Dr. Poznansky is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Attending Physician in Infectious Diseases Medicine. Dr. Poznansky is also the Director of the Vaccine and Immunotherapy Center (VIC) at MGH. Dr. Poznansky discovered fugetaxis, the principle of immuno-repulsion that forms the basis of his academic research at Harvard Medical School. His laboratory defined the molecular mechanism for this novel immune process and now explores the relevance of this mechanism to new therapeutic approaches to cancer, infectious diseases and diabetes. Dr. Poznansky also is the scientific founder of three biotech companies that are in the process of developing new products that target this mechanism and are testing them in first in human studies. In the years following his faculty appointment, Dr. Poznansky has gained very well deserved recognition as a leader in the field of leukocyte migration and the modulation of leukocyte trafficking and function for the purposes of the development of novel vaccines and immunotherapies for cancer, infectious diseases and type 1 diabetes.
Dr. Poznansky obtained his B.Sc.and his MD at the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom and his PhD from the Department of Medical Sciences at Cambridge University. He also served as a Resident in Clinical Immunology at the Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, UK and a Captain in the Royal Army Medical Corps. Dr. Poznansky was awarded a prestigious Harkness Fellowship to do post-doctoral research training in HIV/AIDS Research at Harvard Medical School and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Dr. Poznansky completed further postgraduate clinical training at Hospital’s in London associated with Imperial College and including St. Mary’s Hospital. He was then invited to return to Harvard Medical School as a Clinical and Research Fellow in the Infectious Diseases Fellowship Training Program, and has been progressively promoted to his current position as an independent scientist and attending physician at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. He was awarded a prestigious MGH Research Scholar Award this year and was recognized in 2015 by the MGH Cancer Center One Hundred event for his contributions to the development of novel immunotherapies and vaccines for cancer.
The Vaccine and Immunotherapy Center at MGH which Dr. Poznansky founded and directs, sets as its mission the accelerated development of broadly applicable vaccines and immune therapies for cancer, infectious diseases and immune mediated diseases. Through this, Dr. Poznansky has gained particular recognition for establishing a new model for translational research that accelerates the process by which basic biological discoveries move towards products and technologies that improve patient care and treatment. One of his most important recent contributions has been the development of the VaxCelerate program which seeks to accelerate the development of new preventive vaccines for emerging infectious diseases and personalized vaccines for cancer using a distributed development program involving a consortium of both academic and industry teams to rapidly develop and test vaccines. This DoD supported program was recognized by DARPA as an example to the US Government of how rapid vaccine distributed development can be effectively managed to design, develop and test new products.
Dr. Poznansky’s laboratory and the Research Center that he directs at MGH have been funded consistently for the past 15 years by the NIH, DoD, JDRF, Marsha Rivkin Foundation, Gates Foundation, Trinity Foundation and philanthropists.