Management Team

World leaders in oncolytic viral-based therapies

Photo of Stephen J. Russell, MD, PhD

Stephen J. Russell, MD, PhD

Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Russell is a world-renowned researcher in the field of gene and virus therapy.  He combines more than three decades of leadership as a clinician and researcher with extensive experience in all aspects of drug discovery and development.  A board-certified hematologist, Dr. Russell is a co-founder of Vyriad, the Richard O. Jacobson Professor of Molecular Medicine at Mayo Clinic and immediate past President of the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy.  Early in his career, Dr. Russell pioneered novel methods for engineering viral cancer immunotherapies.  He was a founder of Cambridge Genetics, a biotechnology company, and the European Society of Gene Therapy.  At the Mayo Clinic, Dr. Russell founded the Department of Molecular Medicine and built a comprehensive oncolytic virotherapy program.  He has authored more than 400 peer-reviewed research papers and is a frequent speaker at scientific and medical conferences.  Dr. Russell received his MD from the University of Edinburgh and a PhD from the University of London.

Photo of Kah-Whye Peng, PhD

Kah-Whye Peng, PhD

Co-Founder and Chief Technical Officer

Dr. Peng is responsible for preclinical discovery, clinical correlatives and analytical methods in GMP virus manufacturing at Vyriad.  Internationally known for her pioneering work in virus engineering and translational sciences, she also leads a research team at Mayo Clinic as Professor of Oncology and directs the Virus and Gene Therapy Toxicology and Pharmacology Core.  Dr. Peng received her PhD in Gene Therapy at Cambridge University, UK, has published more than 100 scientific papers, holds numerous honors and awards, including the Young Investigator award from the Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy.  She is a strong advocate for the field of oncolytic virotherapy in her various roles in professional organizations.

Photo of Scott Beck, MBA

Scott Beck, MBA

Chief Operating Officer

Mr. Beck is a seasoned executive with deep knowledge and experience of biotechnology and healthcare operations. During the past three decades Mr. Beck held many leadership roles at Mayo Clinic, covering multiple aspects of the discovery, translation and application of novel biotechnologies, and their commercial development. He played a major role in the early development of the oncolytic virotherapy platforms licensed to Vyriad.  He was recently the COO for Laboratory Services at Mayo Clinic and Senior Vice President of Mayo Clinic Laboratories, where he oversaw an extensive worldwide reference laboratory business. Mr. Beck received a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Computer Systems from Tiffin University and a master’s in business administration from the University of Cincinnati.

Photo of Alice S. Bexon, MD

Alice S. Bexon, MD

Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Bexon brings to Vyriad more than 20 years of management experience in clinical development of biopharmaceuticals, including management of multi-site clinical trials and FDA approval of lead assets.  Prior to joining Vyriad, Dr. Bexon founded Bexon Clinical Consulting, which provides clinical development support to the pharma and biotech industries.  Previously, Dr. Bexon was Vice President of Clinical Development of Idera Pharmaceuticals, from 2007-2009.  From 2001-2006, she held a number of positions of increasing responsibility at Roche Oncology, including serving as a key member of the clinical development and life cycle team responsible for Xeloda®.  Dr. Bexon earned her medical degree from Bristol University Medical School in the United Kingdom and her oncology diploma at the Institut Gustave Roussy in France.

Photo of Jim Hannon

Jim Hannon

Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Hannon is an experienced senior executive with extensive general and financial management experience in business operations, acquisition, divestiture and capital structuring. His industry experience includes biotechnology, biomedical, printing, manufacturing, distribution and alternative energies. Mr. Hannon received a bachelor’s degree in Management and Accounting from the University of St. Thomas and master’s degree in Management from the Stanford Sloan Graduate School of Business.  Mr. Hannon is also the Private Equity Manager for Quinstar Investment Partners.