Unlike a traditional scientific advisory board, Immugen's advisers have taken an active role in the promotion of the research agenda.
Sten Vermund, M.D., Ph.D. Yale University, Dean of Public Health
Sten has been a steadfast member of the SAB since the year 2000 and had written a letter of support for the R21 grant. As an epidemiologist he has always been intrigued by the observation of the relatively low prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Jamaica and the widespread use of cannabis in the at risk population despite the increase in other sexually transmitted diseases.
Preston Marx, Ph.D. , Tulane University, Chairman Public Health and Tropical Medicine
Preston has been a pioneering virologist who has a keen interest in the factors which influence the sexual transmission of SIV/HIV, namely the female reproductive hormones. After reviewing the available scientific literature and the results of the R21 grant, he recognized the potential role that activation of the endocannabinoid system could have on the prevention of HIV transmission. He participated in the submission of an Avant-Garde research grant application in 2016 which unfortunately was rejected by NIDA on a technicality. Nonetheless, he and his colleagues at the Tulane National Primate Research Center remain enthusiastic about the prospects of the research but are in need of support.
Mario Stevenson, Ph.D. , University of Miami, Chief of Infectious Disease
Mario has been one of the sentinel voices in HIV research. With his own current interest in the prevention of HIV transmission, he has been supportive of Immugen's research agenda and is a strong advocate for collaboration in this global struggle against the disease.
John W. Huffman, Ph.D., Clemson University, Professor Emeritus, Organic Chemistry
John has been one of the leading pioneers in cannabinoid chemistry whose efforts lead to the discovery of several of the most highly selective ligands for the CB2 receptors which are widely used by the world wide research community. Without these compounds which are non-psychoactive derivatives of THC we would not have been able to advance the research to support the hypothesis that changing the mucosal environment rather than targeting the virus would have a protective effect and reduce the likelihood of mutation and resistance which is typical of anti-retroviral drugs.