Board of Directors

Jeffrey Wolf


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.

John Monahan, Ph.D.


Dr. Monahan is currently the Chief Technology Officer of Synthetic Biologics, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on the development of synthetic DNA-based therapeutics and innovative disease-modifying medicines for serious illnesses. Dr. Monahan Co-Founded Avigen Inc. (NASDAQ:AVGN) in 1992, a company which has become a leader in its sector for the development of novel pharmaceutical products for the treatment of serious human diseases. Over a 12 year period as CEO of Avigen he raised over $235M in several private and public financings including its IPO. From 1989-1992, he was VP of R&D at Somatix Therapy Corp., Alameda, CA and from 1985-1989 he was Director of Molecular & Cell Biology at Triton Biosciences Inc., Alameda, CA. Prior to that from 1982-1985, he was Research Group Chief, Department of Molecular Genetics, Hoffmann-LaRoche, Inc. Nutley, NJ, and from 1975 to 1977 he was an Instructor at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston TX. He received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry in 1974 from McMaster University, Canada and his B.Sc. from University College Dublin, Ireland in 1969. Dr Monahan is a board member of Tacere Therapeutics, CA. He is also a board member of a number of Irish biotech companies including Genable, Cellix, Luxcel, Identigen, Pharmatrin and GK Technologies.

John Prendergast, Ph.D.

Lead Independent Director

Dr. Prendergast is co-founder of Palatin Technologies, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company developing targeted, receptor-specific peptide therapeutics for the treatment of diseases with significant unmet medical need and commercial potential.  Dr. Prendergast has been Chairman of the Board of Palatin since June 2000 and a director since August 1996.  Dr. Prendergast is a director and executive chairman of the Board of Directors of Antyra, Inc., a privately-held biopharmaceutical firm.  He was previously a member of the board of the life science companies AVAX Technologies, Inc., Avigen, Inc. and MediciNova, Inc.  Dr. Prendergast received his M.Sc. and Ph.D. from the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, did his post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Harvard University and received a C.S.S. in administration and management from Harvard University. 

Edward Smith


Since January 1, 2015, Mr. Smith has also been Managing Member of Aristar Capital Management, LLC, a New York-based investment firm founded in 2015.  From January 2015 until May 2016, Mr. Smith also served as the Chief Executive Officer of Agritech Worldwide, Inc. (“Agritech,” formerly Z Trim Holdings Inc.) (OTCPink: FBER), a manufacturer of environmentally friendly agricultural functional ingredients, and has been a board member of Agritech since 2009.   From April 2005 through December 2014, Mr. Smith served as 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.