Meet the leadership team

Alexander Zehnder, Dr.

Chief Executive Officer

Vita Alexander Zehnder

Pierre Kemula, B.Sc.

Chief Financial Officer

Vita Pierre Kemula

Malte Greune, Ph.D.

Chief Operating Officer

Vita Malte Greune

Myriam Mendila, Dr.

Chief Development Officer

Vita Myriam Mendila

Antony Blanc, Ph.D.

Chief Business Officer
(CBO) & Chief Commercial Officer (CCO)

Vita Antony Blanc

Igor Splawski, Ph.D.

Chief Scientific Officer

Vita Igor Splawski

Baron Jean Stéphenne, MSc, MBA


Jean Stéphenne, MSc, MBA, is former Chairman and President of GSK Biologicals. He began his career with SmithKline-Rit where he became Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. He served as the President of Union Wallonne des Entreprises (UWE) from 1997 to 2000.

Furthermore, Jean Stéphenne has been Chairman of BESIX Group S.A./N.V. and TiGenix N.V. Currently he serves on the Board of various life sciences companies including Bone Therapeutics, Vaxxilon, and Bepharbel. He also heads the board of Nanocyl, a company specialized in carbon nanotubes for batteries and polymers.

Dr Debra Barker

Debra Barker is a seasoned pharmaceutical executive with more than 25 years of experience in drug development and commercialization from Novartis, Roche, SmithKline Beecham and Knall in Europe, the Americas and Asia. She currently serves as a Non-Executive Director for two additional public companies including BergenBio ASA, a Norwegian Oncology company, and Destiny Pharma PLC, a late-stage British Anti-infective company.

Previously, Debra led as Chief Medical and Development Officer at Polyphor LTD for two years. From 2006 to 2017 she held various leadership positions at Novartis, where she most recently served as Vice President, Medical Affairs Franchise Head for Ophthalmology as well as interim Franchise Head for Neuroscience. In addition, she held the role of Regional Medical Director, Asia Pacific for Novartis where she led teams to develop and execute medical communication, clinical trial and opinion leader development activities across the franchises.

Debra holds a degree in pharmaceutical medicine and received a master’s degree in immunology from King’s College in London and a medical degree from Queens’ College, Cambridge, UK.

Dr Viola Bronsema

Dr Viola Bronsema has been Secretary General and CEO of BIO Deutschland, Germany’s Biotechnology Industry Association since 2006. With its 350 corporate members, the sector association represents the interests of Germany’s biotechnology industry nationally and internationally. Currently she is member of e. g. the Advisory Boards of the German Federal Government (Bioeconomy Advisory Board), of the German Life Sciences Association (VBIO e. V.) and of one of the oldest German economic policy associations (WPCD e.V.).

Previously, Viola was Head of Communications of Roche Diagnostics GmbH and of Roche Diagnostics Europe, Middle East, Africa, and before that, of Lilly Pharma Holding GmbH. She earned her Ph.D. at the Centre for Molecular Biology (ZMBH) at the University of Heidelberg, Germany.

Ralf Clemens, MD, PhD

Dr. Clemens has been working in vaccine industry since 1988 in various senior scientific and business positions, such as Head of GSK Biologicals’ Vaccine Development and Latin American business, and thereafter leading the global vaccine development at Novartis. During these years, Ralf developed and brought to licensure more than 25 different vaccines globally.

Ralf graduated with a medical degree from the University of Mainz, Germany and holds an executive business degree from the Wharton Business School, Philadelphia, PA, USA. He was member of the advisory board of the International Vaccine Institute in Seoul, Korea, and currently serves as an external scientific advisor to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to the Institute of Infection and Global Health at the University of Liverpool, and to Aeras, a non-profit organization focusing on the development of vaccines against tuberculosis.

Matthias Hothum, PhD

Dr. Hothum is managing director of dievini GmbH & Co. KG, advisors in health sciences. Dievini manages the biotech investments of SAP co-founder Dietmar Hopp. He received his degree in Economics from the University of Mannheim and his doctorate from the University of Magdeburg.

For the past 20 years, he has worked as an economist in the sectors of healthcare, health services and life sciences. Mathias specializes in pricing, reimbursement and the evaluation of mid-sized companies, as well as of publicly-owned/market-listed companies. He is the owner and founder of HMM Consulting. Furthermore, he serves as a member of the boards of Apogenix GmbH, Cytonet GmbH, Joimax GmbH, and Novaliq GmbH.

Klaus Schollmeier, PhD

Dr. Klaus Schollmeier is an advisor to the Pharma/Biotech industry. He was Chief Executive Officer of SuppreMol in Munich from 2013 until 2015, when the company was sold to Baxalta. From 2004 to 2011, he served as CEO of Santhera in Basel, and as Chairman of the Board of Santhera until 2013. Schollmeier joined Graffinity Pharmaceuticals AG in Heidelberg, Germany as CEO in 2003 and merged the company with MyoContract AG, Basel in 2004 to form Santhera. Prior to joining the biotechnology industry in 2003, he was managing director of the healthcare/biotechnology group at ING-BHF Bank for ING Group Europe. Before that, he spent 16 years in the pharmaceutical industry at BASF, Knoll and Abbott. Mr. Schollmeier is member of the board and chairman of several biotech companies including Tacalyx (Germany), Modra Pharmaceuticals (Netherlands), Affiris Pharma (Austria) and Eternygen (Germany).

He holds a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Düsseldorf, Germany, and is currently an adjunct research associate professor at the Boston University Medical School, Massachusetts.

Chris Tanner, PhD

Dr. Tanner is Chief Financial Officer and Head of Investor Relations of Cassiopea, a position he’s held since 2015. Prior to this, he served as the Chief Financial Officer and Head of Investor Relations of Cosmo Pharmaceuticals from 2006 until 2016. He also has served as a Board Member of Cosmo Pharmaceuticals NV since 2006.

Additionally, Chris is a member of the board of directors or advisory board (Beirat) of DKSH AG (SIX: DKSH), Paion AG, Qvanteq AG and Joimax GmbH. From 1998 to 2001, he was a partner of Dr. Ernst Mueller-Moehl and co-founder of the 20 Minutes group of newspapers, and founded A&A Active Investor, a SIX-listed investment company. From 1992 to 1998, he was the head of corporate finance & capital markets of UBS in Zurich and from 1976 to 1991, he worked within the Corporate Banking Department of UBS in Zurich, Madrid and Los Angeles. Dr. Tanner has a PhD in economics and diploma as an economist from the University of St. Gallen.

None of the companies where Chris Tanner is a major shareholder or holds a management or board position has any business activities with CureVac.

Craig A. Tooman, MBA

Craig Tooman is President, CEO and Board member at Silence Therapeutics plc (NASDAQ: SLN). Mr. Tooman brings more than 30 years of operational, financial and merger and acquisition (“M&A”) experience. Most recently, he was Chief Operating Officer and CFO at Vyome Therapeutics, and prior to this was CEO of Aratana Therapeutics where he successfully negotiated a merger with Elanco. Before Aratana, Mr. Tooman was the CEO of Avanzar Medical Inc., a private oncology company, and CFO of Enzon Pharmaceuticals until its acquisition by Sigma Tau. Prior to that he led the $1.1 billion M&A initiative and integration of ILEX Oncology and Genzyme Corporation. He also held key positions at Pharmacia and Upjohn. Mr. Tooman holds a BA in Economics from Kalamazoo College and an MBA from the University of Chicago.

Ralf Clemens, MD


Dr. Clemens is the former VP/SVP at GSK Biologicals, Novartis Vaccines and Takeda Vaccines. He is also an advisor to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Africa Research Excellence Fund (AREF). In addition to serving on CureVac’s Scientific Advisory Board, Dr. Clemens is a member of CureVac’s Supervisory Board.

Professor Nina Bhardwaj, MD

Dr. Bhardwaj is a professor and researcher in the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai’s Hematology and Medical Oncology Department, located in New York, NY, USA. She is also an elected member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation (ASCI) and the American Association of Physicians (AAP). Dr. Bhardwaj is a senior editor of the AACR journal Cancer Immunology Research.

Professor Dirk Jäger, MD

Dr. Jäger is the director of Medical Oncology at the University Hospital of Heidelberg in Germany. Additionally, he leads the Applied Tumor Immunity research group at the German Cancer Research Center.

Professor Karim Fizazi, MD

Dr. Fizazi heads the Department of Cancer Medicine at the Institut Gustave Roussy in Villejuif, France. He is also President of the French Study Group of Carcinomas of Unknown Primary and an associate editor of the European Journal of Cancer.

Christopher Karp, MD

Dr. Karp is the Director of Global Health Discovery and Translational Sciences at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Professor Michael P. Manns, MD

Dr. Manns is the Director of the Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Endocrinology at Hannover Medical School in Hannover, Germany.

Professor Stanley Plotkin, MD

Dr. Plotkin is a professor emeritus at the Wistar Institute and the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA, USA. He also serves as an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Plotkin is an editor of the core medical textbook Vaccines.

Jean-Paul Prieels, PhD

In addition to his work with CureVac, Dr. Prieels serves as a board member of various biotech companies, including DNAlytics and Vaximm. Formerly, he was SVP of Research & Development at GSK Biologicals.

Professor Hans-Georg Rammensee, PhD

Dr. Rammensee heads the Department of Immunology at the University of Tübingen in Tübingen, Germany.

George R. Siber, MD

In addition to his work with CureVac, Dr. Siber serves as the Chief Scientific Officer at ClearPath Vaccines. Previously, he was the Executive Vice President of Wyeth Pharma, CSO of Wyeth Vaccines, and Director of the Massachusetts Biologic Laboratories.

Craig L. Slingluff, Jr., MD

Dr. Craig Slingluff is the Joseph Helms Farrow Professor of Surgery at the University of Virginia Health System and Director of the Cancer Center’s Human Immune Therapy Center.

Professor Daniel Speiser, MD

Dr. Speiser heads the Clinical Tumor Biology and Immunotherapy Group within the Department of Oncology and Ludwig Cancer Research Center at the University of Lausanne in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Professor Xiao-Ning Xu, MD, PhD

In addition to teaching, Dr. Xu serves as Chair in Human Immunology at the Imperial College London.

Professor Fred Zepp, MD

Dr. Zepp is the Medical Director and Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at the University Medical Center at Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz in Mainz, Germany. Previously, he served as President of the German Society of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. Dr. Zepp is also a member of the Standing Committee on Vaccination (STIKO) at the Robert Koch Institute.

Gerd Zettlmeissl, PhD

Dr. Zettlmeissl is the Chairman of the Hilleman Laboratories and serves on the Board of Directors of Aeras, as well as on the board of various biotech companies. Formerly, he was the Managing Director of Chiron Behring and Chief Executive Officer of Intercell.