James Merson, Ph.D.

Dr. James Merson is an R&D consultant in the areas of vaccines (prophylactic and therapeutic), infectious diseases (small and macromolecule) and immuno-oncology, advising venture-funded companies. He is also a member of several scientific advisory and company boards.

Dr. Merson has 29 years of broad and deep pharma R&D experience. Most recently, he was CSO of vaccine immunotherapeutics at Pfizer, with a significant focus in immuno-oncology combining cancer vaccines, oncolytic viruses and immunomodulators. Prior to that, as the therapeutic area head for antivirals he oversaw approval of six antiviral molecule INDs (including Lersivirine for HIV and Filibuvir for HCV), one NDA (Selzentry) and Pfizer’s first gene therapy program for HIV. He co-led the infectious disease TA (antivirals, antibacterials and antifungals) with clinical and commercial heads resulting in in-licensing antibacterial and antibacterial macromolecules and clinical evaluation of novel broad-spectrum antibiotics. Dr. Merson was also responsible for establishing the hit discovery group to increase the numbers and quality of high-throughput screening leads for enterprise-wide programs through the use of technologies in-licensed from Aurora and Evotec.

Dr. Merson received his B.A. in biology from Bellarmine College, Louisville, Kentucky and his Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from Baylor College of Medicine.