Tim Hirst, PhD


Tim is the Chairman & CEO of GPN Vaccines. He has extensive expertise in the life sciences, executive management and venture capital investment. Tim was previously CEO of ANU Connect Ventures, a $30M pre-seed VC fund, the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research & Innovation at The University of Sydney and Professor & Head of Microbiology at the University of Bristol, UK. He is an active angel investor working with investment groups throughout Australia and US to assist early stage companies to raise capital and develop their innovative technologies. Tim is also Chairman of Gamma Vaccines Pty Ltd, Brain Changer Pty Ltd, Flex-G Pty Ltd, Acting Chairman of Emudent Technologies Pty Ltd, Trustee Director of Griffin Accelerator Holdings Pty Ltd and an Honorary Adjunct Professor at the University of Adelaide.

James Paton, PhD FAA

James is a Professor of Microbiology and the Director of the Research Centre for Infectious Diseases at the University of Adelaide. He is Australia’s preeminent authority on the pathogenesis of S. pneumoniae and recently was South Australian Scientist of the Year (2017). James is a former NHMRC Australia Fellow and Senior Principle Research Fellow and he directs an internationally acclaimed team of researchers at the University of Adelaide. He has published over 370 research papers and in the last 8 years has raised over $36M in grants to support his research activities. James was the lead Chief Investigator on the ARC Linkage grant that led to the development of the Gamma-PN vaccine and the NHMRC Development Grant that is supporting its final preclinical development.

Barry Palte, FIA

Barry is Chairman of EQ Capital Partners, a Social Impact Investment group headquartered in Sydney. He is also Chief Investment Officer of Contour Companies (a Detroit USA headquartered social housing group), a member of Top Tier Impact (a Geneva headquartered Social Impact investment group) and a member of the Global Investment Leaders Club (a Dubai headquartered family office organisation). He was previously Global Chairman of the International Association of Investment Bankers (now renamed Orion International Advisors) and was Head of Mergers, Acquisitions and Strategic Development for the fund’s management business of Australia’s largest Bank, Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

Ismail Kola, PhD

Ismail is a Senior Partner at Forepont Capital, a New York-based venture capital firm investing in pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies that improve healthcare outcomes. He has held several senior executive positions at UCB, Merck, Schering-Plough and Pharmacia Corporation. Throughout Ismail’s distinguished career, he has led teams that have successfully brought numerous blockbuster pharmaceutical products to market, with several others currently in pivotal development. Prior to his move to industry, Ismail was Professor of Human Molecular Genetics at Monash University Medical School and Director of the Research Center for Functional Genomics and Human Disease.

Manon Cox, PhD

Manon is the Founder of NextWaveBio, providing scientific and strategic advice to biopharmaceutical companies around preclinical and clinical development, manufacturing and quality systems. Prior to starting NextWaveBio, Manon led the development of Flublok® at Protein Sciences Corporation, the only FDA approved recombinant influenza vaccine. Manon held a number of roles between 1998 and 2018 including President and Chief Executive Officer, before the company was acquired by Sanofi. Manon serves on numerous boards including Vaxxas, the Netherland-America Foundation and the International Society for Vaccines, as well as on various Scientific Advisory Boards including Epivax Therapeutics and Omnicyte. 

Protecting children and adults from the world’s foremost bacterial pathogen