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Morphogenesis Team


team-mikeMichael Lawman, PhD


Michael is a co-founder of Morphogenesis, Inc. Michael received his PhD from the University of Surrey, UK, while working at the Animal Virus Research Institute (The Pirbright Institute). Michael came to the US as an NIH postdoctoral fellow at the University of Tennessee. Michael then served on the faculty of the Colleges of Veterinary Medicine at Auburn University and the University of Florida. Michael also worked as a senior scientist in the Division of Immunology and Cytokine Therapeutics of the Veterinary Infectious Disease Organization – Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) of Canada. Michael also held a faculty position at the University of Florida in the College of Medicine and was Director of Research at the Walt Disney Memorial Cancer Institute. Michael has published extensively and is co-inventor on numerous US and world-wide patents. He has participated as a research consultant on a number of topics for the Biopharmaceutical Industry and for International and US agencies. Michael also served as a reviewer and as an Ad Hoc reviewer for a number of scientific journals. He currently serves as Chairman of Morphogenesis’ Executive Board.

team-patPatricia Lawman, PhD

Chief Executive Officer

Pat is a co-founder of Morphogenesis, Inc. and has served the Company as Chief Executive Officer since 2003. Pat also served as Morphogenesis’ Chief Operating Officer from 1996 until 2003. Pat previously served as Division Director of Cancer Molecular Biology at the Walt Disney Memorial Cancer Institute, where she initiated and led the multifaceted molecular biology, gene targeting, gene therapy, gene delivery, and universal stem cell projects. Pat holds degrees from the University of Florida in Anthropology, Plant Pathology, Immunology and Medical Microbiology with specialties in Hematology and Oncology and has held faculty positions at several Florida State Universities.

Scott Slayton, MBA

Chief Financial Officer

Scott is the Chief Financial Officer (for Morphogenesis, Inc. Under the direction of the Chief Executive Officer, the CFO plans, directs, monitors, coordinates, interprets and administers all functional activities and policies related to finance, accounting, and budgeting.
Scott came to Morphogenesis, Inc. in 2012 with over thirty years of experience in the broker-dealer and real estate industries. He has management experience in accounting, budgeting, financing, investments, and regulatory relations. Scott earned his BS from Northern Illinois University and his MBA from Tampa College. He has previously been the CFO for Westchase Holdings,, and Investment Firm of Keogler, Morgan and Company.

Angela5Angela Via, PSM

Laboratory Operations Manager

Angela joined the Morphogenesis team as an intern in 2012, worked her way into a Research Associate position and is currently the Laboratory Manager. Angela holds a Professional Science Masters in Biotechnology degree from the University of South Florida. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Science from Radford University in Radford, Virginia, and holds a minor in Business and Technical Writing. While attending Radford, she took the opportunity to volunteer over 500 hours on a genetics research project to gain experience in common molecular techniques. While earning her degrees, Angela obtained 10 years of experience in ISO certified manufacturing facilities. During this time, she gained experience in proper documentation, inventory tracking, team building, troubleshooting equipment and problem-solving. Angela’s manufacturing experience presented the opportunity to discern the most effective and efficient ways to complete many different types of tasks.


Lindsay Larkin

Administrative Assistant

Lindsay joined Morphogenesis in 2017 as an Administrative Assistant. She holds a degree in Event Management from the University of Central Florida, Rosen College of Hospitality Management. Lindsay was previously a Client Service Associate at Skyway Capital Markets, LLC. Her prior appointments include Assistant Club Director at the Champion’s Club and Event Coordinator at Laura Fage ~ Signature Events & Design.

Regulatory Affairs & Quality Management

AshAshraf Dehlawi, PSM, CPLQM, H(ASCP), AMT

Director of Regulatory Affairs

Ashraf joined Morphogenesis, Inc., in 2013. He holds a Professional Science Master’s degree in Biotechnology with a Graduate Certificate in Bioinformatics from the University of South Florida in Tampa. Ashraf is a certified Medical Technologist (Clinical Laboratory Scientist) by the American Medical Technologists (AMT), the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) with a specialty in Hematology, and by the Florida Department of Health as a Medical Technologist in Hematology. He joins Morphogenesis with approximately 10 years of Clinical Laboratory, technical and management experience. He is also certified as a Clinical Laboratory Quality Manager by the University of British Columbia. His prior professional appointments include Product Management at Abbott Laboratories’ Diagnostics Division. Ashraf was named an ASCP 40 under 40 honoree in 2014, an international program that recognizes the future generation of laboratory leaders. Ashraf joined the Morphogenesis’ team in the capacity of Chief Clinical Officer as a liaison between Morphogenesis, Inc. and the Company’s clinical trial sites to ensure accurate policy and practice enforcement in addition to his role as Data Monitor. In 2018 Ashraf was appointed as the Company’s Director of Regulatory Affairs.

SarahFalsafiSarah Falsafi, PSM, AMT

Quality Assurance Officer

Sarah holds a Professional Science Master’s degree in Biotechnology from the University of South Florida in Tampa. She is a certified Clinical Laboratory Technologist by the American Medical Technologists (AMT), and by the Florida Department of Health as a Medical Technologist in Immunohematology, Microbiology, Hematology, Clinical Chemistry, and Serology. After 5 years of working as a transfusion services technologist, she joined Hoppe Regulatory Consultants as a clinical study monitor and progressed into quality assurance and regulatory affairs. As a part of her graduate degree, she had quality management training as an intern at Morphogenesis in 2016 and a year later she joined the Company.

Bioprocessing Facility

MeghanMeghan Gentilini, PSM

Director of Process and Product Development

Meghan joined the Morphogenesis team in 2013 as an intern from the University of South Florida. Her thesis work involved efficacy assessment of direct DNA vaccine with equine melanoma. Meghan graduated from USF with a Professional Science Master’s degree in Biotechnology in 2013 and was hired as Research Staff Scientist II, Project Manager-Cancer Therapeutic Vaccine. Meghan was born and raised in Upstate New York. She left the cold to attend USF and earn her Bachelors of Science in Biology. Before pursuing her graduate degree, Meghan worked as a Laboratory Technician in a bitumen quality testing and research lab. In this position, she was involved in QA/QC testing of products under strict regulatory guidelines of the Florida DOT. Prior to this position, Meghan was a Veterinary Surgical Technician for five years. Meghan’s love for animals combined with her interest in medicine and product quality and compliance makes her a great fit as the Company moves forward into clinical trials. In late 2017 Meghan was appointed as Director of Process and Product Development.

SarahAl-GassimiSarah Al-Gassimi, MS

Production Associate

Sarah is a Medical Laboratory Technologist and holds a Master’s degree in Biological Sciences & Biotechnology from Florida Institute of Technology (FIT). Her past experiences include a 12-month internship at Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare in Saudi Arabia. She worked as a research assistant on cutting-edge technologies at FIT, focusing on hypertension and innate immunity prior to joining the Morphogenesis team in 2017. Her current position as Production Associate sees her focusing on the production of cancer therapeutic vaccines at Morphogenesis under regulatory-compliant manufacturing practices.

Research Staff

dscn9717Michael J. Shamblott, PhD

Chief Scientific Officer

Michael joined Morphogenesis, Inc. in 2016 as Principal Scientist of Research and Development. Michael is a stem cell biologist with extensive experience in pancreas development. Michael received his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland in cell and molecular biology and was both a Post-Doctoral Fellow and Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. In these positions, Michael pioneered the derivation and differentiation of human embryonic stem cells and focused on the development of therapies to treat diabetes. Prior to joining Morphogenesis, Michael was the Walmart / Sam’s Club Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of South Florida Morsani School of Medicine, where he developed pharmacological therapies to stimulate endocrine pancreatic regeneration.

VijayVijay Ramiya, PhD

Principle Scientist R&D-Manufacturing Consultant

Vijay joined Morphogenesis, Inc. in 2010 as Principal Scientist of Research and Development. Vijay is an immunologist with extensive experience and holds a PhD degree in immune regulation with post-doctoral research experience in suppressor epitopes, autoimmune diabetes and stem cell biology from the University of Cambridge, UK, and the University of Florida. Vijay has served as faculty at the University of Florida in the Department of Pediatrics where he developed methods to regenerate pancreas in Type 1 diabetes animal models. Vijay was also the Director of Diabetes at Ixion Biotechnology where he derived adult pancreatic stem cells and demonstrated the reversal of diabetes in a mouse model. At Morphogenesis, Vijay is instrumental in developing protocols for cancer tissue processing for manufacturing whole cell cancer cell vaccine for solid and liquid tumors and is also involved in formulating DNA vaccine protocols. He has been involved in designing clinical trials, developing immune monitoring technologies, analyzing clinical trial data, writing manuscripts and also serving as a consultant to vaccine manufacturing.

MarinaMarina Bastawrous, PSM

Senior Scientific Officer

Marina received her B.Sc. in Pharmacy and Biotechnology from the German University in Cairo, Egypt. Marina moved to the States in 2013 to pursue a Professional Science Master’s degree in Biotechnology from the University of South Florida. During her graduate studies, Marina joined Morphogenesis as an intern working on a project that focused on monitoring the immune response in a canine mammary adenocarcinoma patient after receiving IFx-VET. In January 2015, she became an official Morphogenesis team member where, among other responsibilities, she develops and optimizes immunoassays for assessment of immune response elicited by IFx-VET and IFx-VETDirect. Marina was promoted to Senior Scientific Officer in February 2018.

EG3Edward Garcia

Research Associate

Edward joined the Morphogenesis team in 2015 as an Intern from Hillsborough Community College. Edward received his A.S. in Biotechnology and after successfully completing his internship he was offered a position with Morphogenesis as a Laboratory Technician I.  Edward has a great interest in the field of Biotechnology and plans to continue his education to become a Research Scientist. He has four years of experience as a mechanic in the automotive industry some of his experience include trouble shooting, electronic diagnostics, general repair, fabrication, and sales. His experience brings technical skills into the lab environment where they are being developed even further. Edward was promoted to Research Associate in early 2018.

Veterinary Oncology Services

Steve Hazell

Director of Veterinary Relations, Sales, and Logistics

As Director of Veterinary Relations, Steve’s skill set, proven track record of generating ‘out-of-the-box’ approaches, his pro-active thinking and level of experience combine to create a natural fit with Veterinary Oncology Services. In addition to sales and marketing success, Steve has significant “start-up experience,” an essential skill for the more challenging aspects of marketing a new service to new clients. Steve is an experienced healthcare professional with over twenty years of increasing responsibilities. Steve’s last experience was a start-up where he developed a state-wide client base, effectively working with referral/case managers, insurance coordinators, physicians, healthcare providers and hospitals.

dscn9743-useMaya Jerald, DVM

Veterinary Research Scientist/Production Manager-Whole Cell Vaccine

Maya earned her bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and her doctorate of veterinary medicine from Tuskegee University. Maya joined the Morphogenesis, Inc team in 2010 after learning of the company’s veterinary immunotherapy research through an AVMA newsletter. Maya is currently the Veterinary Research Scientist for Veterinary Oncology Services, a division of Morphogenesis, Inc. Maya has been instrumental in the development of standard operating procedures and continues to work diligently through laboratory research to improve the quality of life for veterinary patients.