IUP Distinguished Alumni Presenting Program OCT. 23 On Ebola Outbreak and Vaccine Development

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Dr. John Gilly

INDIANA, Pa. -- Dr. John Gilly, director of Vaccine Clinical Materials program at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Frederick, MD., will present a program titled “Responding to the Ebola Outbreak - Development of a New Ebolavirus Vaccine” at Indiana University of Pennsylvania at 2 p.m. Oct. 23 in 247 Johnson Hall on the Indiana University of Pennsylvania campus.

This program is free and open to the community.

Gilly, a 1979 graduate of IUP and a 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient, has spent his career working to improve the health of children and adults. He is a native of Stroudsburg and currently lives in Littlestown.

In his current position as a director with Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc., a contractor supporting the National Institutes of Health, Gilly is leading a program generating novel candidates for approaches to treat diseases and conditions with very limited options.

“We currently are working on a potential breakthrough therapeutic that would prevent HIV infection,” he said. “The agent has been shown to broadly neutralize most HIV strains. A possible clinical use would be to treat children born of HIV-infected mothers during the period of breastfeeding to prevent mother-to-child transmission of the disease.”

In addition, Gilly’s program is producing candidate vaccines for emerging diseases such as equine encephalitis and Ebola to support mission critical clinical research for the NIH.

During the past 27 years, Gilly has worked his way up to management positions for biopharmaceutical and biological research companies before accepting his current position supporting the National Cancer Institute/National Institutes of Health in 2007.

In 2011, he became the director of the Vaccine Clinical Materials Program, overseeing the development of vaccines and biotherapeutic agents for protection against and treatment of HIV, influenza, and other emerging diseases and threats.

While at this NIH-funded program, he was presented with the NCI Center for Cancer Research Technology Transfer Award three times: in 2011, 2012 and 2014.

Gilly currently serves as an adjunct associate professor of Pharmaceutical Business at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. He also serves on the Mount St. Mary’s University Board of Visitors for the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

At IUP, Gilly established the Young Life Scientist Opportunity Fund, designed to expand students’ educational experience at professional meetings in which they present papers or participate in poster sessions derived from their research. He is also a member of the Advisory Board in the IUP College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

In addition to his 1979 biology degree from IUP, Gilley received a Master of Science degree in Biochemistry from the University of Scranton in 1983 and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology in 1990 from Lehigh University in Bethlehem.

IUP is a member of Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education.

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