Team Members

Ben Zeskind, PhD, MBA

Co-Founder and CEO

Ben Zeskind, PhD, MBA

Co-Founder and CEO

Dr. Zeskind co-founded Immuneering in 2008 with the goal of leveraging high-throughput data to improve pharma R&D. He is an inventor on numerous patents assigned to both Immuneering's partners and the company itself, and has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals. He trained at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, earning a Ph.D. in Bioengineering in 2006 and an S.B. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in 2003. He also earned an MBA at Harvard Business School in 2008, where he was recognized as a Baker Scholar, the highest award for distinction.

Brett Hall, PhD

Chief Scientific Officer

Brett Hall, PhD

Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Hall is a pharmaceutical (Janssen/J&J; Medimmune/AZ) and biotechnology veteran (Molecular Response; Asellus Therapeutics) with drug development and leadership experience ranging from early drug discovery through translational clinical sciences, including multiple drug registrations. He was the translational lead for Sylvant® (siltuximab) and Imbruvica® (ibrutinib) throughout clinical development, and his translational medicine teams developed and executed translational strategies for both Darzalex® (daratumumab) and Imfinzi® (durvalumab). Dr. Hall has extensively published in the areas of tumor microenvironment (TME) and translational sciences and holds multiple patents for drug pharmacology and discovery. Prior to joining pharma in 2008, he served in the United States Air Force; then worked as a Series 6 and 63 licensed investment banker. After completing his graduate and postdoctoral studies, Dr. Hall was a tenure-track assistant professor at Ohio State University. His laboratory focused on development of human TME-aligned models to better translate preclinical data into the clinic and discover novel biomarkers.

Scott Barrett, MD

Chief Medical Officer

Scott Barrett, MD

Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Barrett is an accomplished medical oncologist and R&D expert with 30 years of clinical experience in leadership positions at major institutions in industry and academia.  He has spent the last decade gaining broad expertise in the fields of target and drug discovery (most recently, as Executive Director/ Lead of Global Medical Affairs for targeted Oncolytic therapies at Incyte Pharmaceuticals), immuno-oncology and epigenetics (having lead the Phase 1/ first-in-Human early Development Program for tazemetostat at Eisai Pharmaceuticals), in advanced solid tumors (as U.S. Medical Affairs Lead for the launch of abiraterone/ zytiga) in metastatic, castrate-resistant prostate cancer at Johnson & Johnson), and in malignant hematology (as Clinical Lead for the duvelisib program in Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma at Infinity Pharmaceuticals). Dr. Barrett trained as a physician-scientist at the Johns Hopkins University (as a Beneficial-Hodson Scholarship recipient), at the Mayo Clinic (for his Internal Medicine Residency), and at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (as a medical oncology fellow), where he co-authored a Phase 2, proof-of-concept study which pioneered the use of paclitaxel for advanced breast cancer treatment in the ambulatory setting. He practiced academic and community-based hematology/oncology for 15 years prior to entering the biopharmaceutical industry as a staff attending at Beth Israel and Lenox Hill Hospitals in New York City, and at the Wilmot Cancer Center of Strong Memorial Hospital/ U. of Rochester). He is board-certified (and re-certified) in both Internal Medicine and in Medical Oncology.

Rebecca Kusko, PhD

Chief Strategy Officer

Rebecca Kusko, PhD

Chief Strategy Officer

Dr. Kusko is a computational biologist with expertise in translating NGS and other genomic data to clinical discoveries. She has integrated directly with clinicians on study design, as well as with lab scientists in functional genomics, to plan molecular biology and validation experiments. After completing her undergraduate degree in Biological Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, she went on to complete her Ph.D. in Computational Biomedicine at the Boston University School of Medicine. Her doctoral thesis focused on the transcriptome in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or COPD, and lung cancer in non-smokers.

Howard Kaufman, MD, FACS

Head of R&D

Howard Kaufman, MD, FACS

Head of R&D

Dr. Kaufman is a leading authority on tumor immunotherapy with a distinguished career in academia and industry. His major accomplishments include pioneering work to develop the first oncolytic virus approved for the treatment of advanced melanoma, and a novel programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) inhibitor as the first drug ever approved for the treatment of patients with Merkel cell carcinoma. Dr. Kaufman has published over 500 peer-reviewed abstracts, scientific and clinical manuscripts, and book chapters. He is an editor of the leading textbook in the field, Cancer Immunotherapy: Principles and Practice, and he is on the editorial board of the Journal for Immunotherapy of Cancer.   His industry leadership roles have included scientific and advisory boards at Amgen, Bristol-Myers Squibb, EMD Serono/Merck KGaA, Merck, Sanofi and Turnstone Biologics, and he was chief medical officer at Compass Therapeutics and Replimune, Inc. His academic leadership includes service as Director of the Rush University Cancer Center, and he was Chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology and Associate Cancer Center Director at Columbia University, as well as the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. He held the Weiskopf endowed associate professorship at Columbia University and was tenured full professor at Rush Medical School and Rutgers University. His professional contributions include major leadership roles at the American Cancer Society, American Association of Cancer Research, American Society of Clinical Oncology. Commission on Cancer, Society of Surgical Oncology and the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer, where he served as President and is now a member of the executive council.   Dr. Kaufman has been the recipient of several awards including the Daland Prize, the Humanitarian Award of the Melanoma Research Foundation, and the UIC Distinguished Alumnus Award. Dr. Kaufman is board certified and maintains a small clinical practice at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He also has a faculty appointment at the Harvard Medical School.

Kevin D. Fowler, PhD

Vice President, Translational Research

Kevin D. Fowler, PhD

Vice President, Translational Research

Dr. Fowler brings deep expertise in biology and computational biology to our team. He joined Immuneering after completing his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His doctoral research was focused on computational immunology and signal integration in immune cell biology, and he conducted research at Harvard Medical School.

Sarah Kolitz, PhD

Vice President, Translational Medicine

Sarah Kolitz, PhD

Vice President, Translational Medicine

Dr. Kolitz brings expertise in teasing apart biological mechanisms to our team. She conducted her postdoctoral research in Biological Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, after earning a Ph.D. in Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Andrew Lysaght, PhD

SVP, Head of Bioinformatics Services

Andrew Lysaght, PhD

SVP, Head of Bioinformatics Services

Dr. Lysaght integrates years of experience with biological expression data together with a rigorous background in engineering fundamentals to provide expertise in customized data analysis with an eye for practical and actionable results. He earned a Ph.D. from the joint Harvard-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology, where he worked alongside leading clinicians of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary to identify changes in inner ear transcription and translation during delayed onset hearing loss.

Jason Funt, PhD

SVP, Head of Computational Biology

Jason Funt, PhD

SVP, Head of Computational Biology

Dr. Funt’s focus is in synthesizing actionable insight from complex, heterogeneous high-dimensional data. He earned his Ph.D. in Computational and Systems Biology from MIT’s Biology Department. His thesis research, at both the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Broad Institute, focused on mapping evolutionary pathways of drug resistance from genomic and transcriptomic profiling of the pathogen Candida albicans.

Peter King, PhD

Vice President, Head of Discovery

Peter King, PhD

Vice President, Head of Discovery

Dr. King is a pharmaceutical professional with over 16 years of drug discovery and development experience (Janssen R&D/Johnson & Johnson; SmithKLine Beecham). With experience ranging from early drug discovery and preclinical/translational sciences. Dr King gained his B.Sc. from the University of Leicester, UK, in Biological Sciences in 1996, and his Ph.D. in Diabetes and Endocrinology in 2000, from the University of Liverpool, UK.  After 2 years of postdoctoral training, Dr King joined Janssen Pharmaceuticals in 2002 at the Beerse site in Belgium, as a Scientist and Senior Scientist, in the Metabolic Disorders and Oncology Teams.  He led the preclinical oncology in vivo team, where he contributed to numerous NME declarations and IND filings.  As part of the Oncology Biomarkers Team, he was responsible for the Ex Vivo Center of Excellence for humanized model development. In 2012, Dr King joined the Molecular Imaging Team at the Janssen Spring House site in USA, and lead the imaging program to support the Oncology Therapeutic Area.

Yoonjeong Cha

Director, Genomics

Yoonjeong Cha

Director, Genomics

Since joining Immuneering, Ms. Cha has developed an expertise in multi-omic integration and mutation prioritization in cancer data. She holds a B.S. in Computer Science and Molecular Biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Before graduating, she spent a year at the Bioinformatics Institute at Seoul National University working on a method to identify differentially expressed signaling pathways. She also spent a summer at the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin, Germany, analyzing genomic and proteomic data from viruses. She won first place in the 10th Annual Merck/BE-BMES Undergraduate Research Poster Session.

Jenny Zhang, PhD

Director, Genomic Data Science

Jenny Zhang, PhD

Director, Genomic Data Science

Dr. Zhang extracts actionable insights from genomic data by combining cutting-edge data science techniques with expertise in experiment design and cancer biology. During her data science fellowship at The Data Incubator, she utilized distributed computing, network analysis, and machine learning to reveal patterns within large textual and numerical datasets. She graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a B.S. in Physics, and Duke University with a Ph.D. in Genetics and Genomics. In her doctoral work, she developed novel experimental and bioinformatic methods to generate and analyze terabytes of next-generation sequencing data towards understanding the mutational underpinnings of lymphoma.

Jermaine Ross, PhD

Head of Neuroscience Research

Jermaine Ross, PhD

Head of Neuroscience Research

For over a decade, Dr. Ross studied at the National Institutes of Health, where he designed and conducted original research in the field of bioinformatics and comparative genomics. His work has been recognized for enhancing computational methods to identify and analyze molecular mechanisms that regulate neurogenesis. Dr. Ross has developed and employed machine learning and bioinformatic algorithms to decode the combinatorial logic of noncoding DNA that control gene expression programs. He earned his PhD degree in Neuroscience from Brown University.

Renan Escalante-Chong, PhD

Director, Disease Cancelling Technology

Renan Escalante-Chong, PhD

Director, Disease Cancelling Technology

Dr. Escalante-Chong is passionate about integrating the massive amounts of data generated in modern biology to transform disease management and treatment. He did his Ph.D. at the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School where he used quantitative molecular genetics to dissect signaling pathways. He completed his postdoctoral training at the Department of Biological Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he worked with the interdisciplinary teams of neuroLINCS and answerALS to generate molecular signatures of the neurodegenerative diseases ALS and SMA.

Matthew Ung, PhD

Senior Director, Single Cell Technologies

Matthew Ung, PhD

Senior Director, Single Cell Technologies

Dr. Ung is a computational biologist with extensive experience in applying data science techniques to extract translational insight from biological and disease data. Dr. Ung received his Ph.D. from the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth in the Department of Molecular and Systems Biology. During this time, he primarily focused on developing computational approaches to integrate diverse genomic and clinical datasets to pinpoint the genetic aberrations underlying several cancer types and to identify potential therapeutic candidates. In addition, Dr. Ung’s interdisciplinary background has allowed him to author and co-author several studies across diverse topics including experimental pharmacology, epidemiology, epigenetics, and biological networks.

John Brothers II, PhD

Director, Bioinformatics

John Brothers II, PhD

Director, Bioinformatics

Dr. Brothers is a Bioinformatician with expertise in NGS data analysis and specializes in transcriptomics. He brings industry experience with working in team-based collaborative environments with clinicians, experimentalists, and bioinformaticists. He graduated with a B.S. in Bioinformatics from the Rochester Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in Bioinformatics from Boston University. His doctoral thesis focused on identifying splice variants and novel genes associated with chronic lung disease in order to better characterize the lung transcriptome from patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis.

Jason Kim

Associate Director, Biomedical Informatics

Jason Kim

Associate Director, Biomedical Informatics

Mr. Kim is passionate about utilizing technology to accelerate research and development in the field of biomedicine. Prior to obtaining his M.S. in Biomedical Informatics from the Sackler Institute of Graduate Biomedical Sciences at NYU School of Medicine, he spent over five years working as a software implementation consultant specializing in the life sciences industry, where he led projects to configure, deploy, and manage the enterprise software development life cycle. He also graduated with a B.S./M.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Northwestern University.

Praveen Alamuri, PhD, MBA

Associate Director, Project Management

Praveen Alamuri, PhD, MBA

Associate Director, Project Management

Dr. Alamuri is a senior research and project management professional with over a decade of relevant experience. He received his PhD from the University of Georgia. After his post-doctoral fellowship work in microbiology and vaccines at University of Michigan, Dr. Alamuri joined Arizona State University's (ASU) Biodesign Institute in Tempe, AZ, where he was part of a leadership team that helped to expand the university's relationships with industry, secure grant funding, and expand intellectual property positions. Dr. Alamuri was directly involved in laboratory operation, and research design and development of engineered Salmonella vaccines for human and veterinary vaccines to protect against infectious diseases (TB, Plague, Influenza). Dr. Alamuri published 14 research articles, including 2 reviews. He also received MBA in Strategy and Product Development at the W. P. Carey School of Business at ASU.

Rajaraman Krishnan, PhD

Head of Neuroscience Discovery

Rajaraman Krishnan, PhD

Head of Neuroscience Discovery

Dr. Krishnan brings expertise in understanding cellular responses to protein misfolding events and developing therapies to mitigate toxicity associated with these conditions. Over the last decade he was involved in designing Ig-fusion-based therapeutics to treat Alzheimer’s disease and Systemic Amyloidosis. Prior to joining the biotech industry, he conducted his postdoctoral research at the Whitehead Institute of Biomedical Research (MIT) and earned a PhD in Biophysics and Molecular Biology from the Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, India.

Rajeev Shrimali, PhD

Director, Discovery Oncology Therapeutics

Rajeev Shrimali, PhD

Director, Discovery Oncology Therapeutics

Dr. Shrimali is an accomplished immunologist and immune therapist bringing over 15 years of expertise in the field of Immuno-Oncology (IO). His research interest and expertise include tumor microenvironment (TME) and immune regulation, immune check point inhibitors / co-stimulators, development of biologics and targeted cancer immune therapies and identification of clinical biomarkers. His major endeavor involves development of corrective combinational cancer therapies and delineating their cellular and molecular immune potentiating mechanism of action. His published research highlights the significance of timing and sequence of targeting various immune checkpoints and the immune contexture of the TME, that can determine the therapeutic outcome. He received his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Indian council of medical research, Mumbai university, India. During his postdoctoral training, he had a privilege to work with Dr. Steven A. Rosenberg at NCI / NIH, the pioneer in the field of cancer immunotherapy. Following that, he has held various scientific and leadership positions as senior scientist, group leader and Director IO at some of the most esteem organizations including Aurigene Discovery Technologies Ltd., Peloton Therapeutics and MD Anderson Cancer Center. In above positions, he has been the immunology lead of various oncology and inflammation programs right from early target discovery through IND filing and further out licensing or patient trials of clinical candidate. Outside work he enjoys spending time in traveling with his family, Indian cooking, stage / theater acting and hosting live radio shows.

Mo Kagalwala, PhD MBA

Head of Neuroscience Development

Mo Kagalwala, PhD MBA

Head of Neuroscience Development

Dr. Kagalwala straddles neuroscience R&D and business leadership experience to develop innovative therapeutics for aging neurodegenerative disorders. He has extensively published high impact research in peer-reviewed journals. Prior to joining Immuneering, he co-founded Siragen Pharmaceuticals, where he led the small molecule drug discovery program for Alzheimer’s disease, from target identification through proof of concept, and lead optimization. Dr. Kagalwala completed his PhD in Biochemistry at SIU School of Medicine (dissertation on chromatin remodeling), and then post-doctoral training at MD Anderson Cancer Center (Glioblastoma / Medulloblastoma), and the Salk Institute (adult neurogenesis and neurodegeneration). In 2015, he also earned an MBA at Rady School of Management, UC San Diego, where he was awarded the prestigious Foster fellowship, and recognized as a Rady Innovation Fellow for business assistance to technology acceleration and commercialization programs.

Sailaja Battula, PhD

Director, Immuno-Oncology

Sailaja Battula, PhD

Director, Immuno-Oncology

Dr. Battula brings demonstrated drug discovery and project leadership experience to Immuneering. She has led cross functional teams to advance programs through the development candidate stage and has contributed extensively in building an innovative pipeline for cancer immunotherapy. In addition, she served as an immunology, pharmacology and translational biology subject matter expert to relevant programs. Dr. Battula received her PhD in Pharmacology from New York Medical College and her postdoctoral training at UCSF focused on understanding the role of macrophages in mesothelioma chemoresistance.

Melissa Martin

Executive Administrative Assistant

Melissa Martin

Executive Administrative Assistant

Ms. Martin has several years of experience in office administration in various industries, as well as a broad background in customer relations, social media and marketing, human resources and recruiting, and finance. She holds a B.S. in Communications from Fitchburg State University.