Plenary

Stacey J. Adam, PhD, Director, Cancer Research Partnerships, Foundation for the National Institutes of Health

Dr. Stacey Adam is the Scientific Program Manager for Cancer at the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH). In her role, she leads the Cancer Research Partnership programs. She is a molecular pharmacologist/cancer biologist skilled in molecular biology techniques, animal modeling, clinical genomics, systems biology, project and team management, and strategy consulting. Prior to FNIH, Dr. Adam was a Manager at Deloitte Consulting within the Federal Life Sciences and Healthcare Strategy practice where she supported a number of federal and non-profit client projects. She was the project manager and scientific research advisor for an Institute-wide research strategic planning effort for an institute at the NIH and for a project to develop a novel technology platform to assist a major non-profit agency with combining clinical, genomic, and patient-generated data to accelerate research on chronic gastrointestinal diseases. She also worked for two years with a federally-associated non-profit granting agency as a scientific review officer. Before Deloitte, Dr. Adam conducted her postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University School of Medicine, Department of Oncology where she was both an NIH and American Cancer Society supported fellow. While at Stanford, she focused on developing better animal models for studying lymphoma and osteosarcoma; performing large cancer genomics screens for genes related to self-renewal, differentiation, and tumor recurrence; merging high-throughput biological techniques with novel cancer animal models to define molecular disease signatures to allow for rapid diagnosis and prognosis of cancer; and working with companies to test novel compounds in pre-clinical trials.

Peter Bergethon, Vice President, Quantitative Medicine & Clinical Technologies, Biogen

Peter R. Bergethon, MD is Vice President and Head of Quantitative Medicine and Clinical Technologies (QMCT) at Biogen. He leads the identification of technologies and methodologies that transform drug development. QMCT creates value by leading the transition of clinical practice in Biogen’s core and emerging growth areas from a qualitative to a quantitative discipline, and connecting the Clinical with the Research enterprise, to advance therapeutics and personalized medicine.  Peter came to Biogen in 2017 from Pfizer Worldwide Research and Development where he was Vice President and Head of the Pfizer Innovation Research Lab within the Early Clinical Development group.  At Pfizer, Peter led both the Quantitative Medicine group and the Innovation Research Labs where he pioneered mobile and digital clinical assessment technology, human neurophenotyping, and multi-modal data analytics to accelerate clinical development in neuroscience, immunology, rare diseases, and cardiometabolic disease. He is an accomplished clinical neurologist and neuroscientist who, prior to joining Pfizer, was a Professor at Boston University and Tufts University in the Departments of Biochemistry, Neurology, Neurobiology & Anatomy, and Biomedical Engineering.

Kim Branson, PhD, Head of AI, Early Clinical Development, Genentech, A Member of the Roche Group

Kim has been involved in large scale machine learning and medical informatics initiatives for over 15 years, over a range of ventures from computational drug design to disease risk prediction. He is currently the Head of the Artificial Intelligence group for Genentech, Early Clinical Development. Recently, he served as founder and Chief Data Scientist at Lumiata, a predictive health analytics company. Kim received degrees from the University of Adelaide (Science and Medicine), and a PhD from the University of Melbourne (Australia) He was a Peter Doherty fellow and received postdoctoral training at the University of Cambridge, and Stanford University (Dr. Vijay Pande). He then held leadership and consulting roles in the pharmaceutical and medical informatics industry. Kim began his industry career at Vertex Pharmaceuticals (Pat Walters) Following this, Kim worked as the founding team for Discovery Engine (acquired by Twitter in 2009) and health informatics at Gliimpse (acquired by Apple in 2017). Kim currently serves on the board of OpenEye Scientific Inc.

Christine Dingivan, MD, GDD Head, Data and Digital, Novartis

Christine Dingivan, MD, is Global Head of Data & Digital at Novartis and leads the company’s digital efforts across the Global Drug Development division. She joined Novartis from Pharmaceutical Product Development (PPD), where she was Global Head Strategic Client Solutions & Chief Medical Officer, and a Member of the Executive Committee. Before that, she was a biopharmaceutical executive at MedImmune and AstraZeneca, leading clinical research efforts across multiple therapeutic areas including product development strategy, clinical operations, biostatistics, data management, regulatory, HEOR and medical affairs. Christine has over 20 years of experience across Research & Development and Commercial divisions, with responsibilities that span commercial strategy, corporate development and medical governance.

Jernej Godec, PhD, Associate, Apple Tree Partners

Jernej Godec has been a part of the Apple Tree’s Therapeutics team since 2016 where he focuses on early stage biotechnology investments. He is actively involved with the firm’s company creation and development activities with a recent focus on Elstar Therapeutics, a cancer immunotherapy company working with multifunctional antibodies. Prior to Apple Tree, Jernej has worked with Flagship Pioneering and has over ten years of basic science research experience in T cell immunology and innate immunity. Jernej holds a PhD in Immunology from Harvard University and received his BA with honors in Molecular and Cell Biology at University of California, Berkeley.

Peter Henstock, PhD, AI & Machine Learning Lead, Pfizer

https://www.linkedin.com/in/peterhenstock

Daniel R. Karlin, MD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Tufts University School of Medicine

Dr. Karlin is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Tufts University School of Medicine, Industry Transformation Officer at Hu-Manity.co, Director of Biotech Ventures with CEAi and General Manager of HealthMode. He was previously the Head of Clinical, Informatics, and Regulatory Strategy for Digital Medicine at Pfizer, having passed through a number of roles on the way to this position including Senior Director, Quantitative Medicine, Group Lead for Human Biology and Medical Informatics with Pfizer's Neuroscience Research Unit in Cambridge, MA. At Tufts, he had previously been the Director of Psychiatry Informatics, and the Associate Training Director for Psychiatry. He is the Executive Director at Center for International Emergency Medical Services, former Partner in the healthcare consulting company Triple Canopy Advisors, and the Co-Founder and former Chief Medical Officer of Column Health, an addiction treatment startup. His primary research interests are neuropsychiatric drug discovery, medical informatics, cognition in clinical medicine, and methodologies for medical education, especially as these relate to decision-making strategies used by medical professionals. In addition, Dr. Karlin is actively involved in designing and implementing information systems and resources for clinical and research use. Dr. Karlin trained in Psychiatry at Tufts Medical Center, attended medical school at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and graduate school for Clinical Informatics and Cognitive Science as well as undergraduate studies in Neuroscience and Behavior at Columbia University. He is board certified in Psychiatry, Addiction Medicine, and Clinical Informatics.

Jennifer Michaelson, PhD, Vice President, Preclinical Research & Early Development, Cullinan Oncology

Jennifer Michaelson is currently Vice President, Preclinical Research and Early Development at Cullinan Oncology in Cambridge MA, where she oversees the biologics portfolio. Prior to joining Cullinan, Jennifer served as Senior Director and Executive Program Leader at Jounce Therapeutics, where she led the flagship ICOS antibody program, JTX-2011, from inception into Phase II development. Previously, during her 10-year tenure at Biogen, Jennifer served as project leader for several biologics programs in both the Oncology and Immunology therapeutic areas. Jennifer has also been employed as a consultant at Third Rock Ventures for multiple stealth companies. Jennifer received her A.B. in Biology from Princeton University and PhD in Cell Biology from Albert Einstein College of Medicine and completed a post-doc in Philip Leder’s laboratory in Genetics at Harvard Medical School.

Mene Pangalos, PhD, Executive Vice-President, Research & Development BioPharmaceuticals, AstraZeneca

Mene was appointed Executive Vice President of AstraZeneca’s, R&D BioPharmaceuticals unit in January 2019 and is responsible for R&D from discovery through to late-stage development for Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism (CVRM) and Respiratory diseases. Prior to this, he served as Executive Vice President of AstraZeneca’s Innovative Medicines and Early Development Biotech Unit and Global Business Development, where he had overall responsibility for research and early development activities spanning three continents. Since joining AstraZeneca in 2010, Mene has been instrumental in transforming the company’s commitment to science. He has led the transformation of R&D productivity through the development and implementation of the “5R” framework resulting in a greater than four-fold increase in success rates compared to industry averages. In parallel, he has championed an open approach to working with academic and other external partners, changing the nature of academic-industry collaboration. One of AstraZeneca’s leading scientists, Mene has published over 150 peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals and has served as editor of various books and journals. He is a Visiting Professor of Neuroscience at King’s College London and the holder of an Honorary degree of Doctor of Science from Glasgow University. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, the Royal Society of Biology and Clare Hall, University of Cambridge. He serves on the Medical Research Council (MRC) Council, co-chairs the Life Sciences Council Expert Group on Innovation, Clinical Research and Data and is a member of the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy Implementation Board and the Royal Society’s Science, Industry and Translation Committee. He is also a Board member of the British Pharmaceutical Group, The Francis Crick Institute, Dizal Pharma and Cambridge University’s Judge Business School. Mene also oversees the creation of AstraZeneca’s new research centre and Global Headquarters in Cambridge - a state of the art facility designed to stimulate collaborative scientific innovation - and which will play an important role in the future success of the UK life science industry.

Saurabh Saha, MD, PhD, Senior Vice President and Global Head, Translational Medicine, Bristol-Myers Squibb

Saurabh Saha, MD, PhD, is Senior Vice President and Global Head of Translational Medicine at Bristol-Myers Squibb. Previously, Dr. Saha was a venture partner at Atlas Venture where he held leadership positions with a number of its portfolio biotech companies, including as chief medical officer of Synlogic (NASDAQ: SYBX), and as chief executive officer of Delinia until its sale to Celgene in early 2017 for $775M. In 2008, Dr. Saha established the translational research and development organization BioMed Valley Discoveries where he served as chief scientific officer and later president and was responsible for leading the development and demonstrating human effectiveness of two first-in-class cancer therapies. Earlier in his career, Dr. Saha was a consultant in the pharmaceutical practice at McKinsey and Company and subsequently appointed director and head of the New Indications Discovery Unit at Novartis. He has published over 90 peer-reviewed articles and patents (issued and pending). Dr. Saha is on the editorial boards of a number of medical journals and is an associate member and global clinical scholar at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Saha holds an MD and PhD in cancer genetics from The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where he completed his graduate studies in Bert Vogelstein’s lab. He is an alumnus of Harvard Business School and Oxford University, completing the general management program and an MSc in biophysics respectively. Dr. Saha received a BSc in biochemistry after graduating in two and a half years from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

Sybil Williams, PhD, Director, Biology Oncology Discovery, Merck

I am a Director in Oncology Discovery at Merck Research Laboratories, Boston. My team and I lead multiple immunomodulatory and tumor cell intrinsic drug discovery programs in various stages of development, from target ID and validation to the early clinical stage. These programs consist of biologics, small molecule and vaccine approaches. I joined Merck Oncology in 2009 after doing my postdoctoral training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. I received by BS in Biology from the University of Richmond and my PhD in Cancer Biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Michael Woo, PharmD, MBA, Head Search & Evaluation, Immuno-Oncology, External Innovation, EMD Serono Research & Development Institute

Dr. Michael Woo heads Search and Evaluation in Immuno-Oncology at EMD Serono.  Michael has broad experiences in business development and drug development.  Prior to joining EMD Serono, Michael served in areas of increasing responsibility in Business Development & Licensing at Novartis Oncology, leading Due Diligence and actively participating in Search and Evaluation for oncology therapeutics.  Before joining Novartis, Michael was leading Due Diligence in the areas of Oncology, Immunology, Infectious Diseases, and Neuroscience in Roche Partnering.  Michael has been an active member of deal teams that have completed deals and strategic partnerships in Oncology and Immuno-Oncology.  Michael has also served on global program teams responsible for the development of small molecules and biologics in Oncology from Phase 1 through Regulatory filing at Bristol-Myers Squibb and at Roche. Michael received a B.Sc.Phm. from the University of Toronto, an M.S.C.I. from Vanderbilt University, an M.B.A from New York University Stern School of Business, and a Doctor of Pharmacy from Wayne State University.  Michael completed his residency at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and post-doctoral fellowships at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Michael is a member of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

Paul Young, PhD, Executive Director, Business Development & Licensing, Merck

Paul is a member of the Business Development & Licensing team at the Boston Innovation Hub, Merck Research Laboratories. He is focused on search and evaluation of new, external pipeline opportunities for oncology and immuno-oncology, both as single agents as well as in combination with approved cancer therapies such as pembrolizumab. Paul is a leader, innovator, and pipeline builder with more than 25 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. He has a unique career mix of science, strategy, and business development that has successfully delivered numerous internal R&D programs for clinical development as well as transformational licensing deals with external parties. Paul has deep experience and success both at small biotech startups as well as global pharmaceutical companies. Prior positions include Head of Technologies, External Science & Innovation, Pfizer; Global Head, External Innovation, EMD Serono; CSO, Syndexa Pharmaceuticals; Head of Operations, Oncology Discovery and Science Site Head, Sanofi; VP of Research, Avalon Pharmaceuticals; Research Scientist and Project Leader, Human Genome Sciences. Paul received his BS in Biology from Yale University; PhD in Cellular, Molecular, & Developmental Biology from Harvard University, and completed his postdoctoral fellowship at Genentech in Immunology & Molecular Oncology.

Leigh Zawel, PhD, CSO, Cullinan Oncology

Dr. Leigh Zawel, an oncology expert with significant pharmaceutical experience overseeing large and small-molecule projects, is the CSO of Small Molecules for Cullinan Oncology, a portfolio company of MPM’s oncology-only crossover investment strategy. Most recently, Leigh was Vice President and East Coast Site Head for Pfizer’s Centers for Therapeutic Innovation where he managed a portfolio of large and small-molecule projects spanning oncology, immunology and rare disease from which five clinical stage programs emerged in five years. Prior to Pfizer, he was the oncology site lead at Merck Research Laboratories in Boston. In this role, he was responsible for drug discovery efforts focused on the identification of development candidates for programs in the oncology franchise. He also formerly held posts at Sanofi-Aventis, where he was Director of Cancer Biology, and at Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, where he was an Oncology Group Leader and led the team credited with discovering LCL161, an industry leading IAP inhibitor. He has a deep background in identifying and validating oncology drug targets and in transitioning drug discovery programs through lead optimization to Phase I clinical trials. Leigh has published more than 35 scientific papers. He is also an inventor on 45 patents covering chemical matter, drug combinations, biomarker utility and gene function in areas of apoptosis, inflammation and TGFB signaling. Leigh earned his PhD in the laboratory of Danny Reinberg where he identified and characterized components of the RNA Polymerase II basal transcription machinery. His postdoctoral training was in the laboratory of Bert Vogelstein and Ken Kinzler and focused on dysregulation of TGFB signaling in cancer. Leigh also holds a M.S. in Bacteriology from the University of Wisconsin, as well as a B.S. in Biology from Rutgers University.

Litao Zhang, PhD, Vice President, Leads Discovery and Optimization, Bristol-Myers Squibb

Litao Zhang is vice present of Leads Discovery and Optimization at Bristol-Myers Squibb. She championed the leveraging technology initiative and established a first-rate technology infrastructure to fill functional gaps across research sites at BMS. In the recent five years, she led her team launching numerous technology platforms to address unmet Discovery needs for Immuno-Oncology. These advanced technology capabilities have been used to bridge Discovery, Pharmaceutical Development and Global Manufacture Service supporting IO discovery and IND filing.

Internet of Diagnostic Things

Extracellular Vesicles

Silvia De Paoli, PhD, Staff Scientist, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER), Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Silvia De Paoli has a Doctorate in Chemistry from the University of Sao Paulo-Brazil. She was a postdoctoral fellow at University of Wisconsin (Madison and Milwaukee, WI) and at the National Institute of Standard and Technology (Gaithersburg, MD). Silvia has spent the past 7 years working for the Food and Drug Administration performing research related to extracellular vesicles, particularly derived from human blood platelets, red blood cells and endothelial cells. She has extensive experience in nanotechnology and biophysics applied to biomedical and to regulatory sciences. 

Raghu Kalluri, MD, PhD, Professor and Chair, Department of Cancer Biology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Raghu Kalluri was born in St. Louis, Missouri. He received his B.S. in Chemistry and Genetics, then earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Kansas Medical Center, and then received his M.D. degree from Brown University Medical School. Dr. Kalluri was a postdoctoral fellow and a research associate at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School and performed research in areas of immunology and organ fibrosis. In 1997, Dr. Kalluri moved to Harvard Medical School as an Assistant Professor of Medicine and as a faculty based in the Department of Medicine at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. In 2000, he was named Associate Professor and the Director of the Center for Matrix Biology. In 2006, this program became the Division of Matrix Biology and Dr. Kalluri was appointed the Chief of the Division and promoted to Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He held appointments in the Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at HMS, Harvard MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Harvard Stem Cell Institute and was a research fellow of the HMS Peabody Society. In 2012, Dr. Kalluri moved to The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center as the Chairman and Professor of the Department of Cancer Biology and the Director of the Metastasis Research Center. Dr. Kalluri currently holds the RE Bob Smith Distinguished Chair for Cancer Biology and previously held the Olla S. Stribling Distinguished Chair in Cancer Research and the Rebecca and Joseph Brown Endowed Chair at MD Anderson Cancer Center. In 2015 Dr. Kalluri received the Jacob Henle Medal from the Georg-August University in Germany to honor his contribution to medical research. He is the recipient of several mentorship and teaching awards from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School. He is also the recipient of research excellence awards for his work on basement membranes and extracellular matrix as related to fibrosis and cancer progression. He is the fellow of American Society of Clinical Investigation and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Dr. Kalluri has published over 287 peer-reviewed manuscripts. Dr. Kalluri has trained 73 postdoctoral fellows, 11 graduate students, and 56 undergraduate students, and fifty-one of his trainees hold academic positions around the world. Dr. Kalluri teaches 1st year core courses for graduate students and medical students. He serves on science and health advisory panels in the USA and European Union and on the editorial boards of several academic journals representing biology and medicine. His laboratory is broadly interested in the study of cell/tissue microenvironment and its impact on cancer progression and metastasis, and tissue injury and repair.

Dana Larocca, PhD, Vice President, Discovery Research, AgeX Therapeutics, Inc.

Dana Larocca is Vice President of Discovery Research at AgeX Therapeutics, Inc. Her current research is focused on development of iTR (induced Tissue Regeneration) by re-activating embryonic pathways using genetic approaches and transfer of embryonic progenitor cell EVs. She has over 20 years of leadership experience in the Biotechnology Industry working in regenerative medicine, stem cell research and gene therapy. She founded Mandala Biosciences, LLC in 2008, and as Chief Executive Officer, raised over $3M in non-dilutive funding from SBIR and CIRM grants. She managed a team focused on developing targeted nanoparticle probes for identifying, tracking and manufacturing purified therapeutic stem cells. Dr. Larocca previously held joint positions at Advanced Cell Technology (now Astellas) and the Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute. She is author of 43 scientific publications and inventor of 25 patents and patent applications in the fields of regenerative medicine, gene therapy, and immunotherapy. Dr. Larocca holds a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Southern California and a B.S. in Biology from Ithaca College. She did her post-doctoral training at Harvard University.

Hakho Lee, PhD, Associate Professor, Center for Systems Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital

Dr. Lee is Associate Professor in Radiology at Harvard Medical School, Director of the Biomedical Engineering Program at the Center for Systems Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), and 2017 class of MGH Scholar. Dr. Lee has extensive experience in nanomaterials, biophysics, microfluidics, and electrical engineering. His research focuses on developing new biosensor technologies for cancer detection, and has introduced numerous novel diagnostic systems; these include the world’s smallest NMR device, Hall-effect magnetic cytometers, nanaplamonic systems for exosome analysis, and mobile diagnostic devices. Many of these systems have been translated clinical applications.

Per Lundin, PhD, MBA, European Patent Attorney, Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer, Evox Therapeutics Ltd.

Dr Per Lundin co-founded Evox Therapeutics in 2016, was the company’s first employee and acts as its chief operating officer, with responsibility for business development, intellectual property, and strategy. Prior to Evox, Dr Lundin founded and led IsletOne Therapeutics, a mesenchymal stromal cell company working in the inflammatory disease space. An authorized European Patent Attorney, he has also led business development teams within legal practice and consulting. Dr Lundin holds a PhD from the Karolinska Institute, Sweden, an MBA from Stockholm University, and an MSc in biotechnology from Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden.

Eduardo Marban, MD, PhD, Director, Smidt Heart Institute, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Eduardo Marbán, MD, PhD, is an international leader in cardiology and a pioneering heart researcher.  His 30-plus years of experience in patient care and research have led to key discoveries in gene and stem cell therapies for heart disease. Those discoveries have formed the basis for multiple startup companies.

Marbán attended public schools through high school and later Wilkes College, where he earned a BS in Mathematics. Thereafter, Marbán completed a combined MD/PhD program at Yale University. Postgraduate training took him to the Osler Medical Service at the Johns Hopkins University, where he eventually spent 26 productive years. During his tenure there, he served in a variety of academic and research leadership positions, including Chief of Cardiology. In his research career, Marbán, a cellular electrophysiologist by training, has pursued questions of relevance to heart disease (ischemia, heart failure and arrhythmias). The Marbán laboratory elucidated the fundamental pathogenesis of myocardial stunning, pioneered the concept of gene therapy to alter electrical excitability, and created the first de novo biological pacemaker as an alternative to electronic pacemakers. He first became interested in stem cells in 2002, building upon his work on biological pacemakers. Since 2004 the lab has been intensively studying cardiac progenitor cells, their origins and their therapeutic potential. The basic work has come full circle in that Marbán’s cardiac-derived cell products form the basis for 6 grant-funded clinical trials: four completed (CADUCEUS, DYNAMIC, ALLSTAR, and HOPE-Duchenne), and two ongoing (Regress-HFpEF and ALPHA). In 2007, Dr. Marbán became founding director of the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, a multidisciplinary entity which brings together adult and pediatric cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, imaging specialists and researchers to foster discovery and enhance patient care. The institute, which was renamed the Smidt Heart Institute in 2018, is built on a long tradition of excellence and innovation at Cedars-Sinai, including the invention of the Swan-Ganz catheter.  The Smidt Heart Institute, ranked by US News and World Report as the top heart program in the western USA since 2013, performs more heart transplants annually than any other institution worldwide. Among the many honors Dr. Marbán has received are the Basic Research Prize of the American Heart Association (AHA), the Research Achievement Award of the International Society for Heart Research, the Gill Heart Institute Award and the Distinguished Scientist Awards of the AHA and the American College of Cardiology.

Maria Mirotsou, PhD, Senior Director of Research, Astellas Institute of Regenerative Medicine

Dr. Maria Mirotsou is the Sr. Director of Research at the Astellas Institute of Regenerative Medicine. She has over 15 years’ experience in the stem cell and gene therapy as well as in target discovery and biomarker research. Her current focus involves the integration of preclinical research, translation, early product development and business strategy in the area of Regenerative Medicine. She is a co-author on nearly 30 publications and an inventor on numerous patents.

P Shannon Pendergrast, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer, Ymir Genomics LLC

Dr. Pendergrast received his PhD from the Rutgers University Waksman Institute of Microbiology in Molecular Genetics, did his post-doctoral training at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories, and has over 15 years of experience in industry as a Scientist, Executive, and Entrepreneur. Throughout his career Dr. Pendergrast has developed cutting edge methods to further our understanding of biological processes. As a graduate fellow in the lab of Dr. Richard Ebright he developed a novel crosslinking method to study protein-nucleic acid complex structure as well as an artificial restriction enzyme capable of cleaving megabase-sized substrates. During his post-doctoral research with Dr. Nouria Hernandez he used cutting edge methods to probe protein interactions on the HIV-1 promoter. As a Senior Principal Investigator at The Archemix Corp he developed a new method to deliver RNA aptamer therapeutics to cells. As CSO of Ymir Genomics LLC he entered the field of Biomarker Discovery and characteristically went right to work developing innovative new methods to improve extracellular biomarker isolation from biofluids. He has published over 30 scientific papers, patents and book chapters and is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Circulating Biomarkers.

Johan Skog, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer, Exosome Diagnostics, a Bio-Techne brand

Dr Skog is the Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) and founding scientist of Exosome Diagnostics, now a Bio-techne brand. He has pioneered discoveries about exosomes and other microvesicles and their vital role as cell messengers and disease proliferators. While at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, he was the first to show that tumor-derived mutations can be detected in exosome RNA from serum and other biofluids, findings which were published in Nature Cell Biology in 2008. He also pioneered discoveries how these vesicles can be used therapeutically by incorporating gene therapy vectors into microvesicles as a “stealth” vector with changed tropisms (Maguire et al. Molecular Therapy 2012 Feb 7). In addition, he found that exosomes serve to deliver messages to other cells, inducing changes favorable to the proliferation of cancer. Dr Skog has invented several novel exosome isolation platforms that are used clinically (cGMP manufactured). He continues to expand the field of exosome biology and lead critical advancements in diagnostics, including the world’s first exosome-based diagnostic tests that is now helping clinicians and patients.

Gyongyi Szabo, MD, PhD, FAASLD, AGAF, FACP, Professor, Vice Chair for Research, Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School

Gyongyi Szabo, MD, PhD is the Worcester Foundation for Biomedical Research Endowed Chair, Professor and Vice Chair of Medicine and Associate Provost at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.  Dr. Szabo is an internationally recognized leader in the field of liver immunology and inflammation. Her clinical investigations focus on alcoholic hepatitis, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and viral hepatitis. She is the lead investigator on an NIH-supported multicenter clinical trial in alcoholic hepatitis. Her laboratory studies the cellular and molecular mechanisms of inflammation and innate immunity in liver injury to identify therapeutic targets in liver diseases including non-alcoholic liver disease and NASH. Her investigations recently revealed the importance of micro-RNAs and extracellular vesicles in liver diseases.  Dr. Szabo’s is member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and fellow of the AASLD, AGA and the American College of Physicians (ACP). Dr. Szabo serves on advisory boards of several federal agencies and leading academic institutions. Dr. Szabo is Immediate Past President of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) and the inaugural Editor-in-Chief of Hepatology Communications.

3D Cellular Models

Kambez H. Benam, PhD, Assistant Professor, Division of Pulmonary Sciences and Critical Care Medicine, Departments of Medicine & Bioengineering, University of Colorado

Kambez H. Benam is Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado Denver, School of Medicine with a secondary appointment at the Department of Bioengineering. He is the founder of Lung Microengineering Lab at University of Colorado, which brings together researchers from the engineering, biology, biopharmaceutical industry, clinical and business communities with the aim of developing new technologies that recreate complex human organ pathophysiology in vitro, and applying them to discover novel therapeutics and personalized biomarkers. His research focuses on applying disruptive technologies that enable his team to elucidate cellular and molecular mechanisms that govern tissue pathology or offer protection during lung injury and host-environment interaction. Dr. Benam received his B.Sc. (Hons) in Pharmacology from the Newcastle University (UK) and his D.Phil. (Ph.D.) in Immunology from the University of Oxford (UK). He then was trained as a Technology Development Fellow at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University. Dr. Benam has been the recipient of multiple awards including Society of Toxicology IRSS, Baxter and Lush Young Investigator Awards and his work has received extensive press coverage (Fox News, BBC, STAT News, Harvard Gazette, Washington Times, IEEE Spectrum, etc.). He has published in leading scientific journals (Nature Methods, Cell systems, JCI Insight, Nature Protocols, etc.) and is a co-inventor on ten pending patent applications and multiple reports of invention.

Choi-Fong Cho, PhD, Instructor, Department of Neurosurgery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School

Choi-Fong Cho, PhD, is an Instructor in the Department of Neurosurgery at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH). She is also a Research Affiliate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and an Associate Researcher at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. She is now leading a research team at BWH to develop blood-brain-barrier modeling platforms, as well as precision medicines for the treatment of advanced brain cancers. Dr. Cho has received many recognitions and been awarded the 2017 BWH Honor Roll for her work.

Guohao Dai, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Bioengineering, Northeastern University

Dr. Dai is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Bioengineering at Northeastern University. Dr. Dai received his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from MIT’s HST Program (Harvard-MIT Division of Health Science and Technology). He completed his Post-doctoral training in Vascular Biology at Harvard Medical School (Center for Excellence in Vascular Biology).  Current researches in his lab focus on the 3-D bioprinting technology, stem cells and vascular bioengineering, and are funded by major grants from NSF, NIH and American Heart Association.  Dr. Dai received the Scientist Development Award from American Heart Association, Faculty Early Career Award from National Science Foundation, Rising Star Award from Biomedical Engineering Society, Institute’s Faculty Career Award (RPI), and College of Engineering Faculty Fellow (Northeastern). He is the elected Fellow of American Heart Association (FAHA).

Emma S. Gargus, MD/PhD Candidate, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University

Emma Gargus is an MD/PhD candidate at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in the laboratory of Teresa K. Woodruff. She received her B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. While at MIT, Emma worked in the laboratory of Linda Griffith, developing micropatterned PEG hydrogels for multiple applications, including for perfused 3D culture of hepatocytes for high-throughput drug screening and for analysis of cells found in the peritoneal fluid of patients with endometriosis. At the Ohio State University, Emma leveraged her experience with fabricating micropatterned hydrogel substrates to a study a clinical problem: lung cancer. By modifying the culture substrate for human lung epithelial carcinoma cells, she was able to induce the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), the process believed to be responsible for metastasis. Now in the Woodruff laboratory, her research focuses on the development of novel biomaterials for 3D culture and transplantation of ovarian follicles and understanding the physical properties of the native ovary using emerging advanced microscopy techniques.

Michael Hiatt, Senior Scientist, Bioengineering Research and Development, STEMCELL Technologies

Dr. Hiatt obtained his PhD in Experimental Medicine from the University of British Columbia, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Developmental Biology and Regenerative Medicine at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, before joining STEMCELL in 2015. He has worked closely with clinical and academic researchers to develop more physiologically relevant cell models.

Hansjoerg Keller, PhD, Senior Investigator I, Musculoskeletal, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research

Hansjoerg Keller is a Senior Investigator in the Musculoskeletal Disease Area at Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research in Basel, Switzerland.He studied Biochemistry and graduated in Neurochemistry at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich (ETHZ), Switzerland in 1988. During his postdoctoral fellowship at the Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA, USA (Prof. J. Gottesfeld) and later at the University of Lausanne (Prof. W. Wahli), he studied the role of transcription factors in the regulation of gene transcription discovering PPAR nuclear receptors and their activation by fatty acids. In 1996, he joined Novartis leading different drug discovery projects including selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) and sclerostin inhibitors for osteoporosis treatment, and selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs) against muscle wasting. His current research focuses on exercise-regulated myokines as new drug targets for the development of novel therapies against muscle wasting diseases. To this end, his group is pioneering 3D bioprinting technologies for the engineering of functional human skeletal muscle tissue models for in vitro screening of compounds affecting muscle function such as force, endurance and fatigue.

Graham Marsh, PhD, Scientist, Translational Cell Sciences, Biogen

I’m working at Biogen to develop and build novel 3D tissue models to study neurological disease. My background is in bioengineering and I obtained my PhD in the lab of Richard Waugh at the University of Rochester.

Thomas Nieland, PhD,Research Associate Professor, Initiative for Neural Science, Disease & Engineering (INSciDE@Tufts), Department of Biomedical Engineering, Tufts University

Thomas Nieland's research focuses on elucidate the molecular pathways and cellular and neural circuit defects that cause psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders. He uses engineering approaches to generate 3D culture models that replicate the complex architecture and function of diseased neural circuits. His multidisciplinary approach integrates bioengineering, material science, organoids, optogenetics, electrophysiology, and stem cell biology with genetics, high-throughput drug discovery and functional genomics, systems biology, and bioinformatics. Previously, Prof. Nieland previously led research groups at Merck Research Laboratories, Stanford University and the Broad Institute with the goal to identify disease mechanisms, targets and drugs for Alzheimer’s, Parkinsons’ disease, schizophrenia and autism. He received post-doctoral training at Prof. Rick Huganir lab at Johns Hopkins University and graduate training at Harvard Medical School and MIT, with a degree received from the VU University of Amsterdam

Rachelle Prantil-Baun, PhD, Sr. Staff Scientist, Wyss Institute

Prantil-Baun’s research interests focus on integrating cell biology with engineering in order to enhance our understanding of cellular mechanisms in disease, as well as improving drug efficacy and safety. She has 7 years of experience in the development of cell models and assays for target validation and improved platforms for drug discovery in both industry and academic settings. Her career has focused mainly on the development of better cell models for diabetes and obesity and airway inflammation. Rachelle received a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Syracuse University and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh.

Jianwen Que, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Medicine, Columbia University Medical Center

Currently I am an Associate Professor at the Department of Medicine in Columbia University Medical Center. I was a medical student in Peking University Health Science Center from 1994 to 1999, and worked as a psychiatrist for about two years after graduation. Lured by the mysterious nature of basic science and stem cell biology I moved to pursue a PhD degree in endothelial stem cell biology in the National University of Singapore (10/2001-5/2005). In 8/2005 I came to the department of Cell Biology at Duke University to study lung stem cells and development under the guidance of Dr. Brigid Hogan. With funding from an independent pathway Award (K99/00) I started my independent career at the department of biomedical genetics, University of Rochester in 10/2010. I have been staying there for about 4 and half years and was recruited to my current institute, Columbia University.

Xi Ren (Charlie), Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University

My graduate research was focused on the genetic regulation of vertebrate vascular and hematopoietic development (Blood 115 (26): 5338–5346). Moving from vascular development to vascular engineering, I joined the Laboratory for Organ Engineering and Regeneration at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School as Postdoctoral Research Fellow in 2012, and became Instructor in Surgery in 2016. During this time, I developed systematic strategies for engineering pulmonary vasculature based on decellularized organ scaffolds (Nature Biotechnology 33 (10): 1097-102; Biomaterials 52: 103-112). I joined the faculty of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in 2017. The research in my laboratory works at the interface of biomaterial and stem cell engineering, with the goal of providing regenerative therapeutic solutions to repair or replace damaged tissues and organs. The extracellular matrix (ECM) is an essential niche component that maintains tissue homeostasis and drives tissue regeneration upon injury. We are developing chemoselective approaches for ECM modulation and functionalization to boost injury repair in vivo and whole-organ bioengineering in vitro (Biomaterials 182: 127-134). In parallel, we are developing strategies to model multi-tissue co-development using pluripotent stem cells, with the goal of recapitulating native cellular and tissue-level niches for proper induction of desired cell/tissue phenotypes for regenerative medicine applications. Currently, we are focusing on simultaneous induction of endoderm- and mesoderm-derived tissues.

Hunter B. Rogers, PhD Candidate, Ob/Gyn, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University

Hunter Rogers is a PhD candidate at Northwestern University within the lab of Teresa K. Woodruff. He received his B.E. and M.S. degrees in Chemical Engineering from Auburn University. During his time at Auburn his research interests included green chemistry synthesis of nanocatalysts, development nanoparticle MRI contrast agents, and size-dependent separation of magnetic nanoparticles within a fluidic system. Following his time at Auburn, his research interests shifted to the development of microfluidic systems for reproductive biology applications, specifically in the area of oncofertility. While at Northwestern, he led the engineering team that developed the EVATAR platform, an ex vivo microfluidic model of the female reproductive tract. His current research focuses on high-throughput microphysiological systems, development of a microfluidic model of polycystic ovarian syndrome, and novel contraceptives. 

Remko van Vught, Director, Business Development, Mimetas B.V.

Remko is a biochemist by training and obtained his Master’s degree in Molecular Life Sciences cum laude at the Radboud University Nijmegen. He received his PhD at the Utrecht University (Netherlands) where he worked on the development of functionalized nanobodies (antibody fragments) for cancer therapy. As Director of Business Development, Remko is involved in all business development activities of MIMETAS.

Robert Vries, PhD, CEO, Hubrecht Organoid Technology (HUB)

Robert received his PhD in Biochemistry form the Leiden University Medical Center on a molecular study of oncogenic transformation. He subsequently moved to Stanford University (USA) to do his Post Doc studying neural stem cells. Upon his return to the Netherlands he continued the study of adult stem cells in the group of Prof Hans Clevers at the Hubrecht Institute in The Netherlands. In the group of Hans Clevers he was part of the team that developed the breakthrough technology that allowed the expansion of adult stem cells. The so-called Organoid Technology became the basis of the non-profit company ‘Hubrecht Organoid Technology’ (HUB) of which he is currently the CEO. 

Yu Shrike Zhang, PhD, Research Faculty & Associate Bioengineer, Division of Engineering in Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School & Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology

Dr. Zhang received a B.Eng. in Biomedical Engineering from Southeast University, China in 2008, after which he then obtained a M.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis (2011) and a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University School of Medicine (2013). Dr. Zhang then pursued postdoctoral training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technologies, and Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.Dr. Zhang is currently a Research Faculty at Harvard Medical School and Associate Bioengineer at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr. Zhang’s research is focused on innovating medical engineering technologies, including 3D bioprinting, organs-on-chips, microfluidics, biomedical imaging, and biosensing, to recreate functional tissues and their biomimetic models. In collaboration with a multidisciplinary team encompassing biomedical, mechanical, electrical, and computer engineers as well as biologists and clinicians, his laboratory seeks to ultimately translate these cutting-edge technologies into the clinics. He is an author of >145 publications and his scientific contributions have been recognized by >40 international, national, and regional awards. More information can be found on his website (www.shrikezhang.com).

Ruogang Zhao, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Department of Biomedical Engineering, State University of New York at Buffalo

Dr. Ruogang Zhao is an assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University at Buffalo.  His current work involves developing and applying advanced biofabrication technologies to create novel engineered tissue models for damaged tissue repair, drug discovery and disease modeling. He received postdoctoral training at the Johns Hopkins University. During his Ph.D. training in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto, he won the prestigious Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada Doctoral Research Award. He obtained his B.Eng. and M.A.S. both in Engineering Mechanics.

Preclinical Strategies, Models & Tools in Oncology

Rainer Blaesius, PhD, Technology Manager, BD Technologies and Innovation

Dr. Blaesius received his PhD in Biochemistry from the Free University in Berlin. After continuing his graduate work on G Protein Coupled Receptor Signaling in his postdoctoral studies at UNC Chapel Hill, he developed GPCR-based assays for drug discovery as a Senior Scientist at KarobioUSA. Upon joining BD Technologies, he led teams in the development of antibodies for cancer screening and staging assays as well as a novel screening platform for stem cell media. In his present position as Technology Manager, Dr. Blaesius and his colleagues have pioneered the application of Flow Cytometry for Solid Tumor Tissues and Fluorescence Activated Cell Sorting (BD FACS™) to enable Single Cell Molecular analysis of Solid Cancers.

Zhao Chen, PhD, Investigator III, Exploratory Immuno-Oncology, Novartis Institute of Biomedical Research

Zhao earned his PhD from Dartmouth College. He was a translational oncologist specialized in developing and utilizing murine cancer models to better understand tumorigenesis and treatment mechanisms. Zhao is currently leading the mouse modeling efforts to dissect the tumor microenvironment in the Exploratory Oncology Program at Novartis.

Anderson Clark, PhD, Director, Translational in vivo Pharmacology, Translational Innovation Platform, Oncology, EMD Serono

No bio available

Viviana Cremasco, PhD, Investigator III, Exploratory Immuno-Oncology, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR)

Viviana grew up in the north of Italy and received her master’s degree in medical biotechnology from the University of Milan. In 2007, she moved to Washington University in St. Louis, MO for her PhD training, where her studies focused on the characterization of the signaling pathways activated downstream of ITAM-associated receptors in myeloid cells and osteoclasts during rheumatoid arthritis and bone metastasis. She then joined the laboratory of Dr. Shannon Turley at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute for her post-doctoral training, where her research addressed the cellular and molecular mechanisms governing stroma-immune cell cross talk in lymphoid organs. Viviana moved to Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research as an independent investigator in 2015, in the department of Immuno-Oncology. Work in her lab aims at broadening our current understanding of stroma-immune interactions, with particular emphasis on stromal-imposed immunosuppression in the tumor microenvironment. 

Matthias Friedrich, PhD, Scientific Director, Comparative Biology and Safety Sciences, Amgen

Dr. Matthias Friedrich is a Scientific Director at Amgen Research Munich who has been working on bispecific BiTE® antibody constructs since 2006. Formerly, he was a group leader at the Institute for Biochemistry at the University of Frankfurt and did a postdoctoral fellowship in the Hematology/Oncology department of Weill Medical School of Cornell University, New York, USA focusing on anti-angiogenic strategies in the treatment of cancer. Dr. Friedrich has studied biology at the Universities of Muenster and Cologne, Germany and holds an MSc in Applied Toxicology from the University of Surrey, UK.

Mariya Georgieva, PhD, Business Development, ONI

During her PhD at Montpellier Universtity (France), Dr Georgieva focused on developing super-resolution methods to study chromatin conformation dynamics in cells and tissues. As a post-doctoral fellow at Oxford University (UK), Dr Georgieva studied epigenetic regulation kinetics in Embryonic Stem Cells. At ONI she is leading Imaging and Business development.

Charles Glaus, PhD, Director, Translational Research & Early Clinical, Takeda

Charles Glaus, PhD is a Director in the Translational Research and Early Clinical development organization at Takeda Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge, MA. He leads the identification and application of translational quantitative imaging biomarkers to support the discovery and development of novel immuno-oncology and rare disease therapeutics. Charles collaborates across functions and with external research partners to implement preclinical, translational, and early clinical imaging biomarkers to advance Takeda’s innovative pipeline. Prior to joining Takeda, Charles was the Head of the Research Imaging Sciences department at Amgen: an advanced, multimodal imaging laboratory utilizing the latest in imaging technology (MRI, PET, SPECT, CT, optical imaging, radiochemistry, and cutting-edge medical imaging analytics and informatics) to support all Therapeutic Areas, Drug Delivery Devices, DMPK, and Biologics. Prior to joining Amgen, Charles was a postdoctoral researcher at Washington University School of Medicine where he designed probes and methods for PET imaging of cancer and cardiovascular disease and helped establish cGMP production of an immuno-PET radiopharmaceutical at the Siteman Cancer Center. He earned a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University School of Medicine, and a BS in Physics from the University of Missouri.

Norman Greenberg, PhD, CSO, Senior Vice President, Therapeutics, Atreca

Dr. Greenberg leads a multi-disciplinary research and development team delivering unique therapeutics derived from the immune repertoires of elite responder patients in multiple indications. Dr. Greenberg previously held positions as Senior Vice President for Translational Medicine at Checkmate Pharmaceuticals, Vice President of Global Oncology Research at MedImmune/AstraZeneca and Senior Director of Oncology Research at Pfizer.

Rick Huntress, Director, Commercial Business Development, JAX Mice and Clinical Research Services, The Jackson Laboratory

Rick is a Business Development professional with over 25 years of experience in preclinical in vivo biology. His early research included molecular biology & genetically modified mouse development. That led to the management of studies in oncology, neurobiology, metabolic disease in murine models. At The Jackson Laboratory Rick works with BioPharma companies to execute early drug discovery studies with a focus on target engagement, mode-of-action and drug efficacy in murine models of human disease biology.

Andy Hurwitz, PhD, Vice President, Preclinical Research, AgenTus Therapeutics

Dr. Hurwitz received his PhD from The Albert Einstein College of Medicine and did postdoctoral work at The University of California, Berkeley. He initiated his independent research career at SUNY Upstate Medical University and in 2003, moved his lab to the National Cancer Institute (NIH). His laboratory studies T cell responses to tumor antigens using highly relevant preclinical models. The involved the generation and validation of transgenic mouse models to study T cell activation, exhaustion, and tolerance. In 2015, Dr. Hurwitz was recruited to Agenus as Senior Director, TcR Biology. He developed a group that was responsible for biological validation of TcRs. This included both in vitro and in vivo models.  In 2018, AgenTus was formed as a wholly-owned subsidiary of AgenTus dedicated to cell therapy, and Dr. Hurwitz was named Vice President of Preclinical Research. 

Emma Lees, PhD, Vice President and Oncology Site Head, Bristol-Myers Squibb

https://www.linkedin.com/in/emma-lees

Chad May, PhD, Vice President, Research and Development, Maverick Therapeutics

Chad May leads preclinical pharmacology and development work on Maverick’s novel T cell retargeting platform. Chad has over fifteen years of experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. Most recently, Chad was the Senior Director of Targeted Immunotherapy at Pfizer in the Oncology Research Unit where he spearheaded several bispecific antibody programs. Prior to that, Chad held roles of increasing responsibility at ImClone Systems, which was acquired by Eli Lilly in 2008. During his time there, Chad led several early stage therapeutic antibody programs

Elaine Pinheiro, PhD, Senior Principal Scientist, Oncology, Merck

Elaine Pinheiro is a Senior Principal Scientist in the Oncology Department at Merck Research Laboratories. She has led multiple Oncology programs and is a preclinical lead for the pembrolizumab (Keytruda) program. Her current responsibilities also include leading reverse translational efforts to support clinical combination strategies. Prior to joining Merck, Elaine was a group leader in oncology target discovery and validation at the Belfer Institute of Applied Cancer Sciences at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Elaine received her BS in Biology from Carnegie Mellon University and her PhD from the Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology Program at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine prior to pursuing post-doctoral research at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT. 

Fangxian Sun, MD, PhD, Lead Research Investigator, Pharmacology, Sanofi

Fangxian Sun, MD, PhD has more than thirty years’ experience in tumor models. He started his career by publishing “Establishment of a metastatic model of human hepatocellular carcinoma in nude mice via orthotopic implantation of histologically intact tissues” in 1996. Dr. Sun has 20+ years preclinical research experience in oncology/immune-oncology drug discovery. Before he joined Sanofi Oncology in 2010, Dr. Sun worked for Novartis for eight years. Now he is a lead Research Investigator Pharmacology at Sanofi.

Juliet Williams, PhD, Executive Director, Oncology Drug Discovery, Novartis

Juliet obtained her first degree in Natural Sciences (Biochemistry) from the University of Cambridge and a PhD in Developmental Biology from University College London. After her academic studies, she then worked for Curis in Cambridge, MA on Hedgehog pathway inhibitors. Following her time at Curis, Juliet moved to Millennium Pharmaceuticals, working on a variety of kinase inhibitors, before moving to Novartis to once more work on developmental pathway inhibitors. Juliet has subsequently worked as Department Head of Pharmacology at Cancer Research Technology, UK and at Sanofi, Cambridge, MA in both cases overseeing the pharmacology of a wide range of projects and in addition building and reorganizing groups.

Chemical Biology and Target Validation

Christopher W am Ende PhD, Senior Principal Scientist, Internal Medicine, Pfizer Inc.

Christopher W. am Ende received his B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Delaware, conducting undergraduate research with Professor Neal J. Zondlo designing lanthanide-binding peptides.  Chris then pursued his graduate studies at Stony Brook University working with Professor Peter J. Tonge where he developed long residence time inhibitors of InhA, the enoyl reductase in M. tuberculosis.  After completion of an M.S. in Chemistry, he began his career in the Neuroscience Medicinal Chemistry group at Pfizer in Groton, CT.  In this role, he contributed to several projects across the portfolio, helping to advance a γ-secretase modulator clinical candidate for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.  Concurrent with his work at Pfizer, Chris earned his Ph.D. at Stony Brook University under the direction of Kathlyn A. Parker, completing the first total synthesis of the natural product bisabosqual A.  Chris currently is the Chemical Biology and Exploratory Synthesis laboratory head in the Internal Medicine group at Pfizer.  He has published >40 journal articles, patents and book chapters, as well as presented at numerous external venues.  Chris also serves as a steering committee member of the New York Academy of Sciences Chemical Biology Discussion Group, is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Connecticut College and was named an American Chemical Society Young Investigator.

Philip Chamberlain, DPhil, Senior Director, Structural and Chemical Biology, Celgene

Phil Chamberlain obtained his BA and D.Phil. degrees from the University of Oxford before traveling to the U.S. to perform his post-doctoral work at the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF) in San Diego. Phil joined Celgene, San Diego in 2007 and leads the Structural and Chemical Biology department which provides structural, biochemical and cellular data in support of drug discovery projects. Phil is known for his work in understanding and extending the action of cereblon modulators, and has published work in this area in journals including Nature, Nature Chemical Biology and Nature Structural and Molecular Biology.

An Chi, PhD, Director, Chemical Biology Proteomics, Merck

Dr. An Chi has been involved in understanding the MOA of therapeutics functional effect in healthy and disease biological system at Merck Research Laboratories, Boston since 2006. Her expertise is in proteomics, system biology and translational biomarker discovery and development. Presently An is focusing on the build-out of MRL chemical proteomics capabilities and data analysis infrastructure to enable target ID/Validation and mechanism deconvolution for phenotypic screens.

Robert A. Copeland, PhD, Founder, President & CSO, Accent Therapeutics, Inc.

Robert A. Copeland co-founded Accent Therapeutics in September, 2017 and serves as its President and Chief Scientific Officer.  Dr. Copeland has contributed to drug discovery and development efforts leading to 19 investigational new drugs entering human clinical trials.  He has contributed over 200 publications to the scientific literature, authored 5 books in the area of protein science and enzymology and hold 14 issued U.S. patents.  In 2016, Dr Copeland was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

David H. Drewry, PhD, Research Associate Professor, SGC-UNC, Eshelman School of Pharmacy, UNC Chapel Hill

David Drewry is an expert in medicinal chemistry and drug discovery, with a special interest in protein kinases. For 24 years he worked in drug discovery at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), where he led teams across the preclinical spectrum of drug discovery. His research interests include the art and science of medical chemistry, kinase inhibitor design, utilization of annotated sets of kinase inhibitors to build understanding of signaling networks, and precompetitive chemical biology to facilitate target identification. Since leaving GSK, David became a founding member of the Structural Genomics Consortium at the University of North Carolina. The SGC is a public-private target discovery consortium that catalyzes research in new areas of human biology and drug discovery. The SGC-UNC is housed in the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where David is a Research Associate Professor, and his lab continues to design, synthesize, and evaluate kinase inhibitors.

Eric S. Fischer, PhD, Assistant Professor of BCMP, Cancer Biology, BCMP, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School

Eric Fischer, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School and a Principal Investigator in the Department of Cancer Biology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. His research focuses on understanding the complex mechanisms that underlie function and regulation of multi-component ubiquitin ligases and their role in disease. Dr. Fischer has been recognized for his pioneering work on the structure of cereblon and the mechanism of action of thalidomide.

Stewart L. Fisher, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer, C4 Therapeutics

Dr. Fisher is the Chief Scientific Officer at C4 Therapeutics, a new biotechnology company focused on the selective recruitment of targets to E3 ligases for ubiquitination and degradation by the ubitiquin/proteasome system where he is responsible for strategic delivery of the project portfolio and collaboration management.  Prior to joining C4, Dr. Fisher was the Director of Enzymology and Quantitative Biochemistry in the Center for the Development of Therapeutics at the Broad Institute.  His group focused on the mechanistic analysis and quantitative assessment of protein:ligand interactions required for therapeutic discovery.  Prior to joining the Broad Institute, Dr. Fisher spent 15 years at AstraZeneca in the Infectious Diseases Innovative Medicines Unit, where he led numerous antibacterial programs that progressed through Phase I clinical trials and was the Executive Director, Biological Sciences. His department supported the entire drug discovery project portfolio, from target validation to pharmacodynamics modeling in support of Phase III candidates.  In addition, Dr. Fisher spent 2 years at Hoffmann LaRoche leading drug discovery programs in Metabolic Diseases.  Dr. Fisher received his B.A. in Chemistry at the University of Vermont and Ph.D. in Chemistry at Caltech and was a National Institutes of Health Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Harvard Medical School with Professor Christopher T. Walsh.

Amanda L. Garner, PhD, Assistant Professor, Medicinal Chemistry, University of Michigan

Amanda Garner received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh working under the supervision of Prof. Kazunori Koide and completed NIH-funded postdoctoral studies in the laboratory of Prof. Kim Janda at The Scripps Research Institute. She began her independent career in 2013 in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Michigan. Her laboratory uses chemical biology, medicinal chemistry and molecular and cellular biology approaches to investigate the high-risk/high-reward areas of targeting microRNAs, RNA-protein and protein-protein interactions for probe and drug discovery.

Erik Hett, PhD, Head of Experimental and Chemical Biology, Merck

Dr. Erik Hett received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in the lab of Dr. Eric Rubin, studying protein-protein interactions important for regulating cell division in mycobacteria. His postdoctoral research was conducted in the lab of Dr. Deborah Hung at Harvard, Broad Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital, where he conducted phenotypic high-throughput screens and utilized chemoproteomics for target ID. He previously was a chemical biologist in the MedChem Department at Pfizer and led a chemical biology team in the mechanisms and pathways group at Biogen. He is currently the Head of Experimental and Chemical Biology at the Merck Exploratory Science Center in Cambridge, MA.

Douglas Johnson, PhD, Director, Chemical Biology & Proteomics, Biogen

Douglas Johnson is the Director of Chemical Biology & Proteomics at Biogen in Cambridge, MA. Prior to moving to Biogen, Doug was at Pfizer for 18 years where his most recent position was Senior Scientific Director and Head of Chemical Biology in Cambridge, MA. During his tenure at Pfizer, he played significant roles on teams that advanced several clinical candidates including palbociclib (PD 0332991), a CDK4/6 inhibitor approved in 2015 for the treatment of breast cancer; PF-00217830, a D2 partial agonist for schizophrenia; PF-04457845, a FAAH inhibitor for the potential treatment of CNS disorders; and PF-06648671, a γ-secretase modulator for Alzheimer’s Disease. Prior to Pfizer, Doug was an NIH postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University in the laboratory of Professor David A. Evans. He obtained his Ph.D. in organic chemistry at The Scripps Research Institute under the guidance of Professor Dale L. Boger and graduated summa cum laude from the University of Minnesota with a BS in chemistry. He is an author or inventor on 90 publications and patents and is an editor of the Wiley Series on Drug Synthesis including The Art of Drug Synthesis, Modern Drug Synthesis and Innovative Drug Synthesis.

Lyn H. Jones, PhD, Vice President, Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Jnana Therapeutics

Lyn Jones completed PhD studies in synthetic organic chemistry at the University of Nottingham, before starting his post-doctorate research at The Scripps Research Institute, California in chemical biology. In 2001, he joined Pfizer in Sandwich, UK as a medicinal chemistry team leader, delivering multiple clinical candidates in the pulmonary and antiviral areas. In 2011, he transferred to Cambridge, MA to become head of Rare Disease Chemistry and to lead the Chemical Biology Group. In 2017, he joined Jnana Therapeutics in Boston (VP, Chemistry and Chemical Biology). He is an author of >100 publications, a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Royal Society of Biology, and an elected member of the Chemistry Biology Interface Division Council of the RSC.

Andreas Koepke, Managing Director, BioExpert on behalf of OmicScouts

https://de.linkedin.com/in/andreaskopke

Milka Kostic, PhD, Program Director, Chemical Biology, Department of Cancer Biology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Milka Kostic, Ph.D. is the Program Director, Chemical Biology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, a Harvard Medical Schools affiliated hospital and research center in Boston, MA, USA. In this role, she supports a vibrant chemical biology program of about 120 scientists, who work tirelessly to develop chemistry-inspired research tools, platforms and strategies, to make new discoveries in basic biology, as well as translate these discoveries into improved clinical practice. Prior to Dana-Farber, Dr. Kostic was the Editor of Cell Chemical Biology and Structure for more than a decade, thus supporting and shaping chemical biology and structural biology communities. Dr. Kostic is a passionate advocate for chemical biology, and its transformative ability to accelerate basic and translational discoveries on the chemistry-biology-medicine continuum. She is also committed to promoting gender equality in society and science, and career development and well-being of early career researchers.

Eugen Lounkine, PhD, Senior Investigator I, Chemical Biology and Therapeutics, Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research

Dr. Eugen Lounkine studied Molecular Biomedicine at the University of Bonn, Germany from 2003-2007, and since 2007 he has been working on computational approaches to life sciences. In 2009, he graduated in Computational Life sciences at the University of Bonn under Prof. Dr. J. Bajorath. In 2010 Eugen joined Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research (NIBR) in Cambridge, MA as a postdoctoral fellow focusing on off-target prediction and linking in silico and in vitro activity profiles to clinical phenotypes and adverse drug reactions. Eugen then worked in the in Silico Lead Discovery group at NIBR, and currently in CBT Data Science. There, with his group, he is addressing the question: "What compounds will we use in the next experiment?" This includes focused library design for low-throughput assays, hit call and triage, ligand-based virtual screening, and SAR elucidation.

Deepak Nijhawan, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Biochemistry and Oncology, UT Southwestern Medical Center

Dr. Nijhawan is currently an assistant professor of hematology/oncology and biochemistry at UT Southwestern Medical Center.  He obtained his PhD as part of the medical scientist training program in Xiaodong Wang’s lab at UT Southwestern where he helped elucidate the biochemical pathways that govern key regulatory steps in apoptosis.  He completed his residency in internal medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital followed by a fellowship in medical oncology at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.  During his time as a research fellow divided between the DFCI and the Broad Institute, he characterized a class of genomic deletions as vulnerabilities in cancer. He returned to UT Southwestern in 2012 to launch his independent laboratory in the department of biochemistry.  There he has challenged the generally accepted paradigm for drug discovery which is to start with a well-defined drug target and then to use a variety of biochemical, structural, and pharmacological tools to develop new therapeutics. He has undertaken the opposite approach by starting with molecules that have well established anti-tumor effects and using forward genetics/chemical proteomics/and classical biochemistry to elucidate their mechanism of action. Using these techniques, he has pinpointed the molecular targets for two cancer toxins and developed a new class of molecules that selectively inhibits key enzymes in cancer metabolism.

Andrew Scott, Head, Bioassay Development and Screening, Screening and Assay Development, Concept Life Sciences

Andrew Scott, PhD, joined Concept Life Sciences in November 2017 where he started their Pharmacology Group alongside Chris Doe, Concept’s Group Head of Biology. He currently holds the position of Head of Screening and Assay Development.

Bridget Wagner, PhD, Director, Pancreatic Cell Biology and Metabolic Disease, Institute Scientist, Broad Institute

Bridget Wagner is the director of pancreatic cell biology and metabolic disease in the Chemical Biology and Therapeutics Sciences (CBTS) Program at the Broad Institute, where she is also an institute scientist. Her group's research focuses on the chemical biology of diabetes, with the aim of identifying small molecules capable of increasing pancreatic beta cell number and function and the ultimate goal of discovering new therapeutic approaches for diabetes. She received an A.B. from Harvard College and her Ph.D. from the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard University, working with Stuart Schreiber on developing probe-discovery efforts in an academic setting. Wagner has had an instrumental role in the development of the Broad Chemical Biology Program from its inception in 2003. She is a recipient of the 2008 Type 1 Diabetes Pathfinder Award from the NIH and a Transformative Research Award from the NIH in 2016. 

CNS Targets and Translational Strategies

Nick Brandon, PhD, Chief Scientist, Neuroscience, IMED, AstraZeneca

https://www.linkedin.com/in/nick-brandon-805a1b1

Viswanath Devanarayan, PhD, Adjunt Professor, University of Illinois, Chicago

Dr. Viswanath Devanarayan is currently the Executive Director and Global Head of Statistics & Data Sciences at Charles River Laboratories. He has over 21 years of combined pharmaceutical research experience from Eli Lilly, Merck, and AbbVie. His statistical & data-analytic contributions span a wide range of applications across drug discovery and development, such as target identification, high-throughput-screening, genomics, proteomics, bioanalytical methods, immunogenicity, precision medicine, and exploratory clinical research. He has filed 10 patent applications, given over 100 invited talks at scientific meetings, and co-authored over 55 publications that includes several white-papers with regulatory, academic and industry scientists. He is an elected Fellow of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS), and is also serving as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Illinois in Chicago.

Dario Doller, PhD, Senior Director, Exploratory Science, SAGE Therapeutics

Dario’s industrial pharmaceutical career spans over 20 years studying CNS targets. He contributed to an approved drug and several clinical compounds. He edited the new book "Allosterism in Drug Discovery". Dario was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he earned a doctorate in Chemistry. He then carried out postdoctoral work in Bio-organic chemistry with Sir Derek Barton at Texas A&M University.

David H. Donabedian, PhD, Co-Founder & CEO, Axial Biotherapeutics

David H. Donabedian, PhD, MBA, is co-founder and CEO of Boston-based Axial Biotherapeutics. Since Axial’s launch in November 2016, David has raised significant capital from top-tier VCs, assembled a renowned advisory and scientific board and established the company as a leader in the gut-brain-axis.

David was a strategy consultant at Accenture and applied his strong foundation in science and business at Surface Logix, where he headed the company’s business development efforts. His ability to develop successful business strategies and help launch innovative ideas led him to GlaxoSmithKline, where he took an active role in the ceedd leadership team. In 2012, he co-founded Alcyone Life Sciences, which is focused on the central nervous system disorders. In recognition of his skill in identifying future trends, he was recruited by AbbVie, where as VP, Head of Ventures & Early-Stage-Collaborations, he led a global team that managed a portfolio of biotech companies and successfully completed multiple transactions including M&A, licenses and option-deals.  David is a Partner of Longwood Fund.  David holds a BA in Chemistry from St. Anselm College, a Ph.D. in Polymer Chemistry from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, and an MBA from the University of North Carolina.

Joseph El Khoury, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

No bio available

Fernande Freyermuth, PhD, Massachusetts General Hospital, Mass General Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases

Fernande Freyermuth, passionate by molecular biology, obtained a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the Strasbourg’s University in France, focusing on molecular mechanisms at the origin of cardiac defects in Myotonic Dystrophy disease. In 2014, she joined the laboratory of Dr. Clotilde Lagier-Tourenne at the University of San Diego, as a postdoctoral fellow and started to investigate the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie the neurodegenerative diseases amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). In 2015, she joined the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School in Boston. She was awarded the Milton Safenowitz post-doctoral fellowship from the ALS Association and the Tosteson & Fund for Medical Discovery post-doctoral fellowship from Harvard Medical School to investigate the therapeutic potential of targeting the nucleocytoplasmic transport of the RNA-binding protein FUS in ALS.

Murali Gopalakrishnan, PhD, MBA, Senior Director, Head, Search & Evaluation Neuroscience, AbbVie

He was also responsible for the leadership of AbbVie China R&D Center in Shanghai, since its inception in 2009 and subsequently led the Renal Discovery Therapeutic Area, advancing scientific research capabilities in Chicago & Shanghai, and via a network of external academic partnerships.  Since 2015, he has taken on a leadership position within AbbVie’s Search & Evaluation team, with responsibilities for accessing and advancing opportunities in in the Neuroscience Therapeutic area.

Samuel Hasson, PhD, Senior Scientist, Neuroscience, Amgen

https://www.linkedin.com/in/samuelhasson

Jonathan Levenson, PhD, Vice President, Translational Biology, Tiaki Therapeutics

Jonathan Levenson is the Vice President of Translational Biology at Tiaki, where he leads efforts to develop new drugs for Alzheimer’s disease that mitigate neuroinflammation, and novel biomarkers to monitor progression of neuroinflammatory processes. Prior to joining Tiaki, Jonathan led a scientific team at Proclara Biosciences focused on discovery and development of next-generation therapeutics for protein misfolding diseases. Jonathan has over ten years of experience in drug discovery, contributing to a diverse set of programs that include neurodegeneration, psychosis, cognition, cardiomyopathy and metabolic disorders. Before joining industry, Jonathan was an assistant professor and the director of the rodent behavioral core at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was previously a consultant at Saegis Pharmaceuticals and an assistant professor at Baylor College of Medicine. He earned his doctorate in Biology from the University of Houston and did his post-doctoral training at the Baylor College of Medicine in the Department of Neuroscience. He has authored or co-authored over 60 research publications focused on neuropharmacology and the treatment of neurological diseases.

Johan Luthman, PhD, Senior Vice President, Neuroscience Clinical Development, Neurology Business Group, Eisai, Inc.

(Per) Johan Luthman is SVP & Head of Clinical Development, Neurology Business Group, Eisai Pharmaceuticals, where he is engaged in programs from preclinical development to LCM studies, with current programs in Alzheimer’s disease & other dementing disorders, epilepsy, sleep disorders and obesity.

Stephen Morairty, PhD, Senior Director, Center for Neuroscience, SRI Biosciences

No bio available

Arantza Muriana, Co-founder & CEO, Biobide USA                                                                   

Bachelor of Pharmacy and Master degree in R&D&i of New Drugs at Navarra University, also MBA from the San Pablo CEU University of Madrid, where she improved her project management and business development skills. She began working in Biobide in 2006 after a training period in zebrafish biology in the Salk Institute (California). She has worked in clinical and preclinical CROs for more than 15 years. She has experience working in zebrafish for more than 12 years as well as organizing and managing international projects.

Shahriar Niroomand, PhD, Senior Scientist, Neuroscience, Merck Research Laboratories

https://www.linkedin.com/in/shahriar-niroomand-abb1a0133

Steven Roberds, PhD, CSO, Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance

As Chief Scientific Officer, Steve leads the development and execution of the TS Alliance’s research strategy through partnerships and conversations with all stakeholders, including individuals and families affected by TSC, basic and clinical researchers, healthcare providers, industry partners, government agencies involved in medical research and other non-profit organizations. In 2015, he worked with program officers at the National Institutes of Health to design and carry out a workshop to update the TSC research strategy for the next ten years. To move this updated strategy forward, Steve drove the creation of two TS Alliance-led collaborative projects: a Preclinical Consortium to accelerate testing of potential new treatments and the Biosample Repository to collect and share biosamples from individuals enrolled in the Natural History Database.

Pablo Sardi, PharmD, PhD, R&D Director, Sanofi

https://www.linkedin.com/in/pablo-sardi-5b2695b

Holly D. Soares, PhD, Head, Translational Neuroscience, Abbvie

https://www.linkedin.com/in/holly-soares-57b7853

Greg Warner, PhD, Senior Field Applications Scientist, Quanterix Corporation

Dr. Greg Warner received his Bachelor’s Degree in Biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin and his Ph.D. in Nutritional Biochemistry from the University of Minnesota. Before joining Quanterix in 2017 as Senior Field Applications Scientist, Dr. Warner specialized in the development and support of various biomarker detection platforms at PerkinElmer.

Optimizing Drug Metabolism & Pharmacokinetics

Alison Betts, PhD, Associate Research Fellow, Translational Modeling & Simulation, Biomedicine Design, Pfizer Worldwide R&D

Alison is a member of the Translational Modeling & Simulation Group in the Biomedicines Design department at Pfizer, Cambridge MA. Here she is translational modeling and simulation (M&S) lead supporting the Oncology Research Unit.  In this role she leads a team responsible for using M&S strategies to answer mechanistic questions, validate targets, select optimal compounds, translate preclinical data to the clinic and predict efficacious dose/regimen. Alison’s main area of work is on novel biotherapeutic modalities in immune-oncology including checkpoint inhibitor mAbs, bi-specific T-cell retargeting molecules, targeted nanoparticles and drug conjugates for treatment of cancer.

Jayaprakasam Bolleddula, PhD, Director, DMPK and Clinical Pharmacology, Agios Pharmaceuticals

Dr. Jayaprakasam (Prakash) Bolleddula obtained his PhD in organic chemistry from Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati, India. After spending a few years in academia, Prakash joined the pharmaceutical industry as a DMPK scientist. He is currently the Director of DMPK/Clinical Pharmacology at Agios Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge, MA. Prior to joining Agios, Prakash worked at Takeda-Boston and Theravance Biopharma. Prakash has published over 40 peer reviewed research articles in pharmacokinetics/drug metabolism and natural products chemistry.  He is also the co-inventor of 12 international patents.  His current research interests are pharmacokinetics, metabolism, and drug-drug interactions of small molecules.

Renu Singh Dhanikula, PhD, Senior Research Investigator, Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics, Bristol-Myers Squibb

Dr. Renu Singh Dhanikula, PhD is a Senior Research investigator at Bristol-Myers Squibb. Dr. Singh received her PhD from University of Montreal, Canada. She has over 8 years of experience in pharmaceutical industry in the field of drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics, with emphasis on application of PK/PD modelling to enable translation of preclinical efficacy and safety to clinic. She is a member of American Association for Pharmaceutical Scientists and International Society of Pharmacometrics. She has several publications in the peer-reviewed journals and presentations in the scientific conferences.

Li Di, PhD, Research Fellow, Pharmacokinetics, Dynamics and Metabolism, Pfizer Inc.

Li Di has over 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical indus­try including Pfizer, Wyeth and Syntex. She is currently a research fellow at Pfizer, Groton, CT. Her research interests include the areas of drug metabo­lism, pharmacokinetics, drug-drug interactions, absorption, transporters, and blood–brain barrier. She has over 130 publications including two books and presented over 80 invited lectures. She is a recipient of the Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award, the New Jersey Association for Biomedical Research Outstanding Woman in Science Award, the Wyeth President’s Award and Peer Award for Excellence.

Andreas Reichel, PhD, Head of Research Pharmacokinetics, Bayer AG

Andreas is Vice President and Head of Research Pharmacokinetics at Bayer’s Pharmaceutical Research and Development. His department is responsible for the DMPK support of drug discovery projects of all therapeutic areas of the portfolio including cardiology, oncology, and gynecological therapy. Andreas received his PhD in Cell Biology from the University of Leipzig studying transport processes at the blood-brain barrier (BBB) in vivo. He did his PostDoc at King’s College London, where he became interested in in vitro models of the BBB. Andreas then joined Discovery DMPK at Hoffmann-La Roche, Basel, where he expanded his area of expertise to intestinal and hepatic transport processes and their relevance to drug absorption, drug disposition and drug-induced liver toxicity. Since 2003 he is heading Research Pharmacokinetics (RPK) at Schering and then Bayer with responsibility for in vitro ADME assays, in vivo PK studies as well as all PK and PK/PD modelling activities to predict the PK and the therapeutic dose in human.

Wilson Shou, PhD, Senior Principal Scientist, Discovery Chemistry Platforms, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.

Wilson Shou is a Senior Principal Scientist, Discovery Chemistry at Bristol-Myers Squibb’s R&D site in Hopewell NJ, where he leads a bioanalytical group providing support for the enterprise-wide high-throughput in vitro ADME profiling effort. Dr. Shou’s research interests involve the application of mass spectrometry, separation sciences and software/automation tools for the high-throughput bioanalysis of small molecules and peptides in support of lead discovery and optimization. He has authored/co-authored 45 journal articles, 4 book chapters, and more than 70 podium or poster presentations. He was the guest editor for a special issue of Bioanalysis focusing on Discovery Bioanalysis in 2012, and also co-edited an ebook entitled “Eliminating bottlenecks for efficient bioanalysis: practices and applications in drug discovery and development” in 2014. He has served on the organizing committee for the annual HT-ADME conference since its inception in 2011, and was the conference chair in 2013.

Hao Sun, PhD, Principal Pharmacokineticist, DMPK, Seattle Genetics

Hao Sun is a Principal Pharmacokineticist at Seattle Genetics. He earned his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Utah in 2007 studying cytochrome P450 catalysis, enzyme kinetics, and molecular modeling under the supervision of Prof. Garold S. Yost, before joining Pfizer (Groton, Connecticut). At Pfizer, his research interests included application of structure-based modeling approaches for drug metabolism and drug design, using in vitro, in vivo and in silico approaches to predict human pharmacokinetics and drug interactions. In 2015, he joined Covance (Madison, Wisconsin), where he was responsible for all development DMPK studies and contributed to numerous IND and NDA studies. In 2018, he joined Seattle Genetics (Bothell, Washington) and is currently focused on support of Seattle Genetics’ late stage portfolio including both small molecules and ADCs. He has coauthored 30 publications in the field of drug metabolism.

S. Joshua Swamidass, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Immunology and Pathology, Division of Laboratory and Genomic Medicine; Faculty Lead, Translational Informatics, Institute for Informatics, Washington University

S. Joshua Swamidass MD PhD is a physician scientist and professor at Washington University in Saint Louis. His group is funded by the NIH to model bioactivation pathways in order to understand drug toxicity, and how alterations these pathways increase the risk of children to some medicines. http://swami.wustl.edu/

Manthena Varma, PhD, Associate Research Fellow, PDM, Medicine Design, Worldwide R&D, Pfizer, Inc.

Dr. Manthena Varma, PhD is Associate Research Fellow, at Pfizer Inc. Dr. Varma received his B. Pharm. degree from the Kakatiya University, India in 2000, and an M.S. degree (2001) and PhD in Pharmaceutics (2005), from the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and research (NIPER), Punjab, India.  Later, Dr. Varma worked as a Post Doctoral Fellow at the Department of Pharmaceutics, University of Minnesota (Minneapolis). In 2008, he joined Worldwide R&D, Pfizer, Groton, CT.  Dr. Varma holds an Adjunct faculty position in the Department of Pharmacy of the University of Rhode Island. Manthena is a founding member and Instructor for a three-day Annual workshop on “Transporters in Drug Discovery and Development: Driving Knowledge from Laboratory to Label” at University of Rhode Island.

Xu Xin, PhD, Director, Pharmacokinetics, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), National Institutes of Health

Dr. Xu has over 20 years of industrial experience and 7 years of government research lab experience in Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics (DMPK).  She held Senior Scientist and Director level positions at Merck, Genetics Institute, Wyeth, and Pfizer before she joined National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) in 2011.  She earned her PhD degree in Pharmacokinetics from School of Pharmacy, University of Toronto, Canada.

Donglu Zhang, PhD, Principal Scientist, Department of Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics, Genentech, Inc.

Donglu Zhang received a PhD in Organic Chemistry from University of Utah. His current studies focus on soft-spot metabolite identification to support drug designs and to discovery ADCs. He previously worked for Bristol-Myers Squibb and ARIAD Pharmaceuticals. He edited two books ‘Drug metabolism in drug design and development’, and ‘ADME-enabling technologies in drug design and development’. The mass defect filter (MDF) methodologies he co-invented have been widely used in high resolution mass spectrometry for metabolite identification.

Immuno-Oncology Biomarkers 1: Predictive Biomarkers and Companion Diagnostics

Nikola Hunter, Principal Scientist, Translational Biology, Concept Life Sciences

No bio available

Jeffery Miller, Founder, CSO & CEO, Invivoscribe

Dr. Miller is a scientist, inventor, & serial entrepreneur who founded Invivoscribe so that healthcare providers, pharmaceutical companies, & most importantly patients, benefit from standardization of molecular diagnostic tests. Over the last two decades he has built an international network of ISO 13485 manufacturing, ISO 15189 clinical testing, sales, marketing, & distribution companies. It is his mission to provide high quality reagents, tests, & bioinformatic tools to advance the field of personalized medicine.

Cindy Spittle, Vice President, Development and Scientific Affairs, MolecularMD

Dr. Spittle joined MolecularMD in 2010, and in her current role as Vice President, Development and Scientific Affairs she provides strategic scientific leadership related to oncology drug development and biomarker trends as well as new technology platforms and products. Her responsibilities include identifying and initiating opportunities to collaborate in clinical biomarker studies with both industry and academic partners. She also oversees the assay development teams, and facilitates scientific communications between external and internal stakeholders.

Vanessa Tumilasci, PhD, Commercial Director, Trans-Hit Biomarkers

Dr. Vanessa Tumilasci holds an MSc. degree in Biotechnology from Sao Paulo University (Brazil) and a PhD in Microbiology & Immunology from McGill University (Montreal, Canada).  Vanessa joined THB in 2016 to manage biospecimen procurement and is instrumental in the formation of new partnerships with pharmaceutical companies and biorepositories and plays an active role in corporate development initiatives.

George Wei, PhD, Vice President, Research & Development, ACT Genomics

Dr. George Wei started his scientific career at US FDA after college. He then continued to pursue his interest in drug development at Roche Pharmaceuticals after a Ph.D. training at Princeton University. In 2009 Dr. Wei joined Gilead Sciences as the immunologist for its new HIV Cure program. He later on returned to Taiwan and assumed several key positions before joining ACT Genomics as VP of R&D Division.

Clinical and Translational Biomarkers

Sean Downing, PhD, MBA, Director of Customer Engagement, Ultivue

Sean has implemented pathology workflows at several companies in work spanning both proteomics and genomics. Prior to Ultivue, he established and ran PerkinElmer’s CRO laboratory offering a menu of TSA-based staining services. Previously, Sean was one of the principal inventors of the first to market, pan-cancer NGS test at Foundation Medicine. He was a post-doc and junior faculty member at Harvard Medical School with appointments at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Boston Children’s Hospital.

David Duffy, PhD, CTO, Quanterix Corporation

Dr. David Duffy is Chief Technology Officer at Quanterix, where he leads development of the company’s single molecule detection technology.  He is an inventor on 12 U.S. patents and has authored more than 20 publications on surface chemistry, microfluidics, and bioanalysis. Prior to Quanterix, David directed Pharmacomer Technology at Surface Logix and co-invented a centrifugal microfluidic at Gamera Biosciences. Dr. Duffy holds a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Cambridge.  

Margot El-Khouri, PhD, Immunology Sales Specialist, Sales, ProImmune Ltd.

Margot El-Khouri specialised in Immunology at the Pasteur Institute of Paris and gained an MSc degree from the Université Pierre & Marie Curie (Paris VI). She then did her PhD in Cancer Oncolytic Virotherapy and Immunotherapy at Barts Cancer Institute, Queen Mary University of London. Margot joined the ProImmune team as an Immunology Sales Specialist in 2016. She enjoys providing customers from all around the world with solution-oriented support for the immunogenicity approach of their preclinical and clinical research.

Digital Health: Pharmaceutical Executive Summit

Immuno-Oncology Clinical Trials Strategy and Execution

Céline Adessi, PhD, Senior Group Director, Product Development, Safety Science Oncology, Licensing and Early Development, F. Hoffmann-La Roche

More than 20 years of experience in pharmaceutical companies, with strong research, pre-clinical and clinical safety expertise in different therapeutic areas. For 10 years, acted as project/team leader and laboratory head, leading various pre-clinical and clinical therapeutic programs. Currently, holds the position of Senior Group Director at Hofmann La Roche in the Product Development Safety Science organization, managing a team of safety science professionals working on early clinical development of oncology programs and in/out licensing opportunities. Core member of various committees within the organization, representing the Clinical Safety position.

Jonathan Cheng, MD, Vice President & Oncology Therapeutic Area Head, Merck

Jon Cheng, MD, is a Vice President and Oncology Therapeutic Area Head at Merck Research Laboratories (MRL).  He leads the Late Stage Clinical Development at Merck Oncology, and in this role oversees the clinical development of all late stage clinical assets including pembrolizumab and its combinations in multiple solid organ tumors including lung, head/neck, gastrointestinal, breast, gyn, and hematologic malignancies. Dr. Cheng joined Merck in 2008 where he had previous responsibilities developing novel combinations within the Merck pipeline, incorporating biomarkers and companion diagnostic development into clinical trials, and directed a number of pembrolizumab registrational activities including supervising the approval of pembrolizumab in multiple tumor types.

Matthew De Silva, CEO & Founder, Notable Labs

Matthew De Silva graduated from Cornell University and started his career on a currencies trading desk at Merrill Lynch before joining Peter Thiel's hedge fund as a trader and researcher. In the fall of 2013 he was shocked to learn that his father was diagnosed with three Glioblastoma Multiforme brain tumors, and that standard therapy would fail quickly. He searched for clinical trials, only to find that most were not open to his father. After researching other treatment options, he found FDA-approved drugs being evaluated in small trials for brain cancer, but they lacked financial support for further studies because they are off patent drugs. This led him to start Notable Labs is a service to help oncologists identify effective FDA-approved therapies that they can prescribe for their today. This approach promises to offer tailored treatment options in an actionable timeframe. Using drugs to functionally profile cancer cells will lead to a better understanding of biological mechanisms, which can improve treatment success while reduce side effects. The company identifies these personalized treatments using a custom-built robotic platform to empirically test thousands of drug combinations on samples of the patient’s tumor. Notable has labs in San Francisco and is backed by Y Combinator, Founder's Fund, and First Round Capital.

Rakesh Dixit, PhD, Vice President, R&D & Global Head, Translational Sciences-Biologics Safety Assessment, MedImmune

Dr. Dixit conducted extensive graduate and post-graduate training in Toxicology–Biochemistry with both Indian and US Institutions (Case Western Reserve University, Medical College of Ohio, University of Nebraska) and is board certified in Toxicology from the American Board of Toxicology, Inc. since 1992. In August 2006, Rakesh joined MedImmune, Inc. (an AstraZeneca Biologics company) as Senior Director (R &D) & Global Head of Biologics Safety Assessment, Experimental Pathology, and Laboratory Animal Medicine. In his current position as a Vice President of R &D since 2010, Rakesh is responsible for providing guidance on research and development of biological products; including nonclinical toxicology/safety support for all AstraZeneca-MedImmune biologics products, including monoclonal antibodies and vaccines. Rakesh has published more than 60 papers in renowned international journals and has given over 100 invited lectures/presentations/workshops in national and international meetings. Rakesh is one of the most invited speakers in the biotechnology industry. Rakesh’s areas of expertise are mainly in the area of pharmaceuticals and biologics drug development, safety assessment of small molecule drugs, biologics, vaccines and in exploring mechanisms of toxicity and biologics pharmacological activity. Rakesh has helped to bring several blockbuster pharmaceuticals to the market while working at Merck. Rakesh a recognized expert in safety and pharmacology biomarkers and their applications. Rakesh is the Editor-in-chief of Toxicology Mechanisms and Methods and Associate Editor for Toxicology Applied Pharmacology, and Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health. Rakesh was selected by his pharmaceutical peers as the 100 Most Inspiring People in Pharmaceutical Industry by PharmaVOICE in 2015. Rakesh also serves as an expert reviewer and in appointed committee for many programs managed by the prestigious U.S. National Academy of Sciences and US National Institutes of Health, including National Cancer Institute.

Justin Fairchild, Executive Director Clinical Development, aParker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy

Justin Fairchild has 15 years of oncology drug development experience contributing to early and late stage clinical studies of a broad range of approved drugs including cetuximab, dasatinib, ipilimumab and nivolumab across multiple cancer indications. Justin is Executive Director of Clinical Development at the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy where he is responsible for a cross-functional team for clinical trial execution and the delivery of novel immunotherapy clinical studies. Previously, he was at Bristol-Myers Squibb for 14 years in both Clinical Operations and Clinical Development where he most recently played a key role in achieving FDA approval of nivolumab for the treatment of small cell lung cancer. Prior to joining BMS, Justin worked in the oncology clinical trials department at Greater Baltimore Medical Center and as a discovery chemist at Pfizer. He received an MPH from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, and a BA in Chemistry from Colgate University.

Andrew Ferguson, PhD, Director, Clinical Science, Gritstone Oncology, Inc.

Andrew Ferguson, PhD is a Director, Clinical Science at Gritstone Oncology responsible for the clinical development of Gritstone’s personalized tumor immunotherapies, including the GRANITE program focused on patient-specific neoantigen cancer vaccines and the SLATE program focused on an off-the-shelf shared neoantigen cancer vaccine. Dr. Ferguson studied tumor immunotherapy in the laboratory of Victor Engelhard with a focus on the impact of site-specific dendritic cell vaccination on T cell differentiation and migration into the tumor microenvironment. He has previously held positions in clinical development at Tesaro, Sanofi Oncology, and Genzyme in the fields of tumor immunotherapy, hematology, and solid organ transplantation. When not thinking about leukocytes, he is attempting to teach something to his three boys (or using a paddleboard or skis to escape them).

Lena Frank, Executive Director, Alliance & Program Management, Eisai

Lena Frank is the Executive Director of Alliance and Program Management in Eisai’s Oncology Business Group where she manages alliance management, program management, clinical outsourcing and business operations. Before joining Eisai in 2014, Lena held positions of increasing responsibility with Acorda Therapeutics, Alpharma and Rhone-Poulenc. Her past experience includes business development, project and portfolio management, marketing, product management, and sales. In addition to being a Certified Strategic Alliance Professional, Lena also holds Project Management Professional certification.

Bruno Gomes, DVM, PhD, Global Head of Biomarkers Oncology, Roche

Bruno Gomes joined Roche in 2017 as Head of Oncology Biomarkers. He is leading a team responsible for the biomarker strategy of all oncology and immuno-oncology projects from Discovery till proof of concept in Human (Phase Ib/II). He is also leading a cutting-edge tissue biomarker and digital pathology team. Before joining Roche, he was Director of Tumor Immunology at iTeos Therapeutics where he led immuno-oncology programs such as the adenosine A2a inhibitor EOS100850 and the IDO1 inhibitor PF-06840003/EOS200271. After an education of Doctor in Veterinary Medicine, he completed his PhD in immunology on the identification and characterization of a new signaling pathway in lymphocytes involved in allergic and inflammatory diseases. Then Bruno built a strong expertise in pharmacology, oncology and immuno-oncology as an Oncology Study Director in Sanofi and Research Scientist in Pierre Fabre Pharmaceuticals. Between 2010-2015, he served as Head of in Vivo Oncology in Pierre Fabre Pharmaceuticals. He led various preclinical and translational programs with targeted drugs, kinase inhibitors and onco-immunology drugs.

Edward S. Kim, MD, Chair, Solid Tumor Oncology and Investigational Therapeutics, Levine Cancer Institute, Donald S. Kim Distinguished Chair for Cancer Research, Atrium Health

Edward S. Kim, MD is Chair of Solid Tumor Oncology and Investigational Therapeutics, Medical Director of the Clinical Trials Office, and the Donald S. Kim Distinguished Chair for Cancer Research at the Levine Cancer Institute, Atrium Health in Charlotte, NC. Dr. Kim was previously at UT MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas where he was a tenured Associate Professor of Medicine, Chief of the Section of Head and Neck Medical Oncology and Director of Clinical Research Operations in the Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology. Dr Kim received his Bachelor of Science and medical degrees from the Honors Program in Medical Education (HPME) at Northwestern University, his residency at Baylor College of Medicine, and his fellowship in medical oncology at UT MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr Kim specializes in cancer biomarkers and novel targeted agents in the treatment and prevention settings and has expertise in lung, head and neck cancers. He chaired the Department of Defense Biomarker-based Approaches of Targeted Therapy for Lung Cancer Elimination (BATTLE) personalized medicine program in lung cancer. He currently oversees the solid tumor faculty and research development at Levine Cancer Institute. Dr Kim is the author or coauthor of more than 100 published articles, book chapters, reviews in journals such as Lancet, Lancet Oncology, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Cancer Discovery, Clinical Cancer Research Cancer, and Cancer Prevention Research, involving cancer therapeutics and prevention with chemotherapy and novel targeted agents, with particular emphases on lung cancer and head and neck cancer.

Jill Loftiss, Head, Clinical Operations & Oncology, MedImmune

Jill’s worked across multiple therapeutic areas, in both early and late development. As a department leader, Jill learned the value of balancing standardization while maintaining the ability to provide bespoke solutions. She most enjoys turning complex projects and issues into simple and intuitive answers. Jill believes we are at an exciting point in the clinical trial profession with a welcome emphasis on the patient and access to real time data. 

Apostolia M. Tsimberidou, MD, PhD, Professor, Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG) Programs, Investigational Cancer Therapeutics, MD Anderson Cancer Center

Dr. Tsimberidou has pioneered the personalized medicine program in the Department of Investigational Cancer Therapeutics. In 2007 she designed and is the principal investigator of the IMPACT trial, an Initiative for Molecular Profiling and Advanced Cancer Therapy, and she established a tissue bank from patients with advanced cancer. Dr. Tsimberidou earned her MD from the Aristotelian University in Thessaloniki, Greece in 1991 and her PhD from the University of Athens, Greece in 2001. She joined the MD Anderson Cancer Center as a postdoctoral fellow in 1998 and she has rigorously pursued a leading role in cancer research.  She has diligently designed over 20 clinical trials, including a study of oxaliplatin, fludarabine, cytarabine, and rituximab, which changed the standard of care for patients with Richter’s syndrome. Dr. Tsimberidou has a multitude of first-authored publications in high-impact journals. She has published over 240 papers (over 130 as first or senior author), ten book chapters and educational modules and is the Editor of a major textbook entitled “Targeted Therapy in Cancer” (Wiley, Blackwell, 2015). Dr. Tsimberidou received awards from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), including a Career Development Award, the American Society of Hematology (ASH), and the European Society of Hematology (EHA). Because of her innovative work, she has been invited as a keynote speaker at ASCO, ASH, EHA, the International Lymphoma Conference and several international conferences. She completed the ASCO Leadership Development Program and she served on the ASCO’s Educational Committee and the prestigious Cancer Research Committee (CRC). She served as the Chair of the CRC in 2016-2017. Dr Tsimberidou is the Head of the Membership Committee of the Worldwide Innovative Network consortium in Precision Medicine (Paris, France). Based on her expertise in personalized medicine, she has become a nationally and internationally recognized authority in the field of personalized medicine, and cancer drug development. Dr. Tsimberidou’s work on personalized medicine demonstrated that identifying tumor specific molecular aberrations and choosing therapy based on these abnormalities is associated with higher rates of response, survival and time to treatment failure in patients with advanced cancer compared to the standard approach. She presented these results at the ASCO’s prestigious official Press Program in 2011 and 2018. Her work has garnered extensive media coverage, including articles in The Economist, the Wall Street Journal the Bloomberg report and the Boston Globe. An independent review in 2011 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology stated that her work is one of few projects with the greatest potential for favorably impacting patients’ lives. Dr. Tsimberidou developed the IMPACT2 trial, a randomized study in precision medicine comparing the use of genetically targeted therapy against tumor molecular aberrations with standard treatment not selected on the basis of genomic analysis in patients with metastatic cancer. She is the principal investigator of many clinical trials, including immuno-oncology trials and T-cell therapy programs for patients with solid tumors.

Nikolas T. Weissmueller, PhD, Associate Director, Strategic Options & Assessment, Business Insights & Analytics, R&D, Bristol-Myers Squibb

Dr. Weissmueller is a clinical development strategy analyst at Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS). As Associate Director in BMS’s Business Insights and Analytics team, he evaluates and optimizes clinical development strategies for early and late stage medicines in the company’s Oncology and Immuno-Oncology (I-O) portfolio. Dr. Weissmueller works with BMS’s Empliciti®, Yervoy®, and Opdivo® development teams, and leads the I-O asset and portfolio strategy support for BMS's China R&D organizations. Prior to joining Bristol-Myers Squibb, he was a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department at Princeton University, where he directed immunology and oncology focused industry collaborations. He earned a PhD in Medical Sciences and a MSc in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Oxford, UK, and holds an Engineering undergraduate degree from Harvard.

Ying Zhang, Associate Director, Oncology, Center for Observational Research and Data Sciences (CORDS), Business Insights & Analytics (BI&A), Bristol-Myers Squibb

Graduated from University of Illinois at Chicago with Master’s degree of Science in Public Health, focusing on Biostatistics. Working in consulting firm for market research and real-world evidence studies for two years and then moved to BMS for real world research and doing analysis focus on oncology for the past nine years. Graduated from Capital Medical University in Beijing, China, finished residency and worked as a Pediatrician at Capital Institute of Pediatrics for two years in Beijing, China.

Combination Cancer Immunotherapy

iPS Cells for Disease Modeling and Drug Discovery

Stefan Braam, CEO, Ncardia

Stefan Braam is the Co-Founder and CEO of Ncardia. Stefan brings Ncardia over a decade of experience in stem cell technology, product development and general management. Earlier in his career, Stefan obtained a MSc and Ph.D. in stem cell biology and obtained international experience in labs in the UK and Australia.

Arne Bruyneel, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Mark Mercola Lab, Cardiovascular Institute, Stanford University School of Medicine

Arne Bruyneel holds a Master’s in Bioscience Engineering from Ghent University (Belgium) and DPhil in cardiovascular physiology form the University of Oxford (UK). Currently, Arne Bruyneel is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the lab of Mark Mercola at Stanford University. His research interests include high throughput phenotypic screening of cardiomyocytes and cardio-oncology.

Paul W. Burridge, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology, Center for Pharmacogenomics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

We use human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC) to understand the role of the genome in influencing drug efficacy and side effects such as chemotherapy-induced cardiotoxicity. We are also interested in developing new modalities for prospectively testing drug efficacy and toxicity, discovering cardioprotectants, cardiac regenerative medicine, and hiPSC models of cancer. Along with the hiPSC model, we use a combination of whole genome sequencing, automation and robotics, high-throughput drug screening, high-content imaging, and electrophysiological testing.

Colin Choi, PhD, Scientist, Drug Safety Research and Evaluation, Takeda

Colin Choi is a member of the Investigative Toxicology team in Takeda Pharmaceuticals, where he applies microsphysiological systems (MPS; “organ-on-chip”) and 2D/3D cell biology as predictive and mechanistic tools to clarify toxicology of discovery-phase projects. Prior to Takeda, Colin was a postdoctoral fellow at Boston University and the Wyss Institute at Harvard to develop and apply bioengineered tools, including biomaterials, microfabrication, and high-resolution imaging to better-understand the roles of 3D mechanical forces in regulating molecular and cellular functions. Colin received MS and PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Virginia and BS in Chemical Engineering from Rutgers University.

Stephen A. Duncan, PhD, Smartstate Chair in Regenerative Medicine, Professor and Chairman, Department of Regenerative Medicine and Cell Biology, Medical University of South Carolina

Stephen Duncan was born in Glasgow, Scotland, UK, and studied Molecular Biology at the University of Glasgow. He received his Ph.D./D.Phil. from Oxford University in 1992 for working on the mechanisms that controlled transmission of the poxvirus, vaccinia, with Dr Geoffrey Smith. He then moved to The Rockefeller University in New York City to undertake a postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Dr James Darnell where he studied transcriptional regulation of liver development. He completed his fellowship in 1996 after which he became an Assistant Professor at the Rockefeller University. He transferred to the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee in 1997, where he moved through the ranks to become the Marcus Professor in Human and Molecular Genetics in the department of Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy. In 2007 he accepted a position as the founding Director of MCW’s Program in Regenerative Medicine. In 2015 Dr. Duncan relocated to the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, where he is currently the Chair of the Department of Regenerative Medicine and Cell Biology. Research in the Duncan Lab focuses on the use of mice and stem cells to understand the contribution of transcription factors to embryonic development and function of the liver. His group has developed technologies to control the differentiation of pluripotent stem cells into hepatocytes.  Researchers in his laboratory have exploited this system to model rare diseases in hepatic metabolism and as a platform for drug discovery.

Thomas Durcan, PhD, Assistant Professor, Neurology and Neurosurgery, McGill University

Thomas M. Durcan is an assistant professor in the department of Neurology and Neurosurgery at McGill University and is a member of the Centre for Neurodegenerative disease group at the MNI. Durcan received his Bachelor of Science from University College Dublin, Ireland, before moving to the USA where he obtained his PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Notre Dame in 2007. For his postdoctoral research, Durcan joined the Parkinson’s research group of Dr Edward Fon, were he focused on the function of deubiquitinating enzymes in Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. His current research program is focused on the use of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and mouse models to understand how specific pathways are affected in Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. In addition to his academic appointment, Durcan manages the new Brain Canada iPSC-CRISPR translational platform at the MNI, focused on providing iPSC-derived neurons for use in different academic and translational projects. During this time, he has published in many prestigious scientific journals including Journal of Cell Biology, EMBO Journal, and Human Molecular Genetics. He has previously received research support from the Parkinson’s Society of Canada, Parkinson’s Disease Foundation and National Ataxia Foundation. He is currently funded through a research grant from the Michael J Fox Foundation. 

Michael Dunn, PhD, Senior Staff Scientist, Cardiovascular Research, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals

Bio coming soon...

Gary Gintant, PhD, Senior Research Fellow, AbbVie

Dr. Gary Gintant is Senior Research Fellow in the Dept. of Integrative Pharmacology, Integrated Science and Technology, at AbbVie. He is involved in multiple internal drug discovery and safety initiatives internally; external activities include various cardiac safety initiatives (such as ILSI/HESI Proarrhythmia Models Project, the Cardiac Safety Research Consortium, and the Comprehensive in Vitro Proarrhythmia Assay Initiative) while serving on various journal editorial boards, NIH study sections, and Safety Pharmacology Society committees. Research interests include cardiovascular pharmacology, cellular electrophysiology/ion channels, arrhythmias, application of stem-cell derived cells and tissues to drug discovery efforts, and translational medicine. He gained his MA, M.Phil. and PhD degrees from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University.

Cecilia Granéli, PhD, Senior Research Scientist, PhD, AstraZeneca

https://www.linkedin.com/in/cecilia-gran%25C3%25A9li-77a9933a

Sophie Lelievre, DVM, PhD, LLM, Professor, Cancer Pharmacology, Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Lelièvre is a native of France who obtained her undergraduate degree as engineer in Veterinary Sciences from the University of Louvain (Belgium) and her D.V.M. degree from the University of Liège (Belgium) in 1990. She worked as a veterinarian in the emergency room in Paris area (France) from 1990 to 1995, while pursuing M.S. and Ph.D. graduate studies in Cancer Pharmacology at the Gustave Roussy Cancer Institute and University of Paris VI (Pierre & Marie Curie). Dr. Lelièvre is the 1995 recipient of (i) the National Prize for Fundamental Cancer Research/young investigator from the French Society of Cancer and National Federation of Cancer Institutes and (ii) the National Alexandre Joel Prize for young investigator from the Association for Cancer Research. During her postdoctoral training in Mina Bissell’s laboratory at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (USA) from 1995 to 2000, she studied the role of the organization of the cell nucleus in normal and cancerous breast epithelial cell behaviors using three-dimensional models of cell culture that recapitulate tissue organization. Dr. Lelièvre joined the Department of Basic Medical Sciences at Purdue, as a faculty member and Walther Cancer Institute Scholar, in October 2000. Her research program has been externally funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Department of DefenseCongressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) among other agencies. It focuses on the role of the organization of the cell nucleus in gene expression and genome stability and the relationship between tissue polarity and nuclear functions, notably epigenetics. Translational projects are targeted towards early detection and prevention of breast cancer. She was one of the three featured breast cancer researchers of the CDMRP in 2008 in recognition for her contributions to breast cancer research since her early career development funding by CDMRP in 1997. Her research accomplishments include notably, (i) the development of methods to analyze and detect phenotypes based on cell nucleus organization at the single cell level, (ii) the design of preclinical three-dimensional (3D) cell culture models including organson-a-chip to be used for screening protective agents against breast cancer development and for the design of nanomedical tools for therapies, and (iii) the identification of early breast tissue alterations necessary for cancer development and related new potential targets for breast cancer prevention and treatment. In 2015, she created the 3D Cell Culture Core (3D3C) Facility at Purdue University with the aim of bringing engineers and biologists together to design better models for research on chronic diseases. To better integrate public health related disciplines to her research projects, Dr. Lelièvre completed a Master’s degree in Law, Health and Ethics from a EuroPubhealth and Erasmus Mundus international program in 2008 at the University of Rennes (France). She initiated an international and multidisciplinary program on primary prevention of breast cancer (www.purdue.edu/IBCN) in 2009 that has received logistic support from the World Health Organization and includes 12 partner countries and yearly symposia (www.purdue.edu/breastcancer). Dr. Lelièvre was selected as a Purdue Entrepreneurial Leadership Academy Fellow in 2009 and Scholar in 2010 and as the 2012 Discovery Learning Research Center Faculty Research Fellow to pursue aspects of this international program. For her work on cancer prevention, she was selected for an Indiana Women of Achievement Award in 2015. She is also a Purdue University Faculty Scholar and an appointed member of the NIH, NCI-I study section for K awards supporting the training of scientists toward independence in research. Dr. Lelièvre teaches Applied Pharmacology in the Purdue DVM and IU Lafayette Medical School programs. She is developing a course on International Primary Prevention Research for chronic disease at Purdue University and has been a recurring invited lecturer on cancer prevention in the international Master of Public Health of the School of Public Health in France.

Christoph Patsch, PhD, Team Lead Stem Cell Assays, Disease Relevant Cell Models and Assays, Chemical Biology, Therapeutic Modalities, Roche Pharma Research and Early Development

Christoph Patsch heads a research lab within the Stem Cell Platform at Roche Innovation Center Basel. His group is engaged in internal drug discovery projects as well as external research collaborations leveraging iPS cell technology for translational in vitro models. His lab is actively involved in two European consortia – Innovative Medicines Initiative StemBANCC and – Horizon 2020 COSYN. Current main research activities are: I) Modelling Alzheimer’s disease in patient iPS cell-derived 2D and 3D neuronal cultures to study the underlying pathological mechanisms. II)                Applying novel differentiation methods to generate vascular endothelial and smooth muscle cells to develop a model for endothelial dysfunction. III)    Assessing iPS cell-based in vitro models to bridge the gap between animal models and clinical trials.

Gabriele Proetzel, PhD, Director, Regenerative Medicine, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Gabriele joined Takeda Pharmaceuticals in 2013. She is focusing on cell and gene therapy approaches. Gabriele Proetzel has earned a Master in Life Sciences from the Ludwig-Maximilian University of Würzburg, Germany, with the Master thesis prepared at the Max Planck Institute of Immunology, Freiburg, Germany. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati, Ohio, USA with her thesis work focusing on developing knockout mouse models via targeted mutagenesis in ES cells in the laboratory of Prof. Thomas Doetschman. She completed her postdoctoral training at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry under the supervision of Prof. Peter Gruss in Göttingen, Germany. Following her postdoctoral training, Gabriele became a group leader in the cell biology and musculoskeletal group at Boehringer Mannheim/Roche Penzberg, Germany. Then she joined the startup Deltagen Inc., San Carlos, CA, where she was critical for building the mouse knockout pipeline. In 2001, Gabriele accepted the position as Chief Scientific Officer at the biotech startup Scil Proteins, Halle Germany, and was responsible for R&D in protein therapeutics including alternative scaffold proteins, as well as intellectual property and licensing activities. Before joining Takeda, Gabriele held the position of Associate Director of Technology Transfer at the non-profit research institution The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) in Bar Harbor, Maine, USA

Liz Quinn, PhD, Associate Director, Stem Cell Marketing, Marketing, Takara Bio USA

Dr. Liz Quinn is Associate Director for Stem Cell Marketing at Takara Bio USA and has a long history developing novel technology platforms that support drug discovery. In her current role, she responsible for commercialization of the stem cell portfolio, including human iPS/ES donor lines, culture systems and hES cell line derivation services.

Lorenz Studer, MD, Director, Center for Stem Cell Biology, Member, Developmental Biology Program, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Lorenz P. Studer, MD is the Director of the Center for Stem Cell Biology and a Member of the Developmental Biology Program at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. His lab has established many of the currently available techniques for turning pluripotent stem cells into the diverse cell types of the nervous system. He has also been among the first to realize the potential of patient-specific stem cell in modeling human disease and drug discovery. Finally, he has a major interest in regenerative medicine and leads a multidisciplinary consortium to pursue the clinical application of human stem cell-derived dopamine neurons for the treatment of Parkinson's disease. Recent awards include a Macarthur Fellowship, the Ogawa-Yamanaka Prize and the Jacob Heskel Gabbay award in Biotechnology and Medicine.

Yishan Sun, PhD, Investigator III, Neuroscience, Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research

Yishan Sun is currently a research investigator and lab head at Novartis, focusing on drug discovery for pediatric epilepsies and neurodevelopmental disorders. His scientific specialties include molecular genetics in model organisms, disease modeling using human ES/iPS cells, and electrophysiological methods in conventional and automated systems.  He obtained an undergraduate degree in biotechnology from Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China. He completed his PhD research in neuroscience at the University of Iowa, where he studied the role of several TRP and DEG/ENaC ion channels in mechanosensory neurons and chemosensory neurons of fruit flies. He then pursued postdoctoral training at Stanford University, where he established a human cellular model of Dravet Syndrome using patient-derived iPS cells.

Jeff Willy, PhD, Research Fellow, Discovery and Investigative Toxicology, Vertex

Jeffrey A. Willy, Ph.D., is currently a Research Fellow in Discovery and Investigative Toxicology at Vertex Pharmaceuticals in San Diego, CA.  Dr. Willy received his doctoral degree from the Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM) where he studied the role of the unfolded protein response during the pathogenesis of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis.  Dr. Willy also holds an adjunct faculty position at IUSM where he is a graduate student advisor.  Dr. Willy began his career at Eli Lilly & Co. and worked there for over a decade.  While at Lilly, Dr. Willy ran a lab focused on mechanistic and systems toxicology that incorporated novel applications of CRISPR/Cas9 and was an active member of the Innovative Medicines Initiative.  Dr. Willy has numerous publications and presentations focusing on novel genomic methods to study liver injury and model adaptive and progressive pathologies.  Over his career, Dr. Willy has received multiple awards, including the 2016 Midwest Chapter of SOT Young Investigator Award, a 2016 MBSS SOT Research Award, 2015 Eli Lilly Innovator Award,  2015 AASLD Basic Science Young Investigator Award,  and 2009 John L. Emmerson Award for Scientific Excellence at Eli Lilly, to name a few.  Dr. Willy also holds a music degree in percussion from the Eastman School of Music and teaches high school students in his free time.

Patient-Derived Tumor Organoids

Alejandro Amador, PhD, GSK, Scientific Leader, Platform Biology Automation, GSK

Alejandro Amador studied biology at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (Barcelona, Spain). He obtained his PhD in the laboratory of Dr. Mara Dierssen at the Center for Genomic Regulation (CRG, Barcelona, Spain), where he worked with mouse models of Panic disorder and Alzheimer’s disease. He subsequently joined the laboratory of Dr. Alexey Terskikh at Sanford Burnham Prebys Institute (San Diego, California) to examine the epigenetic changes in neural stem cells required for adult neurogenesis. He then joined Takeda Pharmaceuticals (San Diego, California) to lead CNS programs in early discovery and generate cell-based assays to screen for potential small molecule drug candidates. Recently, he joined GSK (Collegeville, Pennsylvania) as a Scientific leader for the Platform Biology Automation group. He is responsible for identifying, designing and developing human-relevant assays across PK, safety and biology/efficacy to enable intelligent and automated drug discovery platforms for GSK.

Jason Ekert, PhD, MBA, Head, Complex In Vitro Models, GlaxoSmithKline

I head the Complex In Vitro Models group in the R&D Platform Technology & Sciences organization at GlaxoSmithKline. I lead an integrated enterprise strategy for sustained, portfolio driven growth in R&D applications of human-relevant and translatable complex in vitro models (eg Spheroids, Organoids, MPS and bioprinting). Before coming to GSK I spent 11 years at Janssen BioTherapeutics in early biotherapeutic drug discovery in target discovery, drug validation and MOA studies applying complex cell-based assays across multiple therapeutic areas. My current focus at GSK is to improve predictive validity of early preclinical models leading to better characterized molecules, decreased R&D cycle time and a reduction in attrition.

Elena Ivanova, PhD, Senior Scientist, Medical Oncology, Belfer Center for Applied Cancer Science, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Elena Ivanova is a Senior Scientist at the Belfer Center for Applied Cancer Sciences at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. She received her PhD from the Institute of Cytology and Genetics in Novosibirsk, Russia, and did postdoctoral training at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Dr. Ivanova is greatly interested in the imaging and microscopy. Through her carrier she used different imaging applications from studying mechanisms of chromosomal instability and tumorigenesis by Spectral Karyotyping to evaluating immune- and targeted therapy by imaging in 3D culture systems.

Russell W. Jenkins, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Center for Cancer Research, Massachusetts General Hospital

No bio available

Roger D Kamm, PhD, Green Distinguished Professor of Mechanical and Biological Engineering, Depts. of Mechanical Engineering and Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Kamm’s interests lie at the interface of biology and mechanics, formerly in cell and molecular mechanics, and now in micro-physiological systems to model cancer and neurodegenerative disease.  Kamm has fostered biomechanics as Chair of the US National Committee on Biomechanics and of the World Council on Biomechanics and currently directs the NSF Center on Emergent Behaviors of Integrated Cellular Systems. He is a recipient of the Lissner Medal and the the Huiskes Medal, both for lifetime achievements, and is the inaugural recipient of the Nerem Medal for mentoring and education. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine since 2010. Kamm is founder of AIM Biotech, a company that markets microfluidics for 3D cell culture systems.

Kathleen Kelly, PhD, Lab Chief, Laboratory of Genitourinary Cancer Pathogenesis, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute

Dr. Kelly received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Irvine. She completed her postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Philip Leder, Harvard Medical School, and she has maintained an independent research program at the NCI since 1984. Dr. Kelly's interests have focused on the genetic regulation of cell growth, cancer progression and metastasis.

Tania (Tali) Konry, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Northeastern University

Dr. Konry’s laboratory at Northeastern University is focused on developing novel Bio-MEMS approaches to advance point of care diagnostics, cell culture and drug screening and delivery methods. She has developed Lab-on-a-Chip (LOC) devices that integrate several laboratory functions such as real time monitoring of target clinically relevant analyte, proteomics, genomics, cell-cell interactions as well as cell secretion and surface monitoring of single cells on a micro-chip. Her single cell project was awarded with R21/NIH/NCI and R33/NIH/IMAT/NCI. Dr.Konry was nominated as Phase 1 Finalist of Follow That Cell Challenge/NIH and spotlighted in GEN magazine on her work in single-cell work. She also was recognized with Schumacher Faculty Award, presented to one faculty member early in their Northeastern career for significant academic achievement at Northeastern University and received a competitive BD Biosciences immunology research award for analyzing immune-tumor cell interactions in dynamics with single cell resolution.

Louis Scampavia, PhD, Senior Scientific Director of HTS Chemistry and Technologies, Scripps Research

Dr. Louis Scampavia is a faculty member at Scripps Research within the Department of Molecular Medicine; leveraging nearly four decades of research experience.  Having been at the Scripps Florida at its very inception, he currently serves as the Senior Scientific Director of HTS Chemistry and Technologies. The Scripps Molecular Screening HTS Center is focused on drug discovery to support academic investigators and industrial partners. Duties include establishing collaborations with other biomedical researchers to facilitate the development of screening assays for HTS compatibility; having the ultimate goal of discovering novel therapeutics or repurposing current ones. Dr. Scampavia currently serves as an investigator on a number of NIH grants and has also often served as a NIH/NCI peer grant reviewer.

Christian Schmees, PhD, Head of Tumor Biology, Molecular Biology Department, NMI Natural and Medical Sciences Institute at the University of Tübingen

Christian Schmees, Ph.D., is heading the Tumor Biology group at NMI. His responsibilities encompass technology development, management of ongoing projects, strategic planning and budgeting. Current projects in his group focus on the generation of cellular model systems of different types of cancer and their combination with RNAi and gene editing approaches for phenotypic analyses, compound testing and expression profiling. Dr. Schmees received his undergraduate degree in biochemistry from Tuebingen University. He holds a PhD in cancer immunology from the Technical University of Munich, Germany. His thesis resulted in the identification of gamma-glutamyl-transpeptidase as the major factor for T cell specific immune evasion of the tumorigenic bacterium Helicobacter pylori. As a postdoctoral fellow he joined the laboratories of Dr. Carl-Henrik Heldin at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (LICR) in Uppsala, Sweden and Dr. Philippe Bastiaens at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology in Dortmund, Germany. He received fellowships from the German Research Foundation and the LICR to support his research on differential regulation of intracellular PDGF α- and β-receptor trafficking. His work showed for the first time that transformation by oncogenic Ras induces the internalization of the PDGF β-receptor by macropinocytosis, enhancing its signaling activity and increasing anchorage-independent proliferation

Aleksander Skardal, PhD, Assistant Professor, Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine

Dr. Aleksander Skardal received his B.Sc. in Biomedical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University in 2005 and his Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the University of Utah in 2010. He is an Assistant Professor of Regenerative Medicine, Biomedical Engineering, Cancer Biology, and Molecular Medicine and Translational Science, and is an affiliate faculty member of the Comprehensive Cancer Center at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. His research focuses on using customizable biomaterials and biofabrication techniques to create tissue and tumor model systems for drug and toxicology testing, to explore biological phenomena such as metastatic tumor growth, and improve precision medicine practices. He has led a number of funded studies focused on tumor organoid models, including developing microfluidic devices for drug screening and toxicology testing, generation of patient-derived tumor organoids for personalized drug screening, and a current NCI-funded project that studies evolution of tumor heterogeneity in response to therapy ex vivo. He was an investigator and team lead on a 5-year, $20 million Defense Thread Reduction Agency-funded body-on-a-chip program. Outside of organoid-based research, Dr. Skardal’s lab also focuses on bioprinting technologies. Dr. Skardal is the PI of a 5-year, $4 million Dept. of Defense contract through the Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium aimed towards developing a novel biomaterial bioink system for bioprinting that is compatible across bioprinting platforms with the goal to accelerate the realization of biomanufacturing of tissue products for human use. The results of these projects have led to publication of manuscripts in a variety of high-ranking journals, a series of patents and patent applications, licensed technologies, and several currently commercially available biomedical products.

Bonnie F. Sloane, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology, Wayne State University School of Medicine

Dr. Sloane is Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Pharmacology at Wayne State University School of Medicine and has been Leader of both the Protease and the Breast Cancer Biology Programs at the Karmanos Cancer Institute. She co-founded the International Proteolysis Society, was a Special Assistant to the Cancer Imaging Program of the National Cancer Institute and Director of a multi-institutional DoD Breast Cancer Center of Excellence. The primary research emphasis of her laboratory is proteolytic pathways in the progression of premalignant breast disease to invasive carcinomas. Her group has established a role for lysosomal proteases, primarily the cysteine protease cathepsin B, and the endogenous inhibitors of cysteine cathepsins in progression. They identified molecular mechanisms for the increased expression of cathepsin B in human tumors and binding partners associated with alterations in localization of cathepsin B in tumors. Dr. Sloane has been a leader in applying imaging to the analysis of protease activity, developing 3D co-culture models to recapitulate the architecture of breast tumors and their microenvironment and live-cell assays for imaging protease activity therein in real-time. These models and assays are being adapted to screening platforms that can be used for high content imaging and testing of therapeutic agents.

Hervé Tiriac, PhD, Associate Project Scientist, Department of Surgery, UC San Diego

My research interests include developing systems and platforms for precision medicine that may be utilized in the fight against pancreatic cancer. As a translational scientist I focused my efforts on human-derived organoids and optimized therapeutic and diagnostic platforms amenable to this ex-vivo culture system. I first helped develop the conditions to establish viable organoids derived from surgical samples, and later I optimized this method to establish organoids from fine needle aspirates and core biopsies. This enabled study of the full spectrum of pancreatic cancer patients as the majority of patients are diagnosed with metastatic disease and are therefore ineligible for surgery. Now I am developing organoid-based assays to identify effective treatments for individual patients and uncover mechanisms of drug-sensitivity and resistance. 

Janica Wong, PhD, Senior Scientist, Discovery Oncology, Merck Research Labs

Dr. Janica Wong is an accomplished research scientist with 17 years of extensive experience in cardiovascular pathology, metabolism, stem cells and oncology. She received her BSc in Biochemistry and MSc in Physiology in the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Later, she went to United States and completed her Ph.D at UNLV, with a research focus on the roles of nitric oxide signaling in cancer and stem cells. She conducted her research in Nevada Cancer Institute and Roseman University, under the mentorship of Dr. Fiscus, whose previous work in nitric oxide in cardiovascular/hypertension with Dr. Murad led to the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1998. Dr. Wong then continued with her postdoctoral training at Stanford University to study adult stem cell fate. Her research resulted in patents, book chapters and many high impact journals. She is currently leading cancer stem cell research at Merck Research Lab.

Target Identification & Phenotypic Screening

Gabriel Baverel, DVM, PhD, President, Founder and CSO, Metabolys, Inc.

Gabriel Baverel, DVM & PhD, is a former Professor in the Faculty of Medicine and Head of an INSERM research unit (Metabolomics and Metabolic Diseases) in Lyon. He is the founder, President and CSO of Metabolys, an emerging clinical development company seeking treatments for NASH and Fibrosis.

John Doench, PhD, Associate Director, Genetic Perturbation Platform, Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT

Since joining the Broad Institute in 2009, I have engaged in dozens of collaborations centered on functional genomics. As Associate Director of the Genetic Perturbation Platform, my role is to provide expert guidance on the design, execution, and analysis of genetic screens, and have done so with a wide variety of research groups across many areas of biology. Additionally, I have many years of experience in the development and use of functional genomic techniques, first with RNAi and more recently with CRISPR technology for genome-wide loss-of-function screening. As leader of research and development in the Platform, I have stayed on the cutting-edge of newest techniques while also focusing on the reduction-to-practice that is critical for enabling collaboration with a broader community of researchers. Prior to joining the Broad, I received my Ph.D. in biology, training with Phil Sharp, and performed postdoctoral work with Ed Harlow at Harvard Medical School.

Davide Gianni, PhD, Team Leader, Discovery Sciences, AstraZeneca

Davide Gianni currently leads the Cellular Assay Development team in Discovery Sciences (AZ) in Cambridge UK. The main focus of the team is to deliver the cellular assay portfolio for key therapeutic areas for AZ. He joined AZ in August 2015 from Boehringer-Ingelheim (Vienna) where he was in charge of leading a team of scientists to identify and validate drug target for oncology drug discovery. Davide got his PhD from University of Naples (Italy) and completed his postdoctoral studies at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) in La Jolla before relocating to Europe. He has authored >20 peer-reviewed publications and review articles in high impact journals covering several scientific areas including cancer and molecular biology, neurodegeneration and drug discovery.

Christian Klose, PhD, Head of Research and Development, Lipotype GmbH

After receiving his PhD on membrane biology and biophysics, he did a post-doc on mass spectrometry-based lipidomics with Andrej Shevchenko. He was involved in the buildup of Lipotype from the start and published numerous papers in the field of membrane biology and lipidomics. In his role as Head of R&D Christian enjoys developing novel technology and putting it into action for routine use.

Emer Leahy, PhD, President & CEO, PsychoGenics Inc.

Dr. Emer Leahy is CEO of PsychoGenics, a preclinical CRO, CEO of PGI Drug Discovery, a psychiatric drug discovery company with three partnered Phase II clinical programs and Adjunct Associate Professor of Neuroscience at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.  Dr. Leahy has >25 years of drug discovery, clinical and business development experience in Pharma/Biotech. Dr. Leahy served on the Emerging Companies Section Governing Board of BIO, and currently serves on the Board of Intensity Therapeutics.

Sophie Lelievre, DVM, PhD, LLM, Professor, Cancer Pharmacology, Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Lelièvre is a native of France who obtained her undergraduate degree as engineer in Veterinary Sciences from the University of Louvain (Belgium) and her D.V.M. degree from the University of Liège (Belgium) in 1990. She worked as a veterinarian in the emergency room in Paris area (France) from 1990 to 1995, while pursuing M.S. and Ph.D. graduate studies in Cancer Pharmacology at the Gustave Roussy Cancer Institute and University of Paris VI (Pierre & Marie Curie). Dr. Lelièvre is the 1995 recipient of (i) the National Prize for Fundamental Cancer Research/young investigator from the French Society of Cancer and National Federation of Cancer Institutes and (ii) the National Alexandre Joel Prize for young investigator from the Association for Cancer Research. During her postdoctoral training in Mina Bissell’s laboratory at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (USA) from 1995 to 2000, she studied the role of the organization of the cell nucleus in normal and cancerous breast epithelial cell behaviors using three-dimensional models of cell culture that recapitulate tissue organization. Dr. Lelièvre joined the Department of Basic Medical Sciences at Purdue, as a faculty member and Walther Cancer Institute Scholar, in October 2000. Her research program has been externally funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Department of DefenseCongressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) among other agencies. It focuses on the role of the organization of the cell nucleus in gene expression and genome stability and the relationship between tissue polarity and nuclear functions, notably epigenetics. Translational projects are targeted towards early detection and prevention of breast cancer. She was one of the three featured breast cancer researchers of the CDMRP in 2008 in recognition for her contributions to breast cancer research since her early career development funding by CDMRP in 1997. Her research accomplishments include notably, (i) the development of methods to analyze and detect phenotypes based on cell nucleus organization at the single cell level, (ii) the design of preclinical three-dimensional (3D) cell culture models including organson-a-chip to be used for screening protective agents against breast cancer development and for the design of nanomedical tools for therapies, and (iii) the identification of early breast tissue alterations necessary for cancer development and related new potential targets for breast cancer prevention and treatment. In 2015, she created the 3D Cell Culture Core (3D3C) Facility at Purdue University with the aim of bringing engineers and biologists together to design better models for research on chronic diseases. To better integrate public health related disciplines to her research projects, Dr. Lelièvre completed a Master’s degree in Law, Health and Ethics from a EuroPubhealth and Erasmus Mundus international program in 2008 at the University of Rennes (France). She initiated an international and multidisciplinary program on primary prevention of breast cancer (www.purdue.edu/IBCN) in 2009 that has received logistic support from the World Health Organization and includes 12 partner countries and yearly symposia (www.purdue.edu/breastcancer). Dr. Lelièvre was selected as a Purdue Entrepreneurial Leadership Academy Fellow in 2009 and Scholar in 2010 and as the 2012 Discovery Learning Research Center Faculty Research Fellow to pursue aspects of this international program. For her work on cancer prevention, she was selected for an Indiana Women of Achievement Award in 2015. She is also a Purdue University Faculty Scholar and an appointed member of the NIH, NCI-I study section for K awards supporting the training of scientists toward independence in research. Dr. Lelièvre teaches Applied Pharmacology in the Purdue DVM and IU Lafayette Medical School programs. She is developing a course on International Primary Prevention Research for chronic disease at Purdue University and has been a recurring invited lecturer on cancer prevention in the international Master of Public Health of the School of Public Health in France.

Danilo Maddalo, PhD, Lab Head, ONC Pharmacology, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Novartis Pharma AG

Danilo Maddalo obtained his PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of Karlsruhe (Germany). He thereafter joined Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (New York, USA) as research fellow where he generated a CRISPR-induced mouse model of oncogenic chromosomal rearrangements. He finally moved to Novartis (Basel, Switzerland) where he currently leads a laboratory focusing on pharmacology and generation of preclinical models.

Jeffrey Moffitt, PhD, Assistant Professor, Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital and Department of Microbiology, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Jeffrey Moffitt received his PhD in Physics from the University of California Berkeley under the direction of Dr. Carlos Bustamante, where he developed novel optical manipulation methods to study molecular motors. He received postdoctoral training from Dr. Xiaowei Zhuang at Harvard University, where he developed methods for transcriptome-scale imaging in single cells. He is an Assistant Professor in the Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital and the Department of Microbiology at Harvard Medical School.

Arvind Rao, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Arvind Rao was until recently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology at the UT MD Anderson Cancer Center since 2011. Prior to joining MD Anderson, he was a Lane Postdoctoral Fellow at Carnegie Mellon University, specializing in bioimage informatics. Arvind received his PhD in Electrical Engineering and Bioinformatics from the University of Michigan, specializing in transcriptional genomics. At MD Anderson, Arvind is working on using image analysis and machine learning methods to link image-derived phenotypes with genetic data, across biological scale (i.e. single cell, tissue and radiology data).

Filip Roudnicky, PhD, Senior Scientist, pRED, F. Hoffmann-La Roche, Ltd.

Filip Roudnicky is a senior scientist in the disease relevant cellular assay team in Roche. His is responsible for genome editing for disease modeling and for CRISPR/Cas9 genetic screens. He is also expert on disease relevant cellular assays involving endothelial cells. Filip started his career with a PhD in a lab of Prof. M. Detmar at ETH Zurich. He studied tumor angiogenesis of invasive bladder carcinoma. As a guest research scientist he has worked, in RIKEN Yokohama, Japan, under Dr. Jay W. Shin, on induced-neuronal stem cells and RNA-sequencing analysis. He has been a postdoctoral fellow in Roche and Harvard with the lab of Prof. C. Cowan developing an in vitro model of retinal endothelial cells.

Fabien Vincent, PhD, Associate Research Fellow, Hit Discovery and Lead Profiling Group, Pfizer

Fabien Vincent, Ph.D., is an Associate Research Fellow in the Hit Discovery and Lead Profiling Group at Pfizer.  His laboratory provides molecular pharmacology support for the small molecule project portfolios of the Immunology & Inflammation research unit and the Centers for Therapeutic Innovation. This work includes designing hit identification strategies and screening funnels, developing assays for high throughput screening as well as additional assays to elucidate the structure activity relationship of active compounds, understand their mechanism of action and facilitate translation to pre-clinical models. His main research interests are centered on improving the translation of discovery research to patients and specifically include phenotypic screening and atypical molecular mechanisms of action. Fabien Vincent led a team of Pfizer scientists in an analysis of how best to approach phenotypic screening, and specifically how to design the optimal phenotypic assays, those which can best predict compounds and mechanisms that will be effective in patients. Fabien Vincent received a Diplôme d’Ingénieur in organic chemistry from CPE Lyon (France) before conducting graduate research in the fields of chemical biology and enzymology in the laboratory of Pr. Harold Kohn at the University of Houston. He later became a post-doctoral fellow in chemical biology at the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation in San Diego.

Blood-Brain Barrier

Nathalie Y.R. Agar, PhD, Associate Professor, Neurosurgery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Nathalie Y.R. Agar, Ph.D. is the founding Director of the Surgical Molecular Imaging Laboratory (SMIL) in the Department of Neurosurgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and an Associate Professor of Neurosurgery and of Radiology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Agar’s multidisciplinary training includes a B.Sc. in Biochemistry, Ph.D. in Chemistry, a postdoctoral fellowship in Neurology and Neurosurgery from McGill University, and further postdoctoral training in Neurosurgery at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. From this unique background, she has developed distinct skills to better understand the requirements and limitations regarding the implementation of novel instrumentation, sample and data analysis, and cancer and surgical needs in the medical environment. She has also developed a network of specialists to satisfy the many different aspects of translational research activities. Her research aims to develop and implement comprehensive molecular diagnoses through improved biochemical classifications.  This will enable surgeons and oncologists to tailor treatment from the time of surgery and allow personalized cancer care using molecular imaging with mass spectrometry approaches. She is also developing and validating a direct in vivo mass spectrometry analysis of surgical tissue to assist in the evaluation of tumor margins. Her laboratory also focuses on the mass spectrometry imaging of drugs and metabolites from pre-clinical animal models to clinical trials’ samples to study and screen for targeted therapeutics for brain cancers considering their ability to access the central nervous system. Nathalie has been an active volunteer with the Brain Science Foundation for years, including serving as Program Advisor for patient programs, and as a member of the Advisory Board.

Samira M. Azarin, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Minnesota

Samira M. Azarin, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Dept. of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the Univ. of Minnesota. Her research focuses on engineering the cell microenvironment for applications in regenerative medicine and cancer therapeutics. She has a BS in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a PhD in chemical engineering from the Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison.

Ruben Boado, PhD, Vice President, Research & Development/Co-Founder, ArmaGen, Inc.

Dr. Boado co-founded ArmaGen in 2004, following more than 25 years of academic experience in fields of molecular and cell biology of the BBB, and drug delivery to the brain. His leadership and expertise have been instrumental in the development of ArmaGen’s extensive product pipeline, including potential biotherapeutic treatments for mucopolysaccharidosis, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Dr. Boado was the principal investigator in a number of Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) programs granted by the National Institutes of Health to ArmaGen. Dr. Boado is also a co-inventor of the intellectual property that supports ArmaGen’s pipeline. He Professor Emeritus of Medicine at UCLA and has published over 200 scientific peer-reviewed publications and book chapters related to his field.

Colin Choi, PhD, Scientist, Drug Safety Research and Evaluation, Takeda

Colin Choi is a member of the Investigative Toxicology team in Takeda Pharmaceuticals, where he applies microsphysiological systems (MPS; “organ-on-chip”) and 2D/3D cell biology as predictive and mechanistic tools to clarify toxicology of discovery-phase projects. Prior to Takeda, Colin was a postdoctoral fellow at Boston University and the Wyss Institute at Harvard to develop and apply bioengineered tools, including biomaterials, microfabrication, and high-resolution imaging to better-understand the roles of 3D mechanical forces in regulating molecular and cellular functions. Colin received MS and PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Virginia and BS in Chemical Engineering from Rutgers University.

Chenghua Gu, DVM & PhD, Professor of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School

No bio available

Leonard Khiroug, PhD, CSO, Neurotar Ltd

Leonard Khiroug is co-founder and CSO of Neurotar and Adj. Prof. at the University of Helsinki, Finland. Studies synaptic pathophysiology using in vivo microscopy. PhD from SISSA in Italy and postdoc training at Duke University and NIH in the USA. Co-author of 60+ peer-reviewed articles and inventor on several patents

Sophie Lelievre, DVM, PhD, LLM, Professor, Cancer Pharmacology, Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Sophie Lelièvre is a native of France who obtained her undergraduate degree as engineer in Veterinary Sciences from the University of Louvain (Belgium) and her D.V.M. degree from the University of Liège (Belgium) in 1990. She worked as a veterinarian in the emergency room in Paris area (France) from 1990 to 1995, while pursuing M.S. and Ph.D. graduate studies in Cancer Pharmacology (organization of the cell nucleus in chemoresistance and cancer cell behavior) at the Gustave Roussy Cancer Institute and University of Paris VI (Pierre & Marie Curie). Dr. Lelièvre joined the Department of Basic Medical Sciences at Purdue, as a faculty member and Walther Cancer Institute Scholar, in October 2000. Her research focuses on the role of the organization of the cell nucleus in gene expression and genome stability and the relationship between tissue polarity and nuclear functions, notably epigenetics. Translational projects are targeted towards early detection and prevention of breast cancer. Her research accomplishments include notably, the development of methods to analyze and detect phenotypes based on cell nucleus organization at the single cell level, the design of preclinical three-dimensional cell culture models of breast cancer risk and for screening protective agents against breast cancer development as well as for the development of nanomedicine, and the identification of early breast tissue alterations necessary for cancer development and related new potential targets for breast cancer prevention and treatment.

Irena Loryan, PhD, Researcher, Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences, Translational PKPD, Uppsala University

Irena Loryan, M.D., Ph.D. is a researcher in the Translational Pharmacokinetics-Pharmacodynamics, tPKPD Group at the Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences, Uppsala University, Sweden. She has more than 15 years of experience in the field of pharmacokinetics. Her current research interest focuses on mechanistic understanding of CNS drug disposition in health and disease with specific focus on discrete brain regions, aiming to advance pharmacotherapy and to support CNS drug development. She received her M.D. from Yerevan State Medical University in 2001 and earned Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Biochemistry in 2007. In the period from 2008 to 2010, she worked as a post-doctoral fellow in the Division of Pharmacogenetics in the Department of Pharmacology and Physiology, Karolinska Institutet (Prof. Magnus Ingelman-Sundberg Lab). From 2010 to 2013, she worked as a post-doctoral fellow in the tPKPD Group (Prof. Margareta Hammarlund-Udenaes Lab) in collaboration with Janssen Pharmaceutical.

Filip Roudnicky, PhD, Senior Scientist, Disease Relevant Cellular Assays, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd.

Filip Roudnicky is a senior scientist in the disease relevant cellular assay team in Roche. His is responsible for genome editing for disease modeling and for CRISPR/Cas9 genetic screens. He is also expert on disease relevant cellular assays involving endothelial cells. Filip started his career with a PhD in a lab of Prof. M. Detmar at ETH Zurich. He studied tumor angiogenesis of invasive bladder carcinoma. As a guest research scientist, he has worked, in RIKEN Yokohama, Japan, under Dr. Jay W. Shin, on induced-neuronal stem cells and RNA-sequencing analysis. He has been a postdoctoral fellow in Roche and Harvard with the lab of Prof. C. Cowan developing an in vitro model of retinal endothelial cells.

Benjamin Smith, PhD, Scientist, Biologics Drug Discovery, Biogen

I am a scientist at Biogen in Biologics Drug Discovery, CNS Delivery, where our focus is to develop innovative biotherapeutic technologies to meet unmet need for patients with neurodegenerative disorders. Trained as a biophysicist and biochemist, I am active in the field of blood-brain barrier research with focus on discovery and engineering of antibodies that transport across the BBB.

I received my PhD in physics from McGill University, with specialization in cellular mechanics. As a postdoctoral scientist, I trained in membrane biophysics at the University of British Columbia and in single-molecule biochemistry at Brandeis University.

Danica Stanimirovic, MD, PhD, Director, Translational Bioscience Department, Human Health Therapeutics Portfolio, National Research Council of Canada

Dr. Danica Stanimirovic manages a portfolio of R&D projects in partnership with Canadian and international biopharma companies and academia aimed at de-risking and advancing biologics CNS pipeline in preclinical development.  She leads NRC’s strategic Program, Therapeutics beyond Brain Barriers, focused on developing new delivery strategies for CNS therapeutics.  She is Adjunct Professor at the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Ottawa and founding member of the International Brain Barriers Society. Dr. Stanimirovic is recipient of funding from various consortia, including private-public ‘Focus on Brain’ initiative by Brain Canada.  She serves on Advisory Board of biotechnology companies and is recipient of several Canadian and international awards. She has authored over 150 manuscripts and 20 patents in the field of brain vascular physiology and drug delivery across the blood-brain barrier. 

Piotr Walczak, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Radiology, Johns Hopkins University

Dr. Piotr Walczak is an Assistant Professor in the Johns Hopkins Medicine Department of Radiology and Radiological Science. He specializes in magnetic resonance research and neuroradiology, with an emphasis on stem and progenitor cell transplantation. Dr. Walczak received his M.D. in 2002 from the Medical University of Warsaw in Poland. He then completed a research fellowship in cell-based therapy for neurodegenerative disorders at the University of South Florida. After a fellowship in cellular imaging at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Dr. Walczak joined the faculty of Johns Hopkins in 2008. He is an affiliated faculty member at the Kennedy Krieger Institute’s F.M. Kirby Research Center.

Nienke R. Wevers, MSc, Scientist, Model Development, Mimetas BV

Nienke Wevers was trained as a bio-pharmaceutical scientist and neuroscientist. After completing her master’s degree, Nienke started at MIMETAS where she specialized in the development of in vitro models of the human brain and human blood-brain barrier in a microfluidic platform

Guangqing Xiao, PhD, Associate Director, DMPK, Takeda

A highly motivated, well-organized, and technically proficient scientist with over fifteen years’ experience in drug discovery and development. Experience in ADME, DDI, PK/PD modeling using Phoenix & SimCYP, human PK & dose projection for both small molecules and biologics. Ph.D. in Biochemistry & Cell Biology, and Postdoctoral training in drug transporters.

Predicting Drug Toxicity

Najah Abi-Gerges, Vice President, Research & Development, AnaBios

Najah Abi-Gerges, PhD, is Vice President of Research & Development at AnaBios. With over 17 years in the pharmaceutical industry, he is an innovative leader, having made substantial contributions to drug approvals. Dr Abi-Gerges is the editor for the Journal of Pharmacological and Toxicological Methods, and is also a reviewer for more than 20 peer-reviewed scientific journals and review judge panel for various science institutes and foundations. He is also co-chair of the ion channel group in the CiPA initiative.

Colin Choi, PhD, Scientist, Drug Safety Research and Evaluation, Takeda

Colin Choi is a member of the Investigative Toxicology team in Takeda Pharmaceuticals, where he applies microsphysiological systems (MPS; “organ-on-chip”) and 2D/3D cell biology as predictive and mechanistic tools to clarify toxicology of discovery-phase projects. Prior to Takeda, Colin was a postdoctoral fellow at Boston University and the Wyss Institute at Harvard to develop and apply bioengineered tools, including biomaterials, microfabrication, and high-resolution imaging to better-understand the roles of 3D mechanical forces in regulating molecular and cellular functions. Colin received MS and PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Virginia and BS in Chemical Engineering from Rutgers University.

Flavia De Santis, Research & Development Scientist, ZeClinics

Flavia is an expert in the field of gene editing. She got her PhD from the Universitè Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris). She have a strong experience in zebrafish neurobiology and molecular biology; she perfectly controls different genome editing techniques and she is an expert of CRISPR/Cas9 applications in zebrafish. She was awarded with 3-years postdoctoral Torres-Quevedo grant in order to join ZeClinics.

Gary Gintant, PhD, Senior Research Fellow, Department of Integrative Pharmacology, Integrated Science and Technology, AbbVie

Gary Gintant is a Senior Research Fellow in the Dept. of Integrative Pharmacology, Integrated Science and Technology, at AbbVie. He is involved in multiple drug discovery and safety activities and initiatives internally; external activities include various cardiac safety initiatives (such as ILSI/HESI Proarrhythmia Models Project, the Cardiac Safety Research Consortium, and the Comprehensive in Vitro Proarrhythmia Assay Initiative) while serving on various journal editorial boards, NIH study sections, and Safety Pharm. Society committees.  His research interests include cardiovascular pharmacology, cellular electrophysiology/ion channels, arrhythmias,  stem-cell derived cardiomyocytes and tissues, and biomarkers-translational medicine.  He gained his MA., M.Phil. and PhD. degrees from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, NY, and was on faculty at Wayne State Univ. School of Medicine in Detroit MI prior to joining Abbott/AbbVie. 

Vivek (Vic) Kadambi, PhD, Senior Vice President, Nonclinical Development, Blueprint Medicines

https://www.linkedin.com/in/vivek-kadambi-342b4596

Volker Lauschke, PhD, MBA, Associate Professor, Group Leader in Personalized Medicine and Drug Development, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Karolinska Institutet

No bio available

Bo Yeon Lee, PhD, Scientific Program Manager, Office of the Director, Tissue Chip for Drug Screening Program, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, National Institutes of Health

Dr. Bo Yeon Lee is a scientific program manager at National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), National Institute of Health (NIH) where she manages “Tissue Chips for Disease Modeling and efficacy testing” initiative and other special initiatives relevant to the Tissue Chip for Drug Screening program. Prior to joining NCATS, Dr. Lee was a scientific program analyst for the SBIR/STTR program at National Institute of Mental Health of NIH where she managed a $50 million/year portfolio in the broad area of neuroscience. Dr. Lee came to NIH with an extensive experience in private industry. In PAREXEL Consulting, Dr. Lee’s work as a regulatory affairs consultant in multiple areas of drug development included authoring regulatory documents (Investigational New Drug Applications (INDs), New Drug Applications (NDAs), etc.) and extensive interactions with a spectrum of clients and the regulatory agencies for drug approval process. As a project leader in drug discovery and development at the H. Lundbeck pharmaceuticals in Denmark, Dr. Lee has led a multidisciplinary team for bioassay development across multiple neurodegenerative diseases. Dr. Lee has obtained her Ph.D. in Toxicology from Texas A&M University where she has also worked, as a postdoctoral fellow, on a novel therapy for stroke. Dr. Lee holds a degree in veterinary medicine from Chonnam National University in South Korea.

Sophie Lelievre, DVM, PhD, LLM, Professor, Cancer Pharmacology, Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Lelièvre is a native of France who obtained her undergraduate degree as engineer in Veterinary Sciences from the University of Louvain (Belgium) and her D.V.M. degree from the University of Liège (Belgium) in 1990. She worked as a veterinarian in the emergency room in Paris area (France) from 1990 to 1995, while pursuing M.S. and Ph.D. graduate studies in Cancer Pharmacology at the Gustave Roussy Cancer Institute and University of Paris VI (Pierre & Marie Curie). Dr. Lelièvre is the 1995 recipient of (i) the National Prize for Fundamental Cancer Research/young investigator from the French Society of Cancer and National Federation of Cancer Institutes and (ii) the National Alexandre Joel Prize for young investigator from the Association for Cancer Research. During her postdoctoral training in Mina Bissell’s laboratory at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (USA) from 1995 to 2000, she studied the role of the organization of the cell nucleus in normal and cancerous breast epithelial cell behaviors using three-dimensional models of cell culture that recapitulate tissue organization. Dr. Lelièvre joined the Department of Basic Medical Sciences at Purdue, as a faculty member and Walther Cancer Institute Scholar, in October 2000. Her research program has been externally funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Department of DefenseCongressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) among other agencies. It focuses on the role of the organization of the cell nucleus in gene expression and genome stability and the relationship between tissue polarity and nuclear functions, notably epigenetics. Translational projects are targeted towards early detection and prevention of breast cancer. She was one of the three featured breast cancer researchers of the CDMRP in 2008 in recognition for her contributions to breast cancer research since her early career development funding by CDMRP in 1997. Her research accomplishments include notably, (i) the development of methods to analyze and detect phenotypes based on cell nucleus organization at the single cell level, (ii) the design of preclinical three-dimensional (3D) cell culture models including organson-a-chip to be used for screening protective agents against breast cancer development and for the design of nanomedical tools for therapies, and (iii) the identification of early breast tissue alterations necessary for cancer development and related new potential targets for breast cancer prevention and treatment. In 2015, she created the 3D Cell Culture Core (3D3C) Facility at Purdue University with the aim of bringing engineers and biologists together to design better models for research on chronic diseases. To better integrate public health related disciplines to her research projects, Dr. Lelièvre completed a Master’s degree in Law, Health and Ethics from a EuroPubhealth and Erasmus Mundus international program in 2008 at the University of Rennes (France). She initiated an international and multidisciplinary program on primary prevention of breast cancer (www.purdue.edu/IBCN) in 2009 that has received logistic support from the World Health Organization and includes 12 partner countries and yearly symposia (www.purdue.edu/breastcancer). Dr. Lelièvre was selected as a Purdue Entrepreneurial Leadership Academy Fellow in 2009 and Scholar in 2010 and as the 2012 Discovery Learning Research Center Faculty Research Fellow to pursue aspects of this international program. For her work on cancer prevention, she was selected for an Indiana Women of Achievement Award in 2015. She is also a Purdue University Faculty Scholar and an appointed member of the NIH, NCI-I study section for K awards supporting the training of scientists toward independence in research. Dr. Lelièvre teaches Applied Pharmacology in the Purdue DVM and IU Lafayette Medical School programs. She is developing a course on International Primary Prevention Research for chronic disease at Purdue University and has been a recurring invited lecturer on cancer prevention in the international Master of Public Health of the School of Public Health in France.

Merrie Mosedale, PhD, Assistant Director, Institute for Drug Safety Sciences, Research Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina Eshelman School of Pharmacy

Merrie Mosedale, Ph.D., is a research assistant professor in the Division of Pharmacotherapy and Experimental Therapeutics at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy.  Mosedale is also the assistant director of the School’s Institute for Drug Safety Sciences where she leads the Translational Pharmacogenomics Research Program. Through partnerships with pharmaceutical companies and academic scientists, Mosedale is working to solve safety problems by integrating cutting-edge pharmacogenomics approaches with novel in vivoin vitro, and in silico platforms. Currently, Mosedale is focusing on the application of 1) mouse genetics to identify individual susceptibilities to adverse drug reactions in humans, 2) organotypic culture models to understand mechanisms of drug toxicities, and 3) exosome biology to predict toxicity liabilities earlier in drug development. Findings from her research highlight the potential for these novel approaches to improve human risk assessment in drug-safety testing as well as to provide mechanistic insights into drug toxicity. She has been recognized for her work by the Society of Toxicology and the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

William Proctor, PhD, Senior Scientist, Head of Investigative Toxicology, Department of Safety Assessment, Genentech

Will Proctor is an Associate Director/Senior Scientist and Head of Investigative Toxicology in the Department of Safety Assessment at Genentech.  Prior to joining Genentech in 2013, Will earned his PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the laboratory of Dr. Dhiren Thakker with a focus on drug transport and pharmacokinetics.  He then performed postdoctoral training at the NIH in laboratory of Dr. Lance Pohl, focusing on immune mechanisms of drug-induced liver injury.  At Genentech, Will manages the Investigative Toxicology group, whose focus is to support preclinical safety assessment through hypothesis-driven in vitro and ex vivo mechanistic studies. 

David Rhee, MD, House Staff, Department of Internal Medicine, New York University School of Medicine

Dr. David Rhee has spent the last decade in New York, studying neuroscience at Columbia College, graduating in the inaugural class of the 3-Year MD Program at NYU School of Medicine, and now finishing his residency in Internal Medicine at NYU Langone Health. His interest is cardiology, his passion is teaching, and his motivation is improving the quality of his patient's lives. He is supported by his wonderful wife, and he is excited to spend the next year as a chief resident at NYU Internal Medicine - Brooklyn Campus. 

Anna-Karin Sjögren, PhD, Drug Safety Scientist, Drug Safety and Metabolism, Astra Zeneca

I hold an M.Sc. in Biotechnology from Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg and a Ph.D. in Molecular Medicine from the Institute of Medicine at Sahlgrenska, Gothenburg University. I have worked in pharma industry for > 8 years and currently holds a position as Discovery Safety Specialist in CVRM Safety at AstraZeneca. I am leading projects to develop and evaluate new in vitro models and assays to investigate drug-induced kidney toxicity during early drug discovery.

Laszlo Urban, MD, PhD, Global Head, Preclinical Secondary Pharmacology, Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research

Laszlo Urban is Global Head of Preclinical Secondary Pharmacology (PSP) at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research (NIBR), Cambridge, MA, USA. He has been with Sandoz/Novartis since 1990, leading various global pharmaceutical research areas. As the founding leader of PSP, he developed and implemented the early in vitro preclinical safety profiling program for NIBR. He and his team are developing “decision support safety assessment tools” , which provide easy access to integrated information for adverse reaction mitigation. Laszlo received his M.D. and Ph.D. in neuropharmacology from Debrecen University, Hungary. He is Honorary Lecturer of the University College London and was a visiting professor at Duke University. He has published over 180 articles, book chapters and patents, edited 5 books and has served on the editorial board of several journals while also serving as President of the European Neuropeptide Club.

Terry Van Vleet, PhD, DABT, Head of Molecular and Computational Toxicology, Department of Preclinical Safety, Abbvie

Dr. Van Vleet received a Bachelor’s degree in Zoology from Weber State University and a doctorate in Toxicology studying mechanisms of carcinogenesis and metabolic activation of carcinogens, at Utah State University. His postdoctoral training was at the Medical University of South Carolina, studying mechanisms of renal toxicity with an emphasis in mechanisms of mitochondrial dysfunction. Dr. Van Vleet is a Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology. He worked at Bristol Myers Squibb in Mt Vernon, Indiana, for 11 years in positions of increasing importance culminating as the Head of the Molecular and In Vitro Toxicology Group. Currently he works at Abbvie in Investigative Toxicology and Pathology (Preclinical Safety) where he is responsible for the Molecular, Genetic, and Computational Toxicology groups. During his career in industry, he has served as a Drug Safety Project Representative, Study Director, and Study Monitor for numerous toxicology programs. He has also identified/characterized numerous mechanisms of toxicity and has been responsible for developing novel molecular assays for evaluating potential mechanisms of toxicity using a number of computational, analytical chemistry, molecular biology, and biochemistry techniques.

Immuno-Oncology Biomarkers 2: Immune Profiling and Immune Monitoring

Digital Biomarkers: Biosensors, Wearables, and mHealth

Small Molecules for Immuno-Oncology Therapeutics

Frank Charles Dorsey, PhD, Senior Research Scientist, Cancer Signaling and Metabolism, Eli Lilly & Co.

No bio available

Michael Drummond, PhD, Scientific Applications Manager, Chemical Computing Group

Michael Drummond received his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University, followed by postdoctoral appointments at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of North Texas.  His current research interests include modeling PROTAC-mediated protein degradation, enzyme engineering, and QSPR for antibody developability. He is currently the Scientific Applications Manager for Chemical Computing Group.

Shelton Earp, PhD, Director, University of North Carolina Lineberger Cancer Center and Co-Founder, Meryx Pharmaceuticals

Shelton “Shelley” Earp is the Lineberger Professor of Cancer Research, Director of UNC Cancer Care and the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. In these roles, he has helped develop basic, clinical and public health research and cancer care at one of the country’s premier public universities and academic medical centers. He serves as multi-Principal Investigator of the UNC Breast Cancer SPORE and PI of the U54 Partnership with North Carolina Central University. His group has discovered and studied genes involved in a range of cancers, published over 190 biomedical-research articles and has been continuously funded by NIH for over 40 years. He collaborated with the UNC Chemical Biology Center in the Eshelman School of Pharmacy to develop a new, first-in-class drug targeting one of the cancer genes discovered in his lab. Inhibition of this gene may stimulate a cancer patient’s innate immunity against their cancer. Dr. Earp has received UNC School of Medicine teaching awards and chaired national review committees for the ACS and the NCI. He has served as a past president of the American Association of Cancer Institutes and as a member of the NCI Board of Scientific Advisors and on the board of ten university cancer centers.

Kuan-Chun Huang, PhD, Associate Director, H3 Biomedicine

https://www.linkedin.com/in/kuan-chun-huang-650a3884

Radhakrishnan P. Iyer, PhD, CSO, Spring Bank Pharmaceuticals

Dr. R. P. Iyer, (Kris) is the co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Spring Bank Pharmaceuticals. He has more than 25 years’ experience in drug discovery and development in diverse fields including antivirals, inflammation, and immune-oncology. Kris is internationally recognized as an innovator in the fields of nucleic acid chemistry, bioorganic chemistry, and pharmaceutical sciences with over 100 publications and 200 issued and filed US and international patents. Prior to Spring Bank, Kris was the co-founder and VP of Discovery at Origenix Technologies.

Michelle L. Lamb, PhD, Team Leader, Chemistry, Oncology, IMED Biotech Unit, AstraZeneca, Boston

No bio available

Karen McGovern, PhD, VP, Drug Discovery, Kyn Therapeutics

Karen McGovern joined Kyn Therapeutics as VP of Drug Discovery in 2016, bringing 20+ years of industry experience. Prior to Kyn, she worked at Infinity Pharmaceuticals where she was the biology lead on multiple early discovery projects including the PI3K Gamma and Hedgehog programs, leading from preclinical through early clinical development. Karen directed the biology and pharmacology groups where the immuno-oncology approaches were established, in collaboration with academic leaders in the field, leading to key mechanistic understanding and strategies for clinical development for the PI3K gamma program. Prior to that, Karen was at Millennium Pharmaceutics in both systems biology and anti-infectives groups. Karen earned her B.S. from Boston College and her Ph.D. from Harvard Medical School.

Frank Parlati, PhD, Vice President, Research, Calithera Biosciences

Dr. Parlati joined Calithera in 2012 and currently serves as Vice President of Research. Prior to joining Calithera, Dr. Parlati was Founder and Senior Director of Biology at Cleave Biosciences, a biotechnology company developing novel protein degradation inhibitors for the treatment of cancer. Prior to Cleave Biosciences, Dr. Parlati was a visiting scientist at the California Institute of Technology. Previously, Dr. Parlati held various scientific roles at Proteolix, including Director of Biology. Prior to Proteolix, Dr. Parlati was a member of the scientific team at Rigel Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Parlati received a B.S. in Chemistry from Concordia University, a Ph.D. in Biology from McGill University, and completed his postdoctoral fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering.

Sheena Pinto, PhD, Senior Scientist, Drug Discovery, Phenex Pharmaceuticals

https://de.linkedin.com/in/sheena-pinto-2ab61364

Brandon Rosen, PhD, Senior Scientist, Chemistry, Arcus Biosciences

Brandon Rosen has been a scientist in the department of Medicinal Chemistry at Arcus Biosciences since January 2015. At Arcus, he has worked on multiple programs against immuno-oncology targets, including the dual A2aR/A2bR antagonist AB928, the selective A2aR antagonist AB745, and the CD73 inhibitor AB680. Prior to joining Arcus, Brandon completed his Ph.D. at The Scripps Research Institute under the direction of Professor Phil Baran, where he studied the total synthesis of terpenes of mixed biosynthetic origin and developed new methods for electro-organic chemistry.

Gottfried Schroeder, PhD, Senior Scientist, Department of Pharmacology, Merck Research Labs Boston

Dr. Gottfried Schroeder joined the Biochemistry and Biophysics group at Merck-Boston in 2012.  Since that time Gottfried has applied a wide range of biophysical techniques coupled with automation to projects in multiple disease areas from the early discovery through pre-clinical candidate space.  These efforts encompassed small scale screening to in-depth mechanism of action studies, including several clinical assets.  In 2015, Gottfried assumed a leadership role in surface plasmon resonance (SPR) at the Boston site providing continued support for multiple pre-clinical and clinical programs spanning small molecule, peptide, and oligonucleotide modalities.  Dr. Schroeder received his doctorate (UNC-Chapel Hill) under Richard Wolfenden with a focus on enzymology and biophysics.  His post-doctoral work at UT-Austin with Chris Whitman and Kenneth Johnson (collaboration) centered on advanced transient state kinetics methods and enzyme mechanism.  Gottfried’s current interests include further integration and application of SPR data to the drug discovery process.

David H. Sherr, PhD, Professor, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Boston University

Dr. Sherr received his B.A. from Brandeis University in 1973 and his PhD from Cornell University in 1978. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School in the laboratories of Drs. Baruj Benacerraf (Nobel Laureate, 1980) and Martin Dorf from 1978 to 1981, after which he was appointed to the position of Assistant Professor (1982) and then Associate Professor (1987) of Pathology at Harvard Medical School. In 1993 Dr. Sherr was recruited to Boston University as Professor of Environmental Health and Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. Since that time he has studied the role of the AHR in immune cell development and in tumorigenesis, specifically with regard to its role in production and function of immunosuppressive immune cells. He has published 126 peer-reviewed manuscripts and his laboratory has been continually funded by the NIH since 1986. He has trained 26 postdoctoral and 13 predoctoral fellows and 8 undergraduates, has served on 67 doctoral committees, and has won The Boston University School of Public Health Excellence in Teaching Award 3 times.

Hongwei Wang, MD, PhD, Executive Medical Director, Curis, Inc

https://www.linkedin.com/in/hongwei-wang-1309bb7

Cancer Immunotherapy Models

Elena Ivanova, PhD, Senior Scientist, Medical Oncology, Belfer Center for Applied Cancer Science, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Elena Ivanova is a Senior Scientist at the Belfer Center for Applied Cancer Sciences at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. She received her PhD from the Institute of Cytology and Genetics in Novosibirsk, Russia, and did postdoctoral training at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Dr. Ivanova is greatly interested in the imaging and microscopy. Through her carrier she used different imaging applications from studying mechanisms of chromosomal instability and tumorigenesis by Spectral Karyotyping to evaluating immune- and targeted therapy by imaging in 3D culture systems.

Russell W. Jenkins, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Center for Cancer Research, Massachusetts General Hospital

No bio available

Barbara Joyce-Shaikh, Associate Principal Scientist, Merck Research Laboratories

https://www.linkedin.com/in/barbara-joyce-shaikh-52b9a513

Roger D Kamm, PhD, Green Distinguished Professor of Mechanical and Biological Engineering, Depts. of Mechanical Engineering and Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Kamm’s interests lie at the interface of biology and mechanics, formerly in cell and molecular mechanics, and now in micro-physiological systems to model cancer and neurodegenerative disease.  Kamm has fostered biomechanics as Chair of the US National Committee on Biomechanics and of the World Council on Biomechanics and currently directs the NSF Center on Emergent Behaviors of Integrated Cellular Systems. He is a recipient of the Lissner Medal and the the Huiskes Medal, both for lifetime achievements, and is the inaugural recipient of the Nerem Medal for mentoring and education. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine since 2010. Kamm is founder of AIM Biotech, a company that markets microfluidics for 3D cell culture systems.

Kathleen Kelly, PhD, Lab Chief, Laboratory of Genitourinary Cancer Pathogenesis, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute

Dr. Kelly received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Irvine. She completed her postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Philip Leder, Harvard Medical School, and she has maintained an independent research program at the NCI since 1984. Dr. Kelly's interests have focused on the genetic regulation of cell growth, cancer progression and metastasis.

Tania (Tali) Konry, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Northeastern University

Dr. Konry’s laboratory at Northeastern University is focused on developing novel Bio-MEMS approaches to advance point of care diagnostics, cell culture and drug screening and delivery methods. She has developed Lab-on-a-Chip (LOC) devices that integrate several laboratory functions such as real time monitoring of target clinically relevant analyte, proteomics, genomics, cell-cell interactions as well as cell secretion and surface monitoring of single cells on a micro-chip. Her single cell project was awarded with R21/NIH/NCI and R33/NIH/IMAT/NCI. Dr.Konry was nominated as Phase 1 Finalist of Follow That Cell Challenge/NIH and spotlighted in GEN magazine on her work in single-cell work. She also was recognized with Schumacher Faculty Award, presented to one faculty member early in their Northeastern career for significant academic achievement at Northeastern University and received a competitive BD Biosciences immunology research award for analyzing immune-tumor cell interactions in dynamics with single cell resolution.

Jungwoo Lee, PhD, Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering Department & Institute for Applied Life Sciences, University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Jungwoo Lee is an assistant professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and a principle investigator in the Institute of Applied Life Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He received his doctoral degree in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Michigan and post-doctoral training at the Center for Engineering in Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital and Shriners Hospitals in Children at Boston. His group at Umass-Amherst with core expertise in biomaterials, micro-fabrication, cellular engineering, and biomedical imaging, aims to create tissue-engineered bone marrow mimics for better understanding bone marrow tissue biology and translational opportunities for stem cell and cancer research. He published over 30 papers in the field of biomaterials and tissue engineering. His research has been supported by National Cancer Institute.

Danilo Maddalo, PhD, Lab Head, ONC Pharmacology, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Novartis Pharma AG

Danilo Maddalo obtained his PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of Karlsruhe (Germany). He thereafter joined Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (New York, USA) as research fellow where he generated a CRISPR-induced mouse model of oncogenic chromosomal rearrangements. He finally moved to Novartis (Basel, Switzerland) where he currently leads a laboratory focusing on pharmacology and generation of preclinical models.

Louis Scampavia, PhD, Senior Scientific Director of HTS Chemistry and Technologies, Scripps Research

Dr. Louis Scampavia is a faculty member at Scripps Research within the Department of Molecular Medicine; leveraging nearly four decades of research experience.  Having been at the Scripps Florida at its very inception, he currently serves as the Senior Scientific Director of HTS Chemistry and Technologies. The Scripps Molecular Screening HTS Center is focused on drug discovery to support academic investigators and industrial partners. Duties include establishing collaborations with other biomedical researchers to facilitate the development of screening assays for HTS compatibility; having the ultimate goal of discovering novel therapeutics or repurposing current ones. Dr. Scampavia currently serves as an investigator on a number of NIH grants and has also often served as a NIH/NCI peer grant reviewer.

Christian Schmees, PhD, Head of Tumor Biology, Molecular Biology Department, NMI Natural and Medical Sciences Institute at the University of Tübingen

Christian Schmees, Ph.D., is heading the Tumor Biology group at NMI. His responsibilities encompass technology development, management of ongoing projects, strategic planning and budgeting. Current projects in his group focus on the generation of cellular model systems of different types of cancer and their combination with RNAi and gene editing approaches for phenotypic analyses, compound testing and expression profiling. Dr. Schmees received his undergraduate degree in biochemistry from Tuebingen University. He holds a PhD in cancer immunology from the Technical University of Munich, Germany. His thesis resulted in the identification of gamma-glutamyl-transpeptidase as the major factor for T cell specific immune evasion of the tumorigenic bacterium Helicobacter pylori. As a postdoctoral fellow he joined the laboratories of Dr. Carl-Henrik Heldin at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (LICR) in Uppsala, Sweden and Dr. Philippe Bastiaens at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology in Dortmund, Germany. He received fellowships from the German Research Foundation and the LICR to support his research on differential regulation of intracellular PDGF α- and β-receptor trafficking. His work showed for the first time that transformation by oncogenic Ras induces the internalization of the PDGF β-receptor by macropinocytosis, enhancing its signaling activity and increasing anchorage-independent proliferation

Aleksander Skardal, PhD, Assistant Professor, Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine

Dr. Aleksander Skardal received his B.Sc. in Biomedical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University in 2005 and his Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the University of Utah in 2010. He is an Assistant Professor of Regenerative Medicine, Biomedical Engineering, Cancer Biology, and Molecular Medicine and Translational Science, and is an affiliate faculty member of the Comprehensive Cancer Center at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. His research focuses on using customizable biomaterials and biofabrication techniques to create tissue and tumor model systems for drug and toxicology testing, to explore biological phenomena such as metastatic tumor growth, and improve precision medicine practices. He has led a number of funded studies focused on tumor organoid models, including developing microfluidic devices for drug screening and toxicology testing, generation of patient-derived tumor organoids for personalized drug screening, and a current NCI-funded project that studies evolution of tumor heterogeneity in response to therapy ex vivo. He was an investigator and team lead on a 5-year, $20 million Defense Thread Reduction Agency-funded body-on-a-chip program. Outside of organoid-based research, Dr. Skardal’s lab also focuses on bioprinting technologies. Dr. Skardal is the PI of a 5-year, $4 million Dept. of Defense contract through the Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium aimed towards developing a novel biomaterial bioink system for bioprinting that is compatible across bioprinting platforms with the goal to accelerate the realization of biomanufacturing of tissue products for human use. The results of these projects have led to publication of manuscripts in a variety of high-ranking journals, a series of patents and patent applications, licensed technologies, and several currently commercially available biomedical products.

Bonnie F. Sloane, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology, Wayne State University School of Medicine

Dr. Sloane is Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Pharmacology at Wayne State University School of Medicine and has been Leader of both the Protease and the Breast Cancer Biology Programs at the Karmanos Cancer Institute. She co-founded the International Proteolysis Society, was a Special Assistant to the Cancer Imaging Program of the National Cancer Institute and Director of a multi-institutional DoD Breast Cancer Center of Excellence. The primary research emphasis of her laboratory is proteolytic pathways in the progression of premalignant breast disease to invasive carcinomas. Her group has established a role for lysosomal proteases, primarily the cysteine protease cathepsin B, and the endogenous inhibitors of cysteine cathepsins in progression. They identified molecular mechanisms for the increased expression of cathepsin B in human tumors and binding partners associated with alterations in localization of cathepsin B in tumors. Dr. Sloane has been a leader in applying imaging to the analysis of protease activity, developing 3D co-culture models to recapitulate the architecture of breast tumors and their microenvironment and live-cell assays for imaging protease activity therein in real-time. These models and assays are being adapted to screening platforms that can be used for high content imaging and testing of therapeutic agents.

Applying 3D Models

Colin Choi, PhD, Scientist, Drug Safety Research and Evaluation, Takeda

Colin Choi is a member of the Investigative Toxicology team in Takeda Pharmaceuticals, where he applies microsphysiological systems (MPS; “organ-on-chip”) and 2D/3D cell biology as predictive and mechanistic tools to clarify toxicology of discovery-phase projects. Prior to Takeda, Colin was a postdoctoral fellow at Boston University and the Wyss Institute at Harvard to develop and apply bioengineered tools, including biomaterials, microfabrication, and high-resolution imaging to better-understand the roles of 3D mechanical forces in regulating molecular and cellular functions. Colin received MS and PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Virginia and BS in Chemical Engineering from Rutgers University.

Jason Ekert, PhD, MBA, Head, Complex In Vitro Models, GlaxoSmithKline

I head the Complex In Vitro Models group in the R&D Platform Technology & Sciences organization at GlaxoSmithKline. I lead an integrated enterprise strategy for sustained, portfolio driven growth in R&D applications of human-relevant and translatable complex in vitro models (eg Spheroids, Organoids, MPS and bioprinting). Before coming to GSK I spent 11 years at Janssen BioTherapeutics in early biotherapeutic drug discovery in target discovery, drug validation and MOA studies applying complex cell-based assays across multiple therapeutic areas. My current focus at GSK is to improve predictive validity of early preclinical models leading to better characterized molecules, decreased R&D cycle time and a reduction in attrition.

Elena Ivanova, PhD, Senior Scientist, Medical Oncology, Belfer Center for Applied Cancer Science, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Elena Ivanova is a Senior Scientist at the Belfer Center for Applied Cancer Sciences at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. She received her PhD from the Institute of Cytology and Genetics in Novosibirsk, Russia, and did postdoctoral training at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Dr. Ivanova is greatly interested in the imaging and microscopy. Through her carrier she used different imaging applications from studying mechanisms of chromosomal instability and tumorigenesis by Spectral Karyotyping to evaluating immune- and targeted therapy by imaging in 3D culture systems.

Russell W. Jenkins, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Center for Cancer Research, Massachusetts General Hospital

No bio available

Roger D Kamm, PhD, Green Distinguished Professor of Mechanical and Biological Engineering, Depts. of Mechanical Engineering and Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Kamm’s interests lie at the interface of biology and mechanics, formerly in cell and molecular mechanics, and now in micro-physiological systems to model cancer and neurodegenerative disease.  Kamm has fostered biomechanics as Chair of the US National Committee on Biomechanics and of the World Council on Biomechanics and currently directs the NSF Center on Emergent Behaviors of Integrated Cellular Systems. He is a recipient of the Lissner Medal and the the Huiskes Medal, both for lifetime achievements, and is the inaugural recipient of the Nerem Medal for mentoring and education. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine since 2010. Kamm is founder of AIM Biotech, a company that markets microfluidics for 3D cell culture systems.

Kathleen Kelly, PhD, Lab Chief, Laboratory of Genitourinary Cancer Pathogenesis, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute

Dr. Kelly received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Irvine. She completed her postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Philip Leder, Harvard Medical School, and she has maintained an independent research program at the NCI since 1984. Dr. Kelly's interests have focused on the genetic regulation of cell growth, cancer progression and metastasis.

Tania (Tali) Konry, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Northeastern University

Dr. Konry’s laboratory at Northeastern University is focused on developing novel Bio-MEMS approaches to advance point of care diagnostics, cell culture and drug screening and delivery methods. She has developed Lab-on-a-Chip (LOC) devices that integrate several laboratory functions such as real time monitoring of target clinically relevant analyte, proteomics, genomics, cell-cell interactions as well as cell secretion and surface monitoring of single cells on a micro-chip. Her single cell project was awarded with R21/NIH/NCI and R33/NIH/IMAT/NCI. Dr.Konry was nominated as Phase 1 Finalist of Follow That Cell Challenge/NIH and spotlighted in GEN magazine on her work in single-cell work. She also was recognized with Schumacher Faculty Award, presented to one faculty member early in their Northeastern career for significant academic achievement at Northeastern University and received a competitive BD Biosciences immunology research award for analyzing immune-tumor cell interactions in dynamics with single cell resolution.

Sophie Lelievre, DVM, PhD, LLM, Professor, Cancer Pharmacology, Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Lelièvre is a native of France who obtained her undergraduate degree as engineer in Veterinary Sciences from the University of Louvain (Belgium) and her D.V.M. degree from the University of Liège (Belgium) in 1990. She worked as a veterinarian in the emergency room in Paris area (France) from 1990 to 1995, while pursuing M.S. and Ph.D. graduate studies in Cancer Pharmacology at the Gustave Roussy Cancer Institute and University of Paris VI (Pierre & Marie Curie). Dr. Lelièvre is the 1995 recipient of (i) the National Prize for Fundamental Cancer Research/young investigator from the French Society of Cancer and National Federation of Cancer Institutes and (ii) the National Alexandre Joel Prize for young investigator from the Association for Cancer Research. During her postdoctoral training in Mina Bissell’s laboratory at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (USA) from 1995 to 2000, she studied the role of the organization of the cell nucleus in normal and cancerous breast epithelial cell behaviors using three-dimensional models of cell culture that recapitulate tissue organization. Dr. Lelièvre joined the Department of Basic Medical Sciences at Purdue, as a faculty member and Walther Cancer Institute Scholar, in October 2000. Her research program has been externally funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Department of DefenseCongressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) among other agencies. It focuses on the role of the organization of the cell nucleus in gene expression and genome stability and the relationship between tissue polarity and nuclear functions, notably epigenetics. Translational projects are targeted towards early detection and prevention of breast cancer. She was one of the three featured breast cancer researchers of the CDMRP in 2008 in recognition for her contributions to breast cancer research since her early career development funding by CDMRP in 1997. Her research accomplishments include notably, (i) the development of methods to analyze and detect phenotypes based on cell nucleus organization at the single cell level, (ii) the design of preclinical three-dimensional (3D) cell culture models including organson-a-chip to be used for screening protective agents against breast cancer development and for the design of nanomedical tools for therapies, and (iii) the identification of early breast tissue alterations necessary for cancer development and related new potential targets for breast cancer prevention and treatment. In 2015, she created the 3D Cell Culture Core (3D3C) Facility at Purdue University with the aim of bringing engineers and biologists together to design better models for research on chronic diseases. To better integrate public health related disciplines to her research projects, Dr. Lelièvre completed a Master’s degree in Law, Health and Ethics from a EuroPubhealth and Erasmus Mundus international program in 2008 at the University of Rennes (France). She initiated an international and multidisciplinary program on primary prevention of breast cancer (www.purdue.edu/IBCN) in 2009 that has received logistic support from the World Health Organization and includes 12 partner countries and yearly symposia (www.purdue.edu/breastcancer). Dr. Lelièvre was selected as a Purdue Entrepreneurial Leadership Academy Fellow in 2009 and Scholar in 2010 and as the 2012 Discovery Learning Research Center Faculty Research Fellow to pursue aspects of this international program. For her work on cancer prevention, she was selected for an Indiana Women of Achievement Award in 2015. She is also a Purdue University Faculty Scholar and an appointed member of the NIH, NCI-I study section for K awards supporting the training of scientists toward independence in research. Dr. Lelièvre teaches Applied Pharmacology in the Purdue DVM and IU Lafayette Medical School programs. She is developing a course on International Primary Prevention Research for chronic disease at Purdue University and has been a recurring invited lecturer on cancer prevention in the international Master of Public Health of the School of Public Health in France.

Louis Scampavia, PhD, Senior Scientific Director of HTS Chemistry and Technologies, Scripps Research

Dr. Louis Scampavia is a faculty member at Scripps Research within the Department of Molecular Medicine; leveraging nearly four decades of research experience.  Having been at the Scripps Florida at its very inception, he currently serves as the Senior Scientific Director of HTS Chemistry and Technologies. The Scripps Molecular Screening HTS Center is focused on drug discovery to support academic investigators and industrial partners. Duties include establishing collaborations with other biomedical researchers to facilitate the development of screening assays for HTS compatibility; having the ultimate goal of discovering novel therapeutics or repurposing current ones. Dr. Scampavia currently serves as an investigator on a number of NIH grants and has also often served as a NIH/NCI peer grant reviewer.

Hervé Tiriac, PhD, Associate Project Scientist, Department of Surgery, UC San Diego

My research interests include developing systems and platforms for precision medicine that may be utilized in the fight against pancreatic cancer. As a translational scientist I focused my efforts on human-derived organoids and optimized therapeutic and diagnostic platforms amenable to this ex-vivo culture system. I first helped develop the conditions to establish viable organoids derived from surgical samples, and later I optimized this method to establish organoids from fine needle aspirates and core biopsies. This enabled study of the full spectrum of pancreatic cancer patients as the majority of patients are diagnosed with metastatic disease and are therefore ineligible for surgery. Now I am developing organoid-based assays to identify effective treatments for individual patients and uncover mechanisms of drug-sensitivity and resistance. 

Piotr Walczak, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Radiology, Johns Hopkins University

Dr. Piotr Walczak is an Assistant Professor in the Johns Hopkins Medicine Department of Radiology and Radiological Science. He specializes in magnetic resonance research and neuroradiology, with an emphasis on stem and progenitor cell transplantation. Dr. Walczak received his M.D. in 2002 from the Medical University of Warsaw in Poland. He then completed a research fellowship in cell-based therapy for neurodegenerative disorders at the University of South Florida. After a fellowship in cellular imaging at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Dr. Walczak joined the faculty of Johns Hopkins in 2008. He is an affiliated faculty member at the Kennedy Krieger Institute’s F.M. Kirby Research Center.

Nienke Wevers, Scientist/PhD Candidate, Mimetas

My work combines project management with hands-on lab work. I have a passion for transferring knowledge, collaborations with industry, and exploring the human brain. I specialize in the development of three-dimensional in vitro models of the human brain and blood-brain barrier. These models can be used to evaluate efficacy and toxicity of new drug candidates or developmental/aetiological processes.

Janica Wong, PhD, Senior Scientist, Discovery Oncology, Merck Research Labs

Dr. Janica Wong is an accomplished research scientist with 17 years of extensive experience in cardiovascular pathology, metabolism, stem cells and oncology. She received her BSc in Biochemistry and MSc in Physiology in the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Later, she went to United States and completed her Ph.D at UNLV, with a research focus on the roles of nitric oxide signaling in cancer and stem cells. She conducted her research in Nevada Cancer Institute and Roseman University, under the mentorship of Dr. Fiscus, whose previous work in nitric oxide in cardiovascular/hypertension with Dr. Murad led to the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1998. Dr. Wong then continued with her postdoctoral training at Stanford University to study adult stem cell fate. Her research resulted in patents, book chapters and many high impact journals. She is currently leading cancer stem cell research at Merck Research Lab.

Guangqing Xiao, PhD, Associate Director, DMPK, Takeda

A highly motivated, well-organized, and technically proficient scientist with over fifteen year’s experience in drug discovery and development. Experience in ADME, DDI, PK/PD modeling using Phoenix & SimCYP, human PK & dose projection for both small molecules and biologics. Ph.D. in Biochemistry & Cell Biology, and Postdoctoral training in drug transporters.