Collaborative Research Board

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. 

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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

  •  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 and his colleagues at the Tulane National Primate Research Center remain enthusiastic about the prospects of the research but are in need of support.

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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. 

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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. 

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Thomas J. Hope, Ph.D., Northwestern University, Molecular Biology



Thomas Hope, PhD

Dr. Hope holds a dual appointment as a Professor in the Feinberg School of Medicine in the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, and Obstetrics and Gynecology at Northwestern University in Chicago. He also holds an appointment as a Professor in Biomedical Engineering in the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.  He is internationally known for his work to define the mechanisms of HIV transmission. In fact, he recently collaborated with Preston Marx on research pertaining to SIV transmission. In 2004, Dr. Hope was selected as an Elizabeth Glaser Scientist.   Dr. Hope is the Editor-in-Chief of AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses and Section Editor of PLoS Pathogens.  He was a co-organizer of several large international HIV conferences including Cold Spring Harbor “Retroviruses” (2007) and Keystone “HIV Pathogenesis” (2010, Sante Fe, NM). Immugen is very fortunate to have his expertise and guidance in moving forward with the research program. 

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Patricia Hoyer, Ph.D.



Patricia B. Hoyer, PhD, is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Physiology at The University of Arizona. Her research has specialized in the effects of environmental chemicals on ovarian function. Her professional activities have included membership in a number of scientific societies. She has also served as a panel member as well as chair for NIH and American Cancer Study Sections. She has served on the editorial boards of Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, Biology of Reproduction, and Experimental Biology and Medicine.  In 2010 she organized the XVII International Ovarian Workshop. Dr. Hoyer has trained numerous students and postdoctoral fellows. These efforts have earned her the Trainee Mentoring Award for the Society for Study of Reproduction, and the Mentoring Award for Women in Toxicology. In 2013 she was given the Lifetime Scientific Achievement Award at the Annual Society of Toxicology meeting.