Board of Directors

John Farina


As Chairman of CardioVax, Mr. Farina is responsible for the management of the Company's overall strategy and investor related activities. In 2012, he assumed an active leadership role overseeing the daily activities of the management team and all of the Company's strategic partnerships. Mr. Farina has over 30 years experience as a senior management executive of publicly and privately owned businesses.


Mr. Farina received his B.S. in Education and Mathematics from Villanova University, and his M.A. in Communications Management from the University of Southern California. Mr. Farina has a demonstrated history of identifying, building, and running successful hardware, software, and professional services businesses in technologies, including digital imaging, software development, e-commerce, computer graphics, and electronic publishing.


He has served as President and/or CEO of Vidyah, Inc., IXL, Inc., Quintar Co., and the Quintar Division of Bell and Howell. After leading a venture-backed buyout of the Quintar Division, he merged the company with Splash Technology, helping to build a computer graphics powerhouse with an $80M/year revenue stream in less than one year.


As a senior partner and Managing Director of IXL Ventures, LLC, a $300M venture capital fund with 29 companies in its portfolio, Mr. Farina was responsible for deal selection and review, selection of board members and senior management, monitoring of company activities, and strategic relations with major Venture Capital firms including Chase Capital Partners, Flatiron, GE Capital, Intel Capital, and others. Mr. Farina has served on the Boards of Quintar, IXL, Splash, and Vidyah, and the Digital Coast Roundtable.

Will Mesdag

Willem Mesdag


Willem Mesdag is the Founder and Managing Director of Red Mountain Capital Partners LLC. He was previously a Senior Advisor at the Davis Companies, Mr. Marvin Davis' family office and holding company. Mr. Mesdag joined the Davis Companies in March 2002, where he managed the firm's current investments and evaluated new ventures. He was also a Partner and Managing Director at Goldman Sachs and Co. and worked for 20 years in New York, London, Frankfurt, and Los Angeles.



He has worked in the U.S.A., the U.K., and Germany and co-founded Goldman Sachs' Capital Markets Group in 1982, Asset Securitization Group in 1986, and its European Financial Institutions Group in 1989. Mr. Mesdag is a Director at Encore Capital Group, Harvard-Westlake School, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, 3i Group plc, and a Director and Trustee at Scripps College. Mr. Mesdag is also a Member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a Fellow at the Aspen Institute. During his career, he has held positions as Vice Chairman of the Board at Skandia and as Advisory Director at Goldman, Sachs & Co. Mr. Mesdag is a graduate of Northwestern University and the Cornell Law School.


Edward M. Prunchunas

Edward M. Prunchunas

Senior Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Edward Prunchunas has served as Senior Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center since 1998. Having previously served as an Associate Director of Finance and Director of Finance from 1981 to 1983, Mr. Prunchunas rejoined Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in 1993 as Vice President of Finance.



Mr. Prunchunas has previous service as Chief Financial Officer at Northridge Hospital Medical Center, Northridge, California, and as a member of the consulting staff of the accounting firm Ernst & Ernst (now known as Cap Gemini Ernst & Young). Mr. Prunchunas is a Fellow of the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA), Past President of the HFMA Southern California Chapter and has held regional and national positions with HFMA. Mr. Prunchunas earned a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting, with an emphasis in mathematics and computer science, from University of Illinois.


Prediman K. Shah

Prediman K. Shah, MD, FACC, FACP, FCCP

Founding Scientist

Dr. Prediman K. (PK) Shah is a Founding Scientist of CardioVax. The Company's core technology is based on over 20 years of his research in the cardiovascular field. Dr. Shah is a world-recognized clinician, investigator and leader in immunotherapies for cardiovascular disease and is an active scientific advisor to the CardioVax Management Team.


Dr. Shah has been the Director of the Division of Cardiology at Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute from 1995-2013. He also is currently the founder and Director of the Oppenheimer Atherosclerosis Research Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where he leads several studies that focus on heart disease prevention and treatment.



Dr. Shah also holds the Shapell and Webb Family Endowed Chair in Clinical Cardiology at Cedars-Sinai. He has been Professor of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) since 1992. 


In the early 1990s, he worked in the cardiovascular research laboratory at the Massachusetts General Hospital of the Harvard Medical School in Boston. Over his distinguished career, he has edited three books on heart disease and published more than 650 scientific papers, reviews, book chapters, and abstracts. He is a Fellow and Master of the American College of Cardiology (ACC), fellow of the American College of Physicians, and the American College of Chest Physicians. He has been a member of the ACC's Annual Scientific Program Committee and he has co-chaired the Clinical Cardiology (ClinCard) Spotlight sessions. In 2014 he was the co-chair of the annual scientific session of the American College of Cardiology. He is a recipient of numerous honors and award which include: Master of the American College of Cardiology, Pioneer in Medicine at Cedars Sinai Medical Center, Distinguished scientist award from the American College of Cardiology, Gifted Teacher award from the American College of Cardiology, Herrick award from the AHA, and Cardiologist of the Year award from Northern California -ACC chapter, Dean's award for excellence in teaching from UCLA.


Since 1992, Dr. Shah and colleagues have searched for new and innovative ways to understand the causes of cardiovascular disease.  His efforts have led him to new discoveries in the areas of atherosclerosis and vascular inflammation; processes that lead to clogged arteries, heart attacks, and strokes. 


Dr. Shah received his medical degree from Medical College in Srinagar and completed an internship at SMHS Hospital before moving on to internships at Mount Sinai Hospital in Milwaukee and Montefiore Hospital of Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. After a fellowship in cardiology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine-Montefiore, Medical Center, he came to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in 1976. He was named director of the medical center's Cardiovascular Fellowship Training Program in 1988 and director of the Atherosclerosis Research Center in 1993. He was also the Director of coronary care unit at Cedars Sinai Medical Center from 1980-1995.

Jan Nilsson

Jan Nilsson, MD, PHD

Founding Scientist

Dr. Jan Nilsson is a Founding Scientist of CardioVax and serves as an active advisor to the Company's Management Team. As a leading expert in atherosclerosis, Dr. Nilsson guides the scientific strategy of CardioVax's product development programs. His leadership is essential to the direction and implementation of CardioVax's R&D programs.


Dr. Nilsson has been a Professor of Medicine at Lund University since joining their faculty in 1998.  He currently holds positions as Chairman of the Clinical Research Center (CRC) and Chairman of Experimental Cardiovascular Research at Lund University Hospital in Malmö, Sweden. Furthermore, Dr. Nilsson is Director of the Malmö University Hospital Clinical Trial Unit and a Director on the board of Malmö University. From 2001-2005, Dr. Nilsson also served as Dean of Medicine at Lund University.



Prior to joining the faculty at Lund University, he held positions at the Karolinska Institute in Solna as Associate Professor of Cell Biology in 1985, Deputy Chairman in the Department of Medicine from 1993-1996, and later as Professor of Medicine from 1996-1998. Since 1996, he has also been visiting Professor at the Department of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and a visiting scientist to the Department of Cardiology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. 


Throughout his scientific career, his research has focused on the regulation of smooth muscle cell proliferation and the inflammatory response of the vascular wall to oxidized lipoprotein and mechanical injury. In recent years, his main research projects focus on the role of immune responses against oxidized LDL antigens in atherosclerosis. He has published over 200 papers in vascular cell biology and atherosclerotic research.


Dr. Nilsson was chairman of the working group for the Pathogenesis of Atherosclerosis in the European Society of Cardiology from 1994-1996, board member of the Scandinavian Society for Atherosclerosis Research, and Deputy General Secretary of the Swedish Medical Research Council from 1996-1999. He is currently a member of the editorial boards for Atherosclerosis, and Thrombosis and Vascular Biology. 


Dr. Nilsson received his degree in Medicine and PhD in Histology from the Karolinska Institute in Solna, Sweden. 

CV Logo Footer

10100 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 925

Los Angeles, CA 90067 United States

Tel.: 424. 263. 6364