Cancer Biotherapeutics
 
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2016 Archived Content

Speaker Biographies

Immuno-Oncology


Robert Williams, Ph.D., Chief Drug Development Scientist, Cancer Research UK Centre for Drug Development

Holbrook E. Kohrt, MD, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Oncology, Stanford University

Holbrook Kohrt investigates novel therapeutic strategies to enhance anti-tumor immunity, including the discovery of checkpoint inhibitors and cancer vaccine strategies. Holbrook Kohrt is the co-director of the Cancer Immunotherapy Trials Network. As a faculty member at Stanford, Holbrook Kohrt is developing novel vaccine strategies which induce tumor antigen-specific immunity and improve graft-versus-tumor reactions without exacerbation of graft-versus-host disease. His studies also include efforts to identify and develop immunomodulatory antibodies targeting immune effector cell subsets, such as natural killer cells, which enhance the anti-tumor activity of tumor-targeting antibodies. Holbrook Kohrt is a leader in the clinical development of agents including IL-15, IL-7, anti- CTLA-4, anti-CD137, anti-PD-1, anti-PD-L1, BTK inhibitors, and HPV-targeted and WT1-targeted vaccines.

Peter Ellmark, Ph.D., Principal Scientist, Alligator Bioscience

Dr. Ellmark earned his PhD 2002 in Prof. Carl Borrebaecks group at the Department of Immunotechnology at Lund University, Sweden, working on antibody engineering with a particular focus on immunotherapy and CD40 antibodies. The postdoctoral research 2003-2004 in Richard Christopherson’s group at the University of Sydney, Australia, focused on cancer diagnostic using antibody microarrays. This area was further pursued the following years as a Research fellow at Lund University alongside with research into mode of actions of CD40 antibodies. Dr. Ellmark holds an Associate Professor position at Lund University since 2010. In 2008 Dr. Ellmark joined Alligator Bioscience and as Principal Scientist has been Responsible for the Research/Discovery phase for several projects, including ADC-1013. He has more than 15 years of experience with CD40 antibodies.

Jennifer Michaelson, Ph.D., Director, Research, Tumor Biology, Jounce Therapeutics

Jennifer Michaelson is currently Director of Tumor Biology and Program Leader for the flagship ICOS program at Jounce Therapeutics, a biotech startup company in Cambridge, MA focused on developing biologics for cancer immunotherapy.  Dr. Michaelson joined the Jounce team prior to the 2013 launch of the company as a scientific consultant to Third Rock Ventures. Prior to that, Dr. Michaelson spent a decade at Biogen Idec where she led monoclonal and bispecific antibody projects in the oncology and immunology therapeutic areas.  An author on >45 peer reviewed publications, Dr. Michaelson was trained in molecular immunology (Albert Einstein) and cancer genetics (Harvard Medical School). 

Matt Johnson, Ph.D., CTO, Avacta Life Sciences
Matt Johnson is CTO of Avacta Life Sciences, a company developing a next-generation affinity scaffold called Affimers. Affimers are small, robust and quickly developed protein tools. Binders can be generated against a wide range of targets including proteins, small molecules, lipids and nano-particles. Prior to joining Avacta Matt spent nearly 9 years at Abcam, one of the leading suppliers of research grade antibodies, moving from bench science to Head of R&D.

Andrea Allersdorfer, Senior Group Leader, Protein Analytics, Pieris Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Andrea Allersdorfer is Senior Group Leader of Protein Analytics and Project leader at Pieris Pharmaceuticals.

Ann White, Ph.D., Senior Research Fellow, Faculty of Medicine, Cancer Sciences Unit, University of Southampton

Ann White is a Senior Research Fellow within the Cancer Sciences Unit, University of Southampton, UK. Her research is focused upon optimisation of anti-cancer therapeutic mAb through the manipulation of mAb structure. Ann received a PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the MRC Clinical Research Centre, London in 1991. She then spent 10 years in the US researching lipoprotein metabolism, first in San Antonio, Texas, then at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. Ann joined Southampton University in 2005 and is part of a large antibody development programme funded primarily through the charity Cancer Research UK

Oliver Hill, Ph.D., Vice President Molecular Biology, Apogenix GmbH

Oliver Hill joined Apogenix in March 2006. He is an expert for protein engineering and expression. Prior to his position at Apogenix, he headed the protein expression and purification group at Graffinity Pharmaceutical Design GmbH (Heidelberg, Germany; 1999-2006). His work in former, academic R&D positions at the Lower Saxony Institute for Peptide Research (Hannover, Germany; 1992-1996) and the Institute for Molecular Biotechnology (Jena, Germany; 1997-1998) included gene hunting, protein engineering and the development of recombinant phage display technologies. Mr Hill studied biology at the University of Hannover where he also received his Ph.D. from the Department of Chemistry in 1997.

Brian Soper, Ph.D., Technical Information Scientist, The Jackson Laboratory
Dr. Brian Soper has worked at The Jackson Laboratory for 20 years. He conducted research on treatment strategies for a mouse model of human enzyme deficiency. Approaches included enzyme replacement, gene therapy and modulation of immune tolerance in neonatal allogeneic bone marrow transplantation. He is now a Senior Technical Information Services Scientist. Brian's area of expertise is in modeling type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and research involving human hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in immunodeficient mice.

Sergio A. Quezada, Ph.D., Professorial Research Fellow, UCL Cancer Institute

Dr. Sergio Quezada is a Professorial Research Fellow and Group Leader at UCL Cancer Institute in London where he heads the Immune Regulation and Tumour Immunotherapy Laboratory. Prior to this, Dr. Quezada worked with Dr. James Allison at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center studying the mechanisms governing anti-tumour T-cell immunity, and how these mechanisms can be manipulated for the generation of potent anti-tumour immune responses.

Dr. Quezada’s research interest at UCL remains focused in the study of the mechanism of action of anti-CTLA-4, anti-PD-1 and other immune-modulatory antibodies targeting co-inhibitory and co-stimulatory pathways (including ICOS, 4-1BB, OX-40) and used as novel anticancer therapies. His group has particular interest in the evolution of the immune response to cancer, the impact of immune-modulatory antibodies in the fate and function of tumour reactive T cells, and the role that the tumour microenvironment plays in the response and resistance to such therapies.
Dr Quezada is a Cancer Research UK Career Development fellow and the recipient of a Cancer Research Institute investigator Award.

Björn Frendéus, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, BioInvent International AB

Björn Frendéus is the CSO of BioInvent, a Swedish biotech company developing therapeutic antibodies for treatment of cancer. Björn got his PhD studying innate immune responses to microbial infection. Over the past decades he has developed a strong interest in understanding the complex biology of antibodies in relation to their targets, and applying his knowledge to develop better antibody-based medicines. Björn’s team conceived and developed the F.I.R.S.T™ platform from which BioInvent’s lead clinical programs ICAM-1 (BI-505) and FcγRIIB (BI-1206) have emerged. Several of BioInvent´s programs, including FcγRIIB and Treg, are being co-developed with the Cancer Sciences Division in Southampton, UK, where Björn is an honorary professor. Björn chairs the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF)’s expert review committee on Infection Biology.

Nicolai Wagtmann, Ph.D., Chief Science Officer, Innate Pharma

Nicolai Wagtmann, Ph.D, is Executive Vice President and Chief Science Officer at Innate-Pharma, a biopharmaceutical company discovering and developing first-in-class therapeutic antibodies for treatment of cancer and inflammatory diseases. Previously, he spent 14 years in the R&D organisation at Novo Nordisk, as Vice President and Head of Cancer and Immunobiology, with responsibilities for building and developing the therapeutic antibody portfolio. He received his Ph.D. in immunology from the University of Copenhagen and from 1991-98 held academic appointments at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD, and the Center for Immunology in Marseille, France. During this time, he identified the human inhibitory Killer Ig-like Receptors (KIR) and other checkpoint receptors that regulate the activities of cells of the innate immune system. Nicolai Wagtmann is a Danish national, born April 1963

Mads Hald Andersen, Ph.D., D.Sc. Tech., Professor, Director, Center for Cancer Immune Therapy, Copenhagen University Hospital

Professor Andersen obtained his MSc in Chemical Engineering from the Technical University of Denmark. In 2001 he gained his PhD from the Danish Cancer Society, Copenhagen, Denmark, and the Department of Dermatology, Würzburg University, Germany. The same year he co-founded the Tumor Immunology Group at the Danish Cancer Society. He obtained his D.Sc.Tech. in 2006, the same year he co-founded the Center for Cancer Immune Therapy at Copenhagan University Hospital at Herlev. Professor Andersen has considerable pharmaceutical experience, and has founded several biotech companies. He has been honored with several awards during his career including The Lundbeck Foundation research prize (2012), the Danish Cancer Society Research Award (2006) and the Hallas-Møller Stipend from the Novo Nordisk foundation (2007). He has an extensive publication record, authoring over 140 publications in peer reviewed journals, more than 10 patents as well as several book chapters.

Martin Pule, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer, Haematology, UCL Cancer Institute

Martin Pule is Clinical Senior Lecturer in the Dept. of Haematology at UCL Cancer Institute and Honorary Consultant in Haematology at University College London Hospital.  His research is focused on many aspects of genetic engineering of T-cells for cancer treatment, with a particular focus on CARs. He entered the T-cell engineering field in 2001 as a traveling Fulbright Scholar at the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston. Here, Martin Pule was the first to describe third generation forms of CARs and described one of the first clinical studies of CARS, which showed efficacy in a solid cancer. Martin Pule is director of the UCL Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) programme. He holds a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery from University College Dublin and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists.

Steven P. Lee, Ph.D., Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy, University of Birmingham

Aaron Foster, Ph.D., Senior Director, Product Discovery, R&D, Bellicum Pharmaceuticals

Dr. Foster is Senior Director of Product Discovery at Bellicum Pharmaceuticals. He leads the T cell therapy research group (CAR-T and TCR) that is developing systems for controlling T cell behavior in vivo using molecular switches. He received his doctorate in Chemical Engineering from the University of Sydney and was an Assistant Professor at Baylor College of Medicine, at the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy (CAGT) prior to joining Bellicum.

Onur Boyman, M.D., Professor, Chairman and Director, Immunology University Hospital Zurich

Onur Boyman obtained his M.D. degree from the University of Zurich, Switzerland. Subsequently, he trained as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Jonathan Sprent at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. In 2006, he joined the Division of Immunology and Allergology of the University Hospital of Lausanne, Switzerland, as principle investigator and clinical fellow. In 2010, he obtained a professorship of the Swiss National Science Foundation. And since 2014, he has been chairman and professor of clinical immunology at the University of Zurich and director of the Department of Immunology at University Hospital Zurich. Research in his laboratory focuses on the modulation of immune responses using cytokine-directed approaches, such as particular IL-2 formulations to stimulate regulatory versus effector T cells for selective immunotherapy, as well as pro-inflammatory cytokines and their inhibitors in chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

Peter Lowe, Ph.D., Project Leader, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Institut de Recherche, Pierre Fabre

Following a PhD in genetics from the University of Aberdeen, Peter began his professional career with Haptogen a spin off company from the same university developing therapeutic and diagnostic antibody fragments by phage display. Moving to France he developed an in house phage display platform for antibody identification and optimisation at the Centre d'Immunologie Pierre Fabre. He is currently an antibody discovery project leader focused in oncology. Peter has a number of filed and granted patents in the field of antibody discovery, humanisation and therapeutic antibodies.

Joe Conner, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Virttu Biologics Ltd.

I joined Virttu in 2002 and have been Chief Scientific Officer since 2008. I also hold an honorary lectureship at University of Glasgow. I have over 30 years’ experience in scientific research, 25 of which have been associated with Herpes Simplex Virus and more than 20 years working with oncolytic HSV. I specialise in molecular virology and cell biology and have substantial experience in autoimmunity and antibody engineering. I have published extensively on these topics and I am the author of numerous granted and pending patents. My qualifications are a B.Sc. in Biochemistry and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Glasgow.

Robert Williams, Ph.D., Chief Drug Development Scientist, Cancer Research UK Centre for Drug Development

Dr Robert Williams is Chief Drug Development Scientist at Cancer Research UK’s Centre for Drug Development. Dr Williams has worked in drug discovery and development for over 25 years holding pharmaceutical industry positions in a number of therapeutic areas with Glaxo Group Research and Rhone-Poulenc Rorer, and spent 4 years in the biotechnology sector before joining Cancer Research UK in 2004. At Cancer Research UK he has overseen the progression of multiple new drug candidates, including small molecules, antibodies, vaccines and cell therapies into early phase cancer trials and more recently has taken on a key role in managing the joint CRUK-MedImmune antibody discovery alliance. Dr Williams served as Chairman of the Society for Medicines Research from 2008-2009 and is a regularly invited speaker at International Drug Discovery and Development conferences.

Novel Approaches for Cancer


Matthias Friedrich, Ph.D., Director, Nonclinical Development, Amgen Research (Munich) GmbH

Dr. Friedrich is Scientific Director at Amgen Research Munich who has been working on bispecific BiTE® antibodies 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 Haematology/Oncology department of Weill Medical School of Cornell University, New York, USA focusing on anti-angiogenic strategies in the treatment of cancer. Dr. Friedrich studied biology at the Universities of Muenster and Cologne, Germany and holds an MSc in Applied Toxicology from the University of Surrey, UK.

Luise Weigand, Ph.D., Team Lead, Cell Biology, Immunocore Ltd

Dr. Luise Weigand is Team Leader in Cell Biology and inter-disciplinary project manager in Immunocore Ltd. She studied molecular biotechnology at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM). In her MSc and PhD thesis she worked on the development of adoptive T cell therapies using MHC I and MHC II restricted T cell receptors targeting breast cancer and hematologic malignancies respectively at Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen (IMI) and the Klinikum Rechts der Isar (TUM). She continued in the field of immunotherapy moving to Immunocore Ltd, where she was leading the T cell cloning group. Luise is currently leading research programs and coordinating the research pipeline to facilitate delivery of clinical candidates.

Marina Bacac, Ph.D., Head, Cancer Immunotherapy, Roche Innovation Center Zurich

Marina joined Roche in 2010 as Head of the Cell Biology Group and currently leads one of the Cancer Immunotherapy Departments at the Roche Innovation Center Zurich. She leads a team of scientists dedicated to the characterisation of the activity of cancer immunotherapy agents including T-cell bispecific antibodies (TCBs), immunocytokines and checkpoint immunomodulators. In addition, Marina leads the discovery activities of the CEA TCB and other TCB programs. She is also actively involved in tumour immunology network established between Roche and several academic institutions and pioneers efforts focused on establishment of superior models for testing of cancer immunotherapy drugs, based on patient-derived tumour material. Marina participates in building and overseeing Roche’s portfolio focused on antibody-based cancer immunotherapeutics. Her department offers stimulating training opportunities to interns, master’s students and PhD’s.

She received her PhD in Oncology from the University of Trieste (Italy) in 2003 working on ruthenium-based antimetastatic drugs in Ph II clinical trials. In 2001 she was awarded by the Marie Curie Fellowship and performed part of the PhD at the University of Leiden (Netherlands). Following the PhD, Marina moved to Lausanne (Switzerland) for the post-doctoral fellowship at the University Hospital Lausanne (CHUV) working on projects in the field of tumor-host interaction. She was a pioneer in the establishment of the laser-capture microdissection (LCM) unit at her Institute and later on continued to supervise and coordinate its activities. Her work was awarded by the Keystone Symposia scholarship and was presented at several international conferences. Marina became a group leader four years later and has mentored PhD students and coordinated programs dedicated to understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying tumor-host interaction and metastasis.

Mark Throsby, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Merus BV

Dr. Mark Throsby joined Merus in October 2008 with responsibility for coordinating preclinical research and external alliances. Prior to joining Merus, Dr. Throsby was 8 years at Crucell in various R&D capacities culminating in the role Director of Antibody R&D from 2006 to 2008. At Crucell, Dr. Throsby was program leader for therapeutic antibody discovery programs against West Nile virus, nosocomial bacterial infections and pandemic influenza. Before joining Crucell Dr. Throsby was an associate investigator with CNRS at Hôpital Necker in Paris for 4 years and prior to that held an MRC of Canada Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the University of Toronto. Dr. Throsby graduated in immunology from Monash University, Melbourne Australia and received his PhD from the Department of Medicine, Monash University, Australia.

John Haurum, MD, D.Phil., CEO, F-star Biotechnology Ltd.

John Haurum joined F-star as the CEO in May 2012. Previously he was VP Research at ImClone Systems, New York (2010-2012). Before then he was the Chief Scientific Officer and a cofounder of Symphogen A/S, Denmark (2000-2009). After graduating in Medicine in Aarhus Denmark in 1992, Dr. Haurum received a D.Phil. in Immunology from the Institute of Molecular Medicine, John Radcliffe Hospital, University of Oxford, England. Subsequently, he took up a position as Associate Professor at the Danish Cancer Society and completed his medical training.

Marie Kosco-Vilbois, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Novimmune SA

Dr Kosco-Vilbois is the CSO of Novimmune, Geneva, Switzerland, responsible for developing a pipeline of therapeutic mAbs and bispecific antibodies, five of which have entered clinical trials and two out licensed (Genentech/Roche & Tiziana).  Currently, oversees the departments of Research, Translational Medicine and Bioprocess R&D.  Prior Industry experience includes GlaxoWellcome, Serono and Roche, the latter as a scientific member of the Basel Institute for Immunology. Holds a doctorate in Immunology and Human Anatomy& Histology from the Medical College of Virginia, USA, and has published over 140 peer reviewed publications and is a co-inventor on numerous patents.

Dario Neri, Ph.D., Professor, Chemistry and Applied Biosciences, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich

Dario Neri studied Chemistry at the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa and earned a PhD in Chemistry at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zürich), under the supervision of Professor Kurt Wüthrich. He then performed post-doctoral research at the Medical Research Council Centre in Cambridge (UK), under the supervision of Sir Gregory Winter. He has now been a Professor at the ETH Zürich since 1996.
The research of the group Neri focuses on the engineering of therapeutic antibodies for the therapy of cancer and other angiogenesis-related disorders. Other research activities include the chemical proteomic discovery of novel vascular markers of pathology and the development of DNA-encoded chemical libraries. Dario Neri is a co-founder of Philogen (www.philogen.com), a Swiss-Italian biotech company which has brought five antibody-based products into multicenter clinical trials for the therapy of cancer and of rheumatoid arthritis.
Dario Neri has published over 300 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals. He is the recipient of the ISOBM Abbott Prize 2000, of the Amgen-Dompe’ Biotec Award 2000, of the Mangia d’Oro 2001, of the Prous Award 2006 of the European Federation of Medicinal Chemistry, of the Robert-Wenner-Prize 2007 of the Swiss Cancer League, of the SWISS BRIDGE Award 2008, of the Prix Mentzer of the French Medicinal Chemistry Society in 2011, of the Phoenix Prize 2014 and of an ERC Advanced Grant in 2015.

Roland Kontermann, Ph.D., Professor, Biomedical Engineering, Cell Biology and Immunology, University of Stuttgart

Roland Kontermann holds a PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Heidelberg. After working as a postdoc in the laboratory of Sir Gregory Winter at the MRC Centre for Protein Engineering, Cambridge, UK, group leader at the Institute of Molecular Biology and Tumor Biology of the University of Marburg, and subsequently Head of Research at vectron therapeutics AG. Since 2004 Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the Institute of Cell Biology and Immunology of the University of Stuttgart, Germany. Current research focuses on the development of recombinant bispecific and bifunctional antibody molecules, including half-life extension strategies, for tumor therapy.

John McCafferty, Ph.D., CEO, IONTAS

John McCafferty was one of the founders of Cambridge Antibody Technology (CAT, now Medimmune) in 1990 and published the first paper/patent describing antibody phage display. After 12 years at CAT, John set up groups at the Sanger Institute and then The University of Cambridge developing and utilising methods for protein generation and recombinant antibody isolation for research and therapeutic applications. In 2012 John formed IONTAS, a small innovative biotechnology company using phage display to develop novel antibody therapeutics. In addition IONTAS are developing novel technologies allowing discovery of IgG formatted antibodies directly from very large mammalian display libraries.

Stefan Dübel, Ph.D., Managing Director and Professor, Biotechnology, Technische Universität Braunschweig

Stefan Dübel co-pioneered in vitro antibody selection technologies, resulting in several key inventions including antibody phage display (USPat. 5849500) or human antibody libraries with randomised CDRs (USPat. 5840479). His lab continued to work on multiple topics related to human antibody engineering and phage display, e.g. Hyperphage technology, RNase fusions, scFab, and intrabodies. He is editor of the four volume "Handbook of Therapeutic Antibodies“ (10/2014) and co-founder of the human antibody company Yumab. He is Full Professor of Biotechnology and Director of the respective department at the Technische Universität Braunschweig, Germany.

Peer Heine, Ph.D., Field Application Scientist, MaxCyte. Inc.

James Baker, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer, Chemistry, UCL

Dr James Baker is a senior lecturer in Chemistry at University College London, UK. His research interests are in the development and application of novel methodologies in bioconjugation, chemical biology and organic synthesis, resulting in >35 papers and 5 submitted patent applications. He is also a co-founder of the spin-out company ThioLogics (www.thiologics.com), which offers site-specific conjugation methods for the assembly of next generation Biologics.

Sujiet Puthenveetil, Ph.D., Principal Scientist, Medicinal Chemistry, Pfizer, Inc.

Sujiet Puthenveetil Ph.D. is a Principal Scientist in the oncology division at Pfizer. For over five years he has been involved in developing conjugation, analytical and purification strategies to enable generation of novel payload carrying antibody drug conjugates (ADC) at Pfizer. He also leads the chemical biology efforts in the medicinal chemistry department to understand the metabolic stability, bio-distribution and trafficking of novel therapeutic ADCs.  Sujiet obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Utah under the supervision of Prof. Peter Beal. Prior to joining Pfizer, Sujiet was a postdoctoral researcher at Prof. Alice Ting’s lab at Massachusetts Institute of Technology working in the field of protein engineering and chemical biology.

Philipp Müller, Ph.D., Lab Head Biomedicine University & University Hospital of Basel

Dr. Philipp Müller is Head of the Cancer Immunology & Immunotherapy Laboratory at the Department of Biomedicine; University & University Hospital of Basel. He is working on and interested in the design and function of ADCs, bispecific antibody formats as well as agonistic antibodies, such as anti-CD40, and their therapeutic combination with immune-checkpoint blockade.

Kris Thielemans, Ph.D., Prof, Immunology & Oncology, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Kris Thielemans Kris was trained as an MD at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), spent some years in the Laboratory of Dr. R. Levy at the Department of Oncology at the Stanford University Medical School (Ca, USA) and obtained a PhD degree. Harnessing the immune system to combat cancer is the main focus of his work. He manages the Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Therapy (LMCT) at the VUB for more than 30 years with a main focus on immune-therapeutic translational research including clinical trials for the treatment of cancer and HIV. He is founder of the spin-off company eTheRNA to implement mRNA based immunotherapy.

Amir R. Aref, Ph.D., Scientist, Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School

Amir Aref completed his Ph.D. as a bio-engineer in UK and He has started his work in Roger Kamm’s group at MIT to develop a 3D culture system for cancer research then he moved to Dana-Farber cancer institute since 2011 at the medical oncology department to optimise and test this system on clinical trials. He has already started to use patient sample derived into this system for testing drugs and cytokines assays.
His talk title is: Microenvironment ex vivo for transnational studies using patient-derived explants. 

Kerry Chester, Ph.D., Professor, UCL Cancer Institute

Kerry Chester leads the Antibody Engineering Group at the UCL Cancer Institute. She has over twenty years’ experience in antibody engineering and antibody phage-display technology. Her main research interests are design and construction of antibody-based therapeutics and the interaction of these molecules with specific cancer targets. The work is largely translational; her group designed and manufactured the first single chain Fv antibody (scFv) to enter clinical trials and she is the academic lead of a GMP facility, manufacturing recombinant antibody-based cancer treatments for first-in-human trials. Current projects include bench-to-bedside development of antibodies for use as: cancer imaging agents, antibody drug conjugates, chimeric antigen receptors (CARS) and nano-medicines.


Dinner Course Biographies

Sergio A. Quezada, Ph.D., Professorial Research Fellow, UCL Cancer Institute

Dr. Sergio Quezada is a Professorial Research Fellow and Group Leader at UCL Cancer Institute in London where he heads the Immune Regulation and Tumour Immunotherapy Laboratory. Prior to this, Dr. Quezada worked with Dr. James Allison at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center studying the mechanisms governing anti-tumour T-cell immunity, and how these mechanisms can be manipulated for the generation of potent anti-tumour immune responses. Dr. Quezada’s research interest at UCL remains focused in the study of the mechanism of action of anti-CTLA-4, anti-PD-1 and other immune-modulatory antibodies targeting co-inhibitory and co-stimulatory pathways (including ICOS, 4-1BB, OX-40) and used as novel anticancer therapies. His group has particular interest in the evolution of the immune response to cancer, the impact of immune-modulatory antibodies in the fate and function of tumour reactive T cells, and the role that the tumour microenvironment plays in the response and resistance to such therapies. Dr Quezada is a Cancer Research UK Career Development fellow and the recipient of a Cancer Research Institute investigator Award.

Andrea van Elsas, CSO, BioNovion B.V.

Andrea van Elsas is a founder and CSO of BioNovion, a subsidiary to Aduro Biotech. He obtained his PhD in Leiden in 1996 on the molecular and analysis of the immune response to melanoma, and subsequently secured a post-doc grant from the Dutch Cancer Society to work with Jim Allison at UC Berkeley on the use and mode-of-action of anti-CTLA-4 to treat cancer in the mouse. In 1999, he joined R&D at Organon in the Netherlands, and a few years later moved back to the US in 2006 to help run a therapeutic antibody unit in Cambridge, MA, taking immune checkpoint antibody programs from discovery to early development. After Organon’s acquisition by Schering-Plough and supporting the integration of the oncology pipeline from both companies, he led the Immune Oncology Proof-of-Concept team. Following his return to the Netherlands and the acquisition by Merck, together with two former colleagues he started BioNovion in 2011, a company focused on therapeutic antibody discovery for Cancer Immunotherapy.

Nicolas Fischer, Ph.D., Head, Research, Novimmune SA

Nicolas Fischer obtained a PhD in Biology from the Department of Molecular Biology University of Geneva on the structure and function of photosynthetic complexes. As a postdoctoral fellow he joined the Group of Sir Greg Winter at the MRC Department of Molecular Biology in Cambridge UK to study protein folding and Antibody engineering using phage display. In 2001 he joined NovImmune and led several therapeutic antibody discovery programs that have reached clinical development stage. He is now heading the Research Department and developing next generation bispecific antibody formats.

Stefan Dübel, Ph.D., Managing Director and Professor, Biotechnology, Technische Universität Braunschweig

Stefan Dübel co-pioneered in vitro antibody selection technologies, resulting in several key inventions including antibody phage display (USPat. 5849500) or human antibody libraries with randomised CDRs (USPat. 5840479). His lab continued to work on multiple topics related to human antibody engineering and phage display, e.g. Hyperphage technology, RNase fusions, scFab, and intrabodies. He is editor of the four volume "Handbook of Therapeutic Antibodies“ (10/2014) and co-founder of the human antibody company Yumab. He is Full Professor of Biotechnology and Director of the respective department at the Technische Universität Braunschweig, Germany.

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DINNER COURSES

"Some of the most promising emergent biopharmaceuticals for cancer therapy include agents capable of selective homing to the tumor environment, as well as drugs capable of selective activation of the immune system against malignant cells."

Dario Neri, Ph.D., Swiss Federal Institute of Technology


"You have put together an amazing meeting."

Sergio A. Quezada, Ph.D., UCL Cancer Institute