"Inovio is honored to have Dr. Cabrera, a world renowned international business expert, bring his unique management and leadership experience to Inovio's Board," said Inovio's president and CEO, Dr. J. Joseph Kim.
"His insights will be valuable to Inovio's organizational development and in the strategic decision-making around the many technology and product development as well as partnering opportunities available to us as we advance our synthetic vaccines."
Dr. Cabrera is the outgoing president of the Thunderbird School of Global Management, and will become president of George Mason University, the largest university in Virginia, on July 1, 2012.
During his eight-year reign at the Thunderbird school, Dr. Cabrera led an academic, operational and financial overhaul, stemming operating deficits and declining revenues.
Prior to this, Cabrera served as Dean at the IE Business School in Madrid, which he helped transform into a highly ranked international business school.
Dr. Cabrera has published in fields ranging from learning technology to psychology, management and higher education, with his most recent book published by Harvard Business Review Press.
Inovio Pharmaceuticals is focused on the discovery, development and delivery of DNA vaccines. The company is looking at immunotherapies to potentially prevent and treat cancers and chronic infectious diseases.
Its SynCon vaccines are designed to provide universal cross-strain protection against known and newly emergent unmatched strains of pathogens.
The synthetic vaccines, combined with Inovio's proprietary electroporation delivery, have been shown to generate "best-in-class" immune responses in humans, the company said, with a favorable safety profile.
Inovio's clinical programs include phase II studies for cervical dysplasia, leukemia and hepatitis C virus, and phase I studies for influenza and HIV.
Last month, the company said its SynCon avian flu vaccine generated protective antibody responses against six different H5N1 virus strains in a phase I trial, a key step in the company's path to develop universal flu vaccines.
The company said that with the robust antibody and T cell responses generated, it has achieved proof of principle.
By design, Inovio's SynCon flu vaccine is not matched to any single virus. The company's SynCon technology allows it to design synthetic vaccines with the potential to protect against unmatched sub-types and strains of pathogens, including newly emergent, unknown strains of a virus that will periodically emerge through mutation, as in the case of the flu.