BLUE BELL, Pa., Feb. 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSE Amex: INO) announced today that David B. Weiner, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, and Chairman of Inovio's Scientific Advisory Board, has been elected a fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Dr. Weiner, often called the "father of synthetic DNA vaccines," is being honored for his pioneering and enabling discoveries in the area of synthetic DNA vaccines and promoting the nascent field of research during its early stages. Dr. Weiner was recognized at the Fellows Forum held February 18th during the AAAS Annual Meeting in Vancouver, Canada. Dr. Weiner's laboratory helped to found the field of synthetic DNA vaccines in the early 1990s. His laboratory and collaborators were responsible for the first synthetic DNA vaccine Investigational New Drug application (IND). This IND for HIV immune therapy became the first IND approved as a synthetic DNA therapeutic vaccine. His studies were the first to establish that synthetic DNA vaccines appear well tolerated and are immunogenic in humans. Dr. J. Joseph Kim, President and CEO, said, "This award is further recognition of David's visionary and untiring efforts at his lab in the University of Pennsylvania. These efforts led to the first discovery in the field of synthetic DNA vaccines. He created the scientific foundation for Inovio's clinical stage pipeline of synthetic vaccines for cancer, HIV, influenza and many other infectious diseases. It is through David's work that we may look back at this period and call it the "era of synthetic vaccines. We at Inovio congratulate David on this prestigious honor." The AAAS Fellowship is based on scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. Members are elected to the organization by their peers. AAAS has been electing accomplished scientists to its society since 1874. The American Association for the Advancement of Science is an international non-profit organization dedicated to advancing science around the world by serving as an educator, leader, spokesperson and professional association. In addition to organizing membership activities, AAAS publishes the journal Science, as well as many scientific newsletters, books and reports, and spearheads programs that raise the bar of understanding for science worldwide.