Scientific Advisors

Dr. John Skehel, FRS, FMedSci

Sir John James Skehel is a member of the board of scientific advisers for Verndari, Inc. Dr. Skehel has been a leader in virology research for more than 30 years. He began work at the National Institute for Medical Research, and in 1984 was made head of the virology division and later named director of the Institute. For almost 20 years, he headed the World Health Organization’s Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on influenza. He currently serves as professor emeritus at the Francis Crick Institute in London.

For his pioneering research on the mechanisms by which influenza virus binds to the host cell, Sir Skehel was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society in 1984 and as a Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences in the United States. Sir Skehel was knighted in 1997 New Year Honors. In 1998, he became a founding fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (FMedSci). 

Dr. Skehel has received numerous accolades for his groundbreaking research, including the following awards: the Wilhelm Feldberg Prize in 1986, the Robert Koch Prize in 1987, the Louis-Jeantet Prix de Medicine in 1988, the Royal Society Leeuwenhoek Lectureship in 1990; the ICN International Prize in Virology in 1992; the Royal Society Royal Medal in 2003; the Ernst Chain Prize in 2004; the International Union of Microbiological Societies Stuart Mudd Award for Basic Microbiology in 2005); the Society for General Microbiology Marjorie Stevenson Lectureship 2006; and the Le Grand Prix de Louis D. Foundation, Institut de France in 2007. 

Dr. Skehel received a B.S.c. in agricultural biochemistry from the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, in 1962 and received his Ph.D. from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology in 1966. He conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Aberdeen, and later was a fellow for the Helen Hay Whitney Foundation at Duke University.


Dr. Peter K. Vogt

Dr. Peter K. Vogt is a member of the board of scientific advisors for Verndari, Inc. Dr. Vogt is a professor in the Department of Molecular and Experimental Medicine at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. Dr. Vogt’s research is on the mechanisms of cancer. 

Dr. Vogt has previously served as a scientific advisor to Calydon, a private U.S. biotechnology company focused on developing therapeutics for cancer. Dr. Vogt also served as a scientific adviser to Microgenics Corporation, now a subsidiary of both Roche and Thermo Fisher Scientific, both of which develop, manufacture and markets immunodiagnostic tests.

Dr. Vogt was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences for his distinguished scientific research.


Dr. Peter A. Barry

Dr. Peter Barry is a member of the board of scientific advisors at Verndari, Inc. Dr. Barry is currently a professor emeritus and former director of the Center for Comparative Medicine at the University of California, Davis. While at the Center for Comparative Medicine, he led a research team funded directly by DARPA to examine Lassa virus spillover from rodents, and to study Ebola virus in rhesus macaques as new experimental technologies in preventing cross-species jump.

Dr. Barry previously served as director and core scientist of the California National Primate Research Center at University of California, Davis, whose mission is to improve human health and quality of life through support of exceptional nonhuman primate research programs. He has been a leading researcher on the mechanisms of cytomegalovirus (CMV) persistence and pathogenesis, as well as human CMV vaccine strategies as tested in non-human primate models. 

In 2015, he was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for contributions in advancing science in medical research. 


Dr. John H. Crowe

Dr. John H. Crowe is a member of the board of scientific advisers at Verndari, Inc. Dr. Crowe is currently professor emeritus of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, College of Biological Sciences at the University of California, Davis. Dr. Crowe was formerly the director of the Center for Biostabilization at University of California, Davis. 

Dr. Crowe is known for his pioneering work toward understanding how some organisms survive extreme drying. He started his career with interests in microorganisms that naturally survive such stresses in nature, studied the biochemistry of such organisms, and used those findings to improve our ability to preserve biological materials that are not naturally able to survive freezing or freeze drying. His discoveries about how these organisms use a simple sugar called trehalose to preserve their integrity in the dry state led to inventions that are widespread in pharmacy, medicine and agriculture. For example, his work has enabled the drying of fragile drugs, human cells, foods and plants. Human platelets can be stored dry, improving their life storage from just five days to at least two years.

Dr. Crowe directed his own research center for almost 40 years, with continuous support from such agencies as NSF, NIH, ONR, DOD, DARPA, and the Department of Commerce.

In 2018, Dr. Crowe was awarded the UC Davis Medal, the highest honor the university bestows on individuals, which recognizes individuals of rare accomplishment “to be heralded today and in perpetuity” as special members of the UC Davis community. Dr. Crowe was given this award for helping UC Davis become one of the top-rated science programs in the country. He is a founding member of the UC Davis Chancellor’s Club and the Mondavi Center Volunteer Advisory Board.

Dr. Crowe received a B.S. in Biology and Chemistry from Wake Forest College and a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of California, Riverside in 1970.