David Shanahan

Chairman & CEO

David is Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Gradalis, Inc. From 2004-2012, Mr. Shanahan served as President of Mary Crowley Cancer Research Centers, a cancer research non-profit specializing in clinical application of gene and immune therapies.  Mary Crowley Cancer Centers have treated over 4,500 cancer patients in FDA-approved clinical trials.

He is a named inventor on several U.S. patents and co-author of multiple peer-reviewed publications in the field of molecular therapeutics.  Prior to his leadership at Mary Crowley, Mr. Shanahan served as the lead investor and founder of successful enterprises in a wide array of fields, many of which led to successful transactions of portfolio investments in the computer, commercial real estate and agricultural industries. 

He obtained a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University.


John Nemunaitis, MD

Chief Medical Officer

John is a co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer at Gradalis. He specializes in medical oncology and hematology and is board certified in internal medicine.  He is an Oncologist and has been exploring therapies for cancer treatments for over 30 years. 

Dr. Nemunaitis previously held academic positions at University of Toledo's Eleanor N. Dana Cancer Center, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington School of Medicine. He is a member of the board of directors of the American Cancer Society of Gene and Cell Therapy and is on the editorial board of several peer reviewed journals focusing on cancer and molecular sciences.  Dr. Nemunaitis has authored 444 peer-reviewed publications and 45 book chapters. 

Dr. Nemunaitis received an M.D. from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Ohio. He completed training in internal medicine at Boston City Hospital and a fellowship in oncology and hematology at University of Washington School of Medicine and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.


Ernest Bognar

Chief Operating Officer

Ernie is Gradalis' Chief Operating Officer.  Prior to Gradalis, Ernie was General Manager of Dendreon Corporation’s manufacturing facility in Hanover, New Jersey which was developed to meet the anticipated clinical and commercial manufacturing needs for PROVENGE® (sipuleucel-T) and other active immunotherapy product candidates in development. 

Prior to Dendreon,  Ernie served as Vice President of Manufacturing at Apptec Laboratory Services where he managed and grew a mammalian cell-based contract manufacturing business unit. Prior to that, he was Senior Director Commercial Manufacturing for ImClone Systems Inc., where he managed a biopharmaceutical start-up operation that produced the company's monoclonal antibody, ERBITUX® (cetuximab) Injection for the treatment of colorectal cancer.

Ernie also served as Manufacturing Head at Baxter Healthcare's Hyland-Immuno Division for the production of Recombinate® (FactorVIII) and held key manufacturing positions at Cellex Biosciences, Verax, Charles River Biotech, KC Biological and Ayerst Research Laboratories. He received his Bachelor's of Science degree in in vitro cell biology from the State University of New York of Arts and Sciences at Plattsburgh and his Cell Biology Certificate from W. Alton Jones Cell Science Center in Lake Placid, NY.


Gladice Wallraven, CCRA

Vice President, Clinical & Regulatory Operations

Gladice heads up Gradalis' Clinical & Regulatory Operations.  She is responsible for leading Gradalis’ project management, clinical, regulatory and data services. She oversees regulatory clinical research projects, safety reporting for oncology, and provides the project team with guidance, training and strategic planning.

Ms. Wallraven brings in 20 years of experience in oncology research. Prior to joining Gradalis, Ms. Wallraven held senior regulatory affairs roles Mary Crowley Cancer Research and US Oncology.

She is an active member of the Association of Clinical Research Professionals. Ms. Wallraven has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from Southwestern University.


Walter Chen

Vice President - Corporate Development

Walter leads Gradalis' business strategy, corporate development, business development, partnerships, branding, marketing, investor relations, corporate communications, information technology and clinical supply chain functions. 

He brings 27 years of management consulting, strategy and technology experience across life sciences, manufacturing, media & marketing industries. He previously worked for Accenture and PricewaterhouseCoopers as well as boutique consulting and financial advisory firms.

He graduated from McCombs Graduate School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin with a Master's in Professional Accounting - Taxation and a Bachelor's in Business Administration - Accounting.


Mark Early

General Counsel

Mark leads Gradalis' legal and corporate functions. Before joining Gradalis, Mark was a Partner in Vinson & Elkins LLP’s M&A/Capital Markets group for over 20 years.  

He earned a BA from the University of Texas at Austin and an MBA and JD from Southern Methodist University.


Brandon Griess, CPA

Vice President - Finance & Accounting

Previous experience raising capital for, operating, and exiting sponsor backed entities within oil & gas industry. Additional experience with PwC, Prudential Capital Group and as a U.S. Army AirborneInfantry Officer. Earned a BBA & MS in Accounting from Texas A&M University; M.B.A Finance fromSouthern Methodist University


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