Dr Ruxandra Draghia-Akli (MD, PhD) is Director of the Health Directorate at the Research and Innovation DG of the European Commission. Dr Draghia-Akli served as Vice-President of Research at VGX Pharmaceuticals (now Inovio) and VGX Animal Health. Her research activities focused on molecular biology, gene therapy and vaccination. She is a global leader in the field of nucleic acid delivery for therapeutic and vaccination applications. She is an inventor on more than a hundred patents and patent applications. Dr Draghia-Akli published numerous scientific papers and served as ad-hoc reviewer for granting agencies, meetings for gene therapy and endocrinology societies, and scientific journals in Europe and the USA. Dr Draghia-Akli received an MD from Carol Davilla Medical School and a PhD in human genetics from the Romanian Academy of Medical Sciences. She also completed a doctoral fellowship at the University of Rene Descartes in Paris and a post-doctoral training at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), Houston, Texas, USA, and served as faculty at BCM. In 2012, she became an honorary member of the Romanian Academy of Medical Sciences.