A team of innovative scientists with decades of practical experience in vaccines.

Moon H. Nahm

Dr. Nahm, a professor emeritus at UAB, obtained both an AB degree in physics and MD degree from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. He has studied pneumococcal infections and vaccines for over 40 years. He has discovered many new pneumococcal serotypes, including serotype 6C. He developed the WHO ELISA for pneumococcal vaccines, invented the MOPA, and has made antibody function assays practical, revolutionizing immunogenicity studies of vaccines. Previously, he headed the NIH RPRC reference laboratory and is currently the director of a WHO reference laboratory.

Robert L. Burton

Mr. Burton received a BS degree in cell and developmental biology and an MS degree in cell biology from Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana. Mr. Burton worked in the Nahm laboratory at UAB for almost 20 years, developing and managing the MOPA before retiring to start SunFire. He is well known for his expertise in MOPA and other pneumococcal antibody assays. He provides operational knowledge on assays as well as regulatory issues (e.g., GCLP).

Deborah J. Bidanset

Dr. Bidanset received a BS degree in general biology from the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia; an MS degree in cell and molecular biology from Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama; and a PhD in cell biology and an MBA from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Bidanset joined the UAB Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship as Program Director II/Licensing Associate in 2004 and has managed Dr. Nahm’s IP portfolio for more than 10 years. She is experienced in contract negotiation, startups, business development, and program management.

Taehea Nahm

Taehea obtained his AB from Harvard University and JD from the University of Chicago. He has been a founding partner of Venture Law Group and a partner at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, focusing on corporate law. He has more than 15 years of experience as a venture capitalist and is currently the managing director/cofounder of Storm Ventures. He is a board member at multiple, large companies and was the founding CEO of AireSpace in the past.

Phil Fernsten

Dr. Fernsten obtained a PhD in immunology from Duke University. Dr. Fernsten has over 17 years of experience evaluating immunological responses to vaccines and biologics and served as Senior Director at Wyeth-Lederle Vaccines, Wyeth Vaccines Research, and Pfizer Vaccine Research. He has a broad background in vaccine research and development and contributed to numerous bacterial and viral vaccine programs, five of which (Prevnar®, Meningitec®, FluMist®, Prevnar 13®, Trumenba®) resulted in successful product launches. He has spearheaded the development of leading-edge assay technologies that were accepted by world health leaders in vaccines and biologics and recently established the successful serological evaluation of Prevnar 13® immunogenicity. Prior to joining Wyeth-Lederle Vaccines, Dr. Fernsten carried out basic research in cancer and autoimmunity at the Scripps Research Institute, The National Cancer Institute, and the University of North Carolina.