Management Team

Maria Fardis, PhD, MBA

President & Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Fardis has extensive experience in drug development and novel cancer treatments. Prior to joining Lion Biotechnologies, Dr. Fardis was chief operating officer at Acerta Pharma working on the development of acalabrutinib until the company’s acquisition by AstraZeneca. Before joining Acerta, Dr. Fardis held the position of chief of oncology operations and alliances at Pharmacyclics where she oversaw development of ibrutinib (IMBRUVICA®), abexinostat (HDAC inhibitor), and FVIIa inhibitor programs. She was a key contributor in the creation of a broad clinical program for ibrutinib, as well as NDA and MAA submissions. Previously, Dr. Fardis held a number of key scientific and management roles at Gilead Sciences. At Gilead, she was involved with multiple therapeutic areas including antivirals, oncology, and cardiovascular therapeutics and worked on the development and life cycle management of ambrisentan (Letairis®). She received her PhD in organic chemistry from UC Berkeley and holds an MBA from Golden Gate University.

Gregory T. Schiffman, MBA

Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Schiffman has extensive experience leading the financial operations and strategy of publicly-traded healthcare companies, particularly in the cell-based therapy space. Prior to joining Lion Biotechnologies, Mr. Schiffman was Executive Vice President and CFO of StemCells, Inc, a cell-based therapeutics company where he oversaw all activities related to finance and accounting, information technology, and corporate communications. Previously, Mr. Schiffman was the Executive Vice President and CFO of Dendreon Corporation, and led the financial operations at Affymetrix and Applied Biosystems. Before entering the healthcare industry, Mr. Schiffman held roles of increasing responsibility during his eleven year term with Hewlett Packard. Mr. Schiffman holds a bachelor's degree in accounting from De Paul University and an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. Mr. Schiffman also is a CPA in Illinois.

Michael T. Lotze, MD

Chief Scientific Officer

Michael T. Lotze, MD, joined Lion Biotechnologies in March 2016, prior to joining Lion he was most the Professor of Surgery, Immunology, and Bioengineering; Vice Chair of Research within the Department of Surgery; Asst. Vice Chancellor in the six schools of the Health Sciences at Pitt; and Founding Director of the UPCI Academy within the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. His research work includes modern cancer immunotherapy and gene therapy, T-cell, dendritic cell and cytokine therapies, and investigation of the role of mitochondria, metabolism, and unscheduled cell death in cancer. Dr. Lotze has worked in the field of immunology and clinical medicine for over 30 years in translational research, particularly within cancer. For the first twenty years of his career at the NCI and then the UPCI, he developed the modern immunotherapies including Interleukin-2 therapy, IL-4 and IL-12 therapy, gene therapies and dendritic cell therapies for patients with melanoma.

Dr. Lotze is the co-inventor of 10 patents in dendritic cell vaccines, T-cell response to tumor antigens, and antigen discovery and serves as associate editor of the Journal of Immunotherapy. He is also an award-winning NCI-trained scientist (1978-1990), the inaugural Director of Surgical Oncology at Pitt (1990-2000), former Vice President of Research at GlaxoSmithKline (2001), and innovative educator who developed the UPCI Academy (2009-2016), and a prolific scientist/tumor immunologist with almost 600 publications and several books including the Cytokine Handbook, NK Cells, Dendritic Cells, Measuring Immunity, and Current Cancer Therapy.