Management Team


Maurice Zauderer, Ph.D.

Founder, President & Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Zauderer co-founded Vaccinex and has served as President, Chief Executive Officer and a director since its inception in 1997. He is the co-inventor of core technologies for construction of representative cDNA libraries in vaccinia virus and discovery of fully human monoclonal antibodies. Dr. Zauderer has held senior faculty positions in Immunology at Columbia University and at the University of Rochester Cancer Center. He has served on multiple peer review study sections at the NIH, NSF and The National Multiple Sclerosis Society and was Associate Editor of the Journal of Immunology in 1987-89 and again in 1994-99. Dr. Zauderer holds a Ph.D. in cell biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Steve Cobourn, C.P.A.

Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Cobourn began his career as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) at Hass & Company in Pennsylvania, where he provided audit, tax and financial advisory services to privately held companies. In 1993, Steve became Accounting Manager at the U.S. division of publicly traded Otsuka Holdings Co., Ltd., a $13 billion globally diversified company headquartered in Japan. Steve rose steadily through the ranks of the Finance organization with roles as Director of Finance & Corporate Planning and Director of Finance, and, for the last 11 years, as Vice President of Finance, Treasurer, and Corporate Officer, responsible for all financial activities of Otsuka America Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (OAPI). During his tenure at OAPI, Steve participated in overseeing the growth of revenue from Otsuka’s U.S. operations from $10 million to $5 billion. Steve is a member of the American Institute of Public Accountants (AICPA), a Corporate Executive Board member of Accounting & Reporting, FP&A, and Shared Services Councils, and the PhRMA Accounting & Reporting Subcommittee.

Raymond E. Watkins

Senior Vice President & Chief Operating Officer

Mr. Watkins joined Vaccinex in 2001. He has over 25 years of management experience in FDA-regulated biopharmaceutical and biotechnology businesses, including Praxis Biologics (founding stage), Lederle-Praxis, Wyeth, Invitrogen and Life Technologies. Mr. Watkins has held several functional senior management roles in product and technology development, biologics manufacturing, regulatory, and quality assurance. Immediately prior to joining Vaccinex, he was Director of Operations, Australasia, for Life Technologies (Invitrogen) where he was responsible for all aspects of R&D, biomanufacturing, quality, FDA/TGA regulatory affairs, and general business management.

Ernest Smith, Ph.D.

Senior Vice President, Research & Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Smith joined Vaccinex at its inception in 1997 and was a key developer of its core cDNA library and antibody discovery technologies. Previously a research scientist at the University of Rochester, Dr. Smith is listed as an inventor on Vaccinex patent applications covering novel gene discovery methods, antigen delivery systems, and selection of fully human monoclonal antibodies. Dr. Smith holds a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Rochester School of Medicine.

John E. Leonard, Ph.D.

Senior Vice President, Development & Officer

Dr. Leonard has over 20 years of experience at Idec and Biogen-Idec where he held Senior Director-level positions in Regulatory Affairs, Quality, Project Management and Product Development, and Vice President-level positions in Quality, Product Development and Program Management. While at Idec, Dr. Leonard was a key executive leader in the development of Rituxan®, Zevalin® and Tysabri®, all highly successful therapeutic antibodies with combined global sales of over $7 billion. Dr. Leonard is considered a distinguished authority on therapeutic antibody development, having extensive experience across numerous development programs encompassing all stages of development - from lead selection and IND-directed non-clinical studies, through clinical studies and, ultimately, FDA approval and commercialization. Dr. Leonard serves on the Board of Advisors to the Dean at the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, University of California, Riverside.


John H. Parker, Ph.D.

Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Quality Systems

Dr. Parker has over 30 years of bio/pharmaceutical experience, with 25 of those years in senior Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance/Compliance roles. He has served at the levels of Senior Director to Senior Vice President in RA/QA for several emerging and established biologics companies, including Praxis Biologics, Merck, Centocor, Immune Response, and MedImmune, among others. During this period he has been intimately involved in numerous drug development programs, from discovery and non-clinical development through FDA IND submissions, clinical-stage development, and regulatory licensing. Dr. Parker’s product involvement has included Hib vaccine, Hib conjugate vaccine, pneumococcal vaccine, abciximab (ReoPro®), muromomab (OKT3®), and numerous other vaccine and therapeutic biologic products.