RSV vaccine, and Lyme Disease vaccine with Sanofi Pasteur and research collaborative agreements with NIH on universal influenza, RSV, and EBV vaccines. He made critical contributions to the design and execution of preclinical studies and early clinical development of RSV, EBV, and Lyme Disease vaccines. He was also responsible for a comprehensive survey of novel vaccine adjuvants and the development of chemical conjugation strategies to generate self-adjuvanting vaccines.

As Head of Synthetic Biology at ModeX Therapeutic, he is responsible for the development of novel gene- and recombinant protein-based biologics and vaccines for immunotherapy and infectious disease.


Ronnie Wei

Head of Biologics Discovery, ModeX Therapeutics

Dr Ronnie Wei, Ph.D., M.B.A., is responsible for developing novel multispecific therapeutics for immune-oncology and infectious disease indications. Prior to joining ModeX, she was Director for Scientific Innovation at Sanofi from 2018 to 2020. Ronnie managed the operations of the Chief Scientific Office and facilitated the Chief Scientific Officer to implement scientific strategies for R&D by driving innovation through the Scientific Intelligence Network at Sanofi. Ronnie also served as a scientific advisor for the Sanofi Breakthrough Laboratory. Ronnie was Director of Protein Engineering at Dragonfly Therapeutics where she designed and established the multi-specific NK cell engaging platform which has seen its first molecule in patients.

Ronnie has an accomplished biopharmaceutical industry career and a track record of delivering high quality and innovative biologics designs that have reached clinical development. In her work Ronnie regularly surveys the competitive intelligence landscape and patent space on cutting edge therapeutic concepts and fosters deep ties with partners in the biopharma- academia-investment ecosystem. Her research has led to twenty-two publications including manuscripts in Science, Cell, Nature Journals, PNAS, and over twenty patents (filed and granted).  

Ronnie received her B.Sc. from Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, a Ph.D. at Indiana University, and an M.B.A from Boston College. She was a postdoctoral research fellow with Dr. Stephen Harrison at the Harvard Medical School and Howard Hughes Medical Institute.


Zhi-yong Yang

Head of Immuno-oncology, ModeX Therapeutics

Zhi-yong Yang, an author of more than 105 scientific publications, served as the Director of the Vector Core laboratory, Vaccine Research Centre (VRC)/ NIH from 2005 to 2013, during which time, he provided scientific leadership guiding the development of novel vaccine candidates and vaccination strategies against HIV-1, Ebola, WNV, SARS-CoV and emerging infectious disease viruses.

Zhi-yong joined Sanofi Global R&D as the director of the Breakthrough Laboratory in 2013, leading the effort in developing novel technology platform, and novel biotherapeutics against infectious diseases and cancers using multi-specific antibody technologies. In 2020, he joined ModeX Therapeutics as the head of research, continuing his pursue in developing multi-specific Ab technology and nucleic acid delivery technology, and immunotherapeutics to treat cancers and infectious diseases.


Ji Zhang

Chief Operating Officer, ModeX Therapeutics

 Dr. Zhang joined ModeX Therapeutics as Chief Operating Officer. He was most recently senior partner, senior vice president, Flagship Pioneering Enterprise R&D Operations, and previously senior vice president, global head of Sanofi Research and Development Operations. An experienced and senior biotech, biopharmaceutical R&D executive with strategic vision and operations leadership in multiple scientific areas, he has a successful track record in building up new capabilities, in transforming organizations, and delivering multiple innovative medicines with accelerated speed, high quality, strong financial management and flexible business models. Dr. Zhang has demonstrated leadership and strategic foresight in establishing a global operations team in strategic countries, developing a strong team with particular attention to multi-culture development and diverse executive leaders.

Dr. Zhang, trained in mathematics (Peking University) and in statistics (North Carolina State University), is an elected Fellow of the American Statistical Association; he has published more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers and technical reports in clinical development and research methodology areas. He has a passion for public good and social responsibilities, volunteering for and supporting educational and medical research activities, and has served and continues to serve on the boards of several not-for-profit organizations.