Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board

Kent Kester, MD, COL (Ret.), USA

Dr. Kent Kester, COL (Ret.), USA, is currently Vice President of Translational Medicine at IAVI focused on translating science into global impact. Prior to that, he was the VP and Head, Translational Science and Biomarkers at Sanofi Pasteur where led a team of over 200 research and clinical professionals in the U.S. and France focused on the identification of novel biomarkers and the translational development of new vaccines.  

During his 24-year career in the U.S. Army, he worked extensively in clinical vaccine development and led multiple research platforms at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, the DoD’s largest and most diverse biomedical research laboratory, an institution he later led as its Commander. His final military assignment was as the Associate Dean for Clinical Research in the School of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS). During his military service, Dr. Kester was appointed as the lead policy advisor to the U.S. Army Surgeon General in both infectious diseases and medical research and development

Currently a member of the U.S. Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria and the Department of Veterans Affairs Health Services Research and Development Scientific Merit Review Board, he previously chaired the Steering Committee of the NIAID/USUHS Infectious Disease Clinical Research Program, and has served as a member of the FDA Vaccines and Related Biologics Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC), the NIAID Advisory Council, and the CDC Office of Infectious Diseases Board of Scientific Counselors.

Dr. Kester holds active faculty appointments at USUHS and the University of Maryland; and is a fellow of the American College of Physicians, the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, the Infectious Disease Society of America, and the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. He is a member of the clinical faculty at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore as well as the Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center, Wilkes-Barre, PA. 

Dr. Kester holds an undergraduate degree from Bucknell University and an M.D. from Jefferson Medical College, completing his internship and residency in internal medicine at the University of Maryland and a research fellowship in infectious diseases at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.