PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa., Nov. 21, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:INO) today announced that Dr. David B. Weiner, its co-founder, board member and chair of its scientific advisory board, has been selected as a "Top 20 Translational Researcher" for the year 2015 by the editors of Nature Biotechnology magazine. The selection is based on the number of medical innovations that led to patents a researcher was granted in a calendar year. The designation "translational researcher" refers to basic research that can move from the lab bench to become patented medicine. Dr. Weiner's patented innovations relate to advancing the field of DNA-based immunotherapies targeting challenging infectious diseases and cancers. Over his career he holds more than 100 issued and pending U.S. patents. From 1986 until 2015, Dr. Weiner's lab was at the University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine. In 2016, Dr. Weiner joined The Wistar Institute, the nation's first independent biomedical research institute, an NCI-designated Cancer Center, and an international leader in cancer, immunology and infectious disease research, as Executive Vice President, Director of its Vaccine Center and the W. W. Smith Charitable Trust Endowed Professorship in Cancer Research. Dr. J. Joseph Kim, Inovio's President and CEO, said, "This award acknowledges David's innovation and commitment to creating tomorrow's medicines with a revolutionary technology, DNA-based immunotherapies and vaccines, which Inovio is developing in early and late-stage clinical trials. While I can say I am personally proud of my association with Dr. Weiner, which is now decades long, I can also say that we at Inovio as a team have tremendous respect and appreciation for his innovation and dedication to this field and congratulate him on this award." About Dr. David B. Weiner Dr. Weiner is a world-renowned leader in immunology as well as gene vaccines and immunotherapy. In scientific circles he is known as the "father of DNA vaccines." He has more than 350 peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals, including mainstream publications such as Scientific American, and has been designated by the Institute for Scientific Information as one of the top-cited scientists in the world. An inventor of more than 100 issued and pending U.S. patents, Dr. Weiner has received numerous honors including election as a fellow to the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2011 and the International Society for Vaccines in 2012. He was the recipient of the NIH Director's Transformative Research Award and received the Vaccine Industry Excellence Award for Best Academic Research Team in 2015 at the World Vaccine Congress. Dr. Weiner was honored with the prestigious Hilleman Lectureship in 2015 at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Grand Rounds session and received a Stone Family Award from Abramson Cancer Center for his groundbreaking work on DNA vaccines for cancer immune therapy. David Weiner holds a Ph.D. in developmental biology from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, an M.S. in biology from the University of Cincinnati, and a B.S. in biology from SUNY at Stony Brook in Stony Brook, N.Y.