Advisory Board

Clinical and Scientific Advisory Board:

Steven Opal, M.D.

Dr. Opal is a world-leading infectious disease expert with over 35 years of clinical and research experience.  Dr. Opal is a Professor of Medicine at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and Chief, Infectious Disease Division, Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island. Clinical trial design, implementation and analysis from phase I to phase III trials is Dr. Opal’s primary clinical research focus.  He has published over 225 peer-reviewed primary research papers; over 75 invited reviews and editorials and authored or co-authored over 70 book chapters in infectious disease and critical care medicine. He is the editor of several academic research journals and three textbooks in the field of infectious diseases.

Stephen Scholand, M.D.

Dr. Scholand is a clinical infectious disease expert with 20 years’ experience researching and treating an assortment of infectious diseases, with a special emphasis in rabies. Dr. Scholand received his medical degree from George Washington University, with fellowship training in Infectious Diseases at the Thomas Jefferson University. Dr. Scholand currently works as a hospitalist and infectious diseases consultant at the Midstate Medical Center.  Dr. Scholand’s rabies work was featured in the TV documentary “The Girl Who Survived Rabies” and he is founder of the charity “A Rabies Free World”.

Marcus A. Conant, M.D.

Dr. Marcus A. Conant is an honored and respected pioneer, lecturer, physician and out-spoken advocate for people infected with HIV and AIDS and his work contributed to development of some of today’s top HIV medications. Dr. Conant is among the first physicians to identify AIDS in 1981, and is a founder of what today is the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. As a resident at UCSF, he volunteered at the Haight Ashbury Free Clinic in 1969. In 1981, Dr. Conant identified the first Kaposi’s sarcoma cases in San Francisco and started the University of California Kaposi’s Sarcoma Clinic. Working with then Assembly Speaker, Willie Brown, Dr. Conant obtained the first funds for AIDS research in state universities. In 1999, he helped the State of Nevada develop an AIDS-response plan for indigent patients. That same year, he was named Co-Chair of the Mayor’s Summit on AIDS in San Francisco. In 2001, Dr. Conant and the Conant Foundation worked with Senator John Vasconcellos to successfully pass legislation for investment in development of an AIDS vaccine. Dr. Conant has received a number of awards, including the 1987 Chancellor’s Award for Public Service from the Chancellor of the University of California, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation Leadership Award, and the 1996 Practitioner of the Year Award from the American Academy of Dermatology. He continues his strong, passionate and uncompromising demands, to give hope to all people with AIDS through state of the art treatment and the assurance they can live with dignity and respect.

Donald P. Francis, M.D., D.Sc.

Dr. Donald Francis MD is a renowned virologist and epidemiologist, with over 30 years’ experience in epidemic control and vaccines. Dr. Francis’ career has included over 21 years at the CDC, 1971 to 1992, directing eradication programs for Smallpox (WHO) in India, Bangladesh, Sudan and the former Yugoslavia, Cholera in Nigeria, and Ebola in Sudan. Since 1981 he has focused on HIV/AIDS and serves as Coordinator of Laboratory Activities (Atlanta), Consultant to State of California (Berkeley) and San Francisco Mayor’s office.  His AIDS efforts were chronicled in And the Band Played On, by Randy Shilts.  Dr. Francis’ HIV vaccine work started at Genentech in 1993.  In 1995, Dr. Francis co-founded a spin-off of Genentech called VaxGen where the world’s first efficacy trials were completed in the United States, Canada, Holland and Thailand. In 2004, Dr. Francis retired from VaxGen to establish a not-for-profit foundation, Global Solutions for Infectious Diseases, dedicated to developing vaccines for the less developed parts of the world.  In 2009, the first successful HIV vaccine trial was reported, using GSID’s vaccine combined with one from Sanofi.  In addition to HIV, Dr. Francis works with international vaccine manufacturers on vaccines for dengue and influenza and is a frequent consultant for WHO. Dr. Francis received his M.D. from Northwestern University and his Doctor of Science in Virology from Harvard. In addition, he completed his pediatric training at the University of Southern California Medical Center in Los Angeles and his infectious disease training at Harvard.