About Us

Company Management

Rahul R. Jasuja, PhD

CEO, Pelican Therapeutics

Rahul R. Jasuja is CEO of Pelican Therapeutics, a subsidiary of Heat Biologics. He previously served as Senior Biotechnology Analyst at FBR & Co., as well as Managing Director, Biotechnology Research, at Noble Life Science Partners (NLSP). Prior to NLSP, Dr. Jasuja was Vice President of Corporate Development at Idera Pharmaceuticals, focused on developing Toll-like receptor based immune-modulators. He has also held progressively senior positions within the biotechnology capital markets at Techvest LLC, Rodman & Renshaw and MDB Capital Group.

Dr. Jasuja brings more than 20 years of experience in the biotechnology field, including corporate/business development, technology due-diligence, equity research and academic research. Rahul received his Ph.D. in Immunology from Tufts University School of Medicine in which he explored aspects T-cell activation and the subsequent regulation of adhesion receptors in the immune response. He conducted doctoral and post-doctoral research at Harvard Medical School, in the Department of Hematology & Oncology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Dr. Jasuja obtained his B.Sc. in Microbiology & Biochemistry from the University of Bombay and an M.S. in Microbiology from the University of Montana, Missoula, where he studied the role of bacterial cell wall immune modulators on arachidonic acid metabolism and inflammatory pathways in macrophages.

George Peoples, MD, FACS

Chief Medical Officer

U.S. Army, COL (ret) George E. Peoples, MD, FACS, serves as Chief Medical Officer for both Heat Biologics and its subsidiary, Pelican Therapeutics. Dr. Peoples is currently Professor of Surgery at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, as well as Professor (adjunct) of Surgical Oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC). He is also the Founder and Director of Cancer Insight, LLC, a clinical research and development organization dedicated to the discovering, development and testing for emerging biotechnologies specializing in cancer immunotherapy.

Dr. Peoples recently retired from 30 years of active duty as a surgeon and as a research scientist in the military. He is the past Chair of the Cancer Program, San Antonio Military Medical Center, and the past Deputy Director of the United States Military Cancer Institute. Prior to that, he served as Chief of Surgical Oncology at Walter Reed Amy Medical Center (WRAMC), as well as SAMMC. He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy, West Point and the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Dr. Peoples completed his surgical training at Harvard's Brigham and Women's Hospital, and during that time, also completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Laboratory of Biologic Cancer Therapy at Harvard Medical School. He then completed a surgical oncology fellowship at MDACC. Dr. Peoples has written extensively on the immune response to cancer, with over 300 peer-reviewed manuscripts, abstracts and book chapters.

Jeff Hutchins, PhD

Chief Scientific Officer and Senior Vice President, Pre-clinical Research, Heat Biologics and Pelican Therapeutics

As Chief Scientific Officer and Senior Vice President, Pre-clinical Development, Jeff Hutchins oversees the research and development efforts for Heat Biologics, as well as for the company’s subsidiary, Pelican Therapeutics. He brings more than 24 years of research and clinical development experience from both pharmaceutical- and biotechnology-focused companies. Most recently, Dr. Hutchins served as Vice President of Pre-clinical Research for Peregrine Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company developing therapeutics to fight cancer and infectious diseases. Dr. Hutchins was responsible for building out the research program for Peregrine's lead product candidate, bavituximab, a chimeric monoclonal antibody designed to target phosphatidylserine. 

Prior to joining Peregrine in 2012, Dr. Hutchins served as Vice President, Preclinical Development at Inhibitex Inc, which was acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb. From 1991 to 2000, Dr. Hutchins held several senior scientist positions in Discovery Research at Burroughs Wellcome and Glaxo Wellcome, with a visiting professor appointment at Rush Medical College.

Dr. Hutchins earned his Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Texas, Health Science Center at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, followed by postdoctoral training in the University of Southern California's Department of Microbiology at the Norris Cancer Center. Dr. Hutchins' publications and patents span the fields of oncology, infectious disease, osteoarthritis and immunology. He received his B.S. in Biology from Oral Roberts University.

Board of Directors

Edward Smith

Ed Smith is the Managing Partner of Aristar Capital Management, LLC, a New York-based investment firm. On January 8, 2015, Mr. Smith was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Z Trim Holdings Inc. (OTC:ZTHO), an AgriTech company that has developed new, products and processes to transform biomass for uses in the food and industrial markets. From April 2005 through December 2014, Mr. Smith was the Managing Partner of Brightline Capital Management, LLC ("BCM"), a New York-based investment firm founded in 2005. Prior to founding BCM, Mr. Smith worked at Gracie Capital from 2004-2005, GTCR Golder Rauner from 1999-2001 and Credit Suisse First Boston from 1997-1999. Mr. Smith holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Studies from Harvard College and a Masters in Business Administration from Harvard Business School. Mr. Smith is also a director of Z Trim Holdings Inc. and Heat Biologics, Inc. (NASDAQ: HTBX), a development stage biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the development and commercialization of novel allogeneic off-the-shelf cellular therapeutic vaccines for a range of cancers and infectious diseases.

Jeffrey Wolf

Founder and CEO

Jeffrey Wolf is founder and CEO of Heat Biologics, and co-founder of Pelican Therapeutics. He also founded Seed-One Ventures and served as managing director for the company, which was focused on the systematic formation and management of new biomedical companies based upon novel research breakthroughs.

Throughout his career, Mr. Wolf has specialized in building life-science startup organizations, and has played an active role in supporting the growth of his companies. Mr. Wolf’s start-ups include Avigen (co-founder and director), a NASDAQ-listed gene therapy company; TyRx Pharma (co-founder and Chairman), which was focused on the development of novel bio-compatible polymers and recently sold to Medtronic; EluSys Therapeutics (founder and CEO), focused on the development of novel antibodies against infectious diseases; and GenerationOne (founder and CEO), a mobile-based healthcare solutions company.

Mr. Wolf received his MBA from Stanford Business School, his JD from New York University School of Law and his BA from the University of Chicago, where he graduated with honors in Economics.

Rahul R. Jasuja, PhD

CEO, Pelican Therapeutics

Rahul R. Jasuja is CEO of Pelican Therapeutics, a subsidiary of Heat Biologics. He previously served as Senior Biotechnology Analyst at FBR & Co., as well as Managing Director, Biotechnology Research, at Noble Life Science Partners (NLSP). Prior to NLSP, Dr. Jasuja was Vice President of Corporate Development at Idera Pharmaceuticals, focused on developing Toll-like receptor based immune-modulators. He has also held progressively senior positions within the biotechnology capital markets at Techvest LLC, Rodman & Renshaw and MDB Capital Group.

Dr. Jasuja brings more than 20 years of experience in the biotechnology field, including corporate/business development, technology due-diligence, equity research and academic research. Rahul received his Ph.D. in Immunology from Tufts University School of Medicine in which he explored aspects T-cell activation and the subsequent regulation of adhesion receptors in the immune response. He conducted doctoral and post-doctoral research at Harvard Medical School, in the Department of Hematology & Oncology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Dr. Jasuja obtained his B.Sc. in Microbiology & Biochemistry from the University of Bombay and an M.S. in Microbiology from the University of Montana, Missoula, where he studied the role of bacterial cell wall immune modulators on arachidonic acid metabolism and inflammatory pathways in macrophages.

Scientific Advisory Board

Robert B. Levy, Ph.D.

Robert B. Levy, Ph.D., is a member of the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine. He is a professor of Microbiology and Immunology, and Ophthalmology and Medicine, and previously served as graduate program chair for 19 years within the Microbiology and Immunology department.

Dr. Levy’s research has been focused on developing approaches to facilitate the success of hematopoietic stem (“bone marrow”) cell transplants (HSCT) by inhibiting graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), while promoting graft-versus-leukemia (GVL). His laboratory has generated a novel Treg expansion strategy via concomitant stimulation of both the TNFRFS25 and IL-2 receptors. Current studies involve the development of combinatorial protocols to inhibit activation of antigen-reactive T-cells; employing Treg cells, MEK pathway inhibitors and epigenetic transcriptional regulators; the regulation of innate immune sensors; and generating localized therapeutic modalities to treat ocular GVHD.

Dr. Levy has authored more than 130 original papers, contributed to book chapters, served on study review panels, and is currently associate editor for the journals, “Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation” and “Bone Marrow Research.” He was an American Cancer Society fellow and a senior staff fellow at the National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD. He received his M.Sc. and Ph.D. at Ohio State University, and his undergraduate degree from Muhlenberg College.

Robert Negrin, M.D.

Robert S. Negrin, M.D. is a professor of medicine and Division Chief of Blood and Marrow Transplantation at Stanford University. His research work focuses on cellular immunology; in particular, developing a more fundamental understanding of complex biological reactions, such as graft versus host (GVHD) and graft versus tumor (GFT) reactions within the clinic and in animal models.

Dr. Negrin is a member of the Association of American Physicians, and the founding editor of “Blood Advances.” Additionally, he has authored more than 225 original papers, 40 book chapters, as well as a book, and once served as associate editor of the journal, “Blood.” He is also the recipient of a number of awards, including the Doris Duke Distinguished Clinical Scientist Award. Previously, he was president of both the International Society of Cellular Therapy and the American Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation. Dr. Negrin received his M.D. from Harvard University, and trained in medicine and hematology at Stanford University, where he joined the faculty in 1990. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley.