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Immuno-Oncology Editorial Advisory Board

Editorial Advisory Board

Senior Editors

Jon Wigginton, MD

Chief Medical Officer, Cullinan Oncology; AdvisorMPM Capital

Jon Wigginton, MD currently serves as portfolio Chief Medical Officer, Cullinan Oncology and Advisor at MPM Capital. Dr. Wigginton most recently served as the Chief Medical Officer at MacroGenics, where he led the company's evolution of a fully-integrated, clinical-stage cancer immunotherapy organization. This included the translation of ten new molecules into the clinic, including early phase and/or proof-of-concept studies with bispecific molecules, checkpoint inhibitors, Fc-optimized antibodies and antibody drug conjugates, as well as the design and execution of registration-directed studies. Previously, he served as the Therapeutic Area Head, Immuno-Oncology, Early Clinical Research at Bristol-Myers Squibb. There, he oversaw early clinical development of the BMS Immuno-Oncology portfolio, served in governance role for discovery research, and co-led the BMS International Immuno-Oncology Network (II-ON). These efforts included several studies defining proof-of concept for both anti-PD-1 and anti-PD-L1 antibodies in patients with a variety of solid tumors, and for the anti-PD-1/anti-CTLA-4 combination in patients with melanoma. During his academic career, Dr. Wigginton served as Head of the Investigational Biologics Section, Center for Cancer Research, NCI, where he led an integrated basic, translational and clinical research effort focused on combination immunotherapy in preclinical models and early clinical studies. Dr. Wigginton also served previously as president of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC). Dr. Wigginton received his M.D. and B.S. in Biology, with distinction, from the University of Michigan.

Renier J. Brentjens, MD, PhD

Director, Cellular Therapeutics; Member in Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program (HOPP), Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Dr Brentjens obtained an MD/PhD (microbiology) from SUNY Buffalo, completed residency in medicine at Yale New Haven Hospital, and a medical oncology fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC). Currently, Dr Brentjens is an member on the faculty at MSKCC and an attending physician on the leukemia service. As a medical oncology fellow during his training at MSKCC, Dr Brentjens initiated the initial pre-clinical studies demonstrating the potential clinical application of autologous T cells genetically modified to target the CD19 antigen through the retroviral gene transfer of artificial T cell receptors termed chimeric antigen receptors (CARs). Following completion of his medical oncology training, Dr Brentjens became the principle investigator of his own laboratory. As a PI, Dr Brentjens successfully translated these studies to the clinical setting treating patients with relapsed CD19+ tumors including chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL). Ongoing pre-clinical research in the laboratory is focused on the further development of CAR modified T cells designed to overcome the hostile immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment through the generation of “armored CAR T cells” currently being translated to the clinical setting as second generation CAR modified T cell clinical trials. Additionally, work in the Brentjens’ lab has expanded this CAR technology to target additional tumor antigens expressed on other malignancies including solid tumors.

Editorial Advisory Board Members 

Fernanda I. Arnaldez, MD

Executive Medical Director, Global Clinical Development, MacroGenics, Inc.

Dr. Arnaldez is an experienced drug developer with deep knowledge of the Government, Academia, Big Pharma and Biotechnology sectors. Trained in Pediatric Hematology-Oncology at Johns Hopkins Hospital, she developed her career at the National Cancer Institute or the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD, where she held positions as Investigator and Attending Physician in the Pediatric Oncology Branch and as Senior Investigator in the Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program, where she provided leadership to the NCI-funded Experimental Therapeutics Clinical Trial Network. She further developed her skills as a Global Clinical Leader in Oncology Development at Novartis Pharmaceutical Corporation. She is now responsible for the development of an innovative immunooncology portfolio at MacroGenics, Inc., including the establishment and development of international partnerships with APAC. Dr. Arnaldez is the author of numerous papers and chapters, and is board certified in Pediatrics and Pediatric Hematology-Oncology.

Roy D. Baynes, MD, PhD

Senior Vice President and Head, Global Clinical Development, Chief Medical Officer, Merck Research Laboratories

Roy Baynes is Senior Vice President Global Clinical Development and Chief Medical Officer at Merck Research Laboratories in Rahway, New Jersey. He was previously Senior Vice President of Oncology, Inflammation and Respiratory Therapeutics at Gilead Sciences and prior to that was Vice President Global Clinical Development and Therapeutic Area (TA) Head for Hematology / Oncology, at Amgen Inc. In the early years of his tenure at Amgen before becoming TA head of Hematology / Oncology in Clinical Development he was TA head for Hematology / Oncology in Global Medical Affairs. He graduated as a Medical Doctor and obtained a Master of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. He has had a long and distinguished career in the haematology-oncology-and stem cell transplantation fields, including drug development, basic research, clinical practice, clinical research, teaching and administration. He is a member of many international societies, including the American Society of Hematology (ASH) and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), and has authored some 150 publications. He has been recurrently named among America’s top physicians. Before joining Amgen in 2002, he was the Charles Martin Professor of Cancer Research at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, an NCI designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, at Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, USA.

Dr Adam Brown, PhD

Lecturer in DNA Engineering, University of Sheffield

Dr. Vafa is the Chief Business Officer of Teneobio Inc. He has more than 15 years of global business and scientific experience in biotechnology and pharmaceutical drug discovery, asset evaluation, transactions and licensing. Prior to joining TeneoBio, Dr. Vafa was the Director of Strategy and Scientific Partnerships at Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson and Johnson and the Biotechnology and Oncology Lead at the London Innovation Center of J&J. Dr. Vafa earned his doctorate at Georgetown University, his MBA from the Villanova University School of Business, and his B.S. from the University of California at Irvine. He completed his post-doctoral fellowships at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California.

Preet M. Chaudhary, MD, PhD

Chief, Jane Anne Nohl Division of Hematology and Center for the Study of Blood Diseases; Director, Blood and Marrow Transplant Program; Professor of Medicine; Ronald Bloom Family Chair in Lymphoma Research, Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine

Professor of Medicine, Chief of the Jane Ann Nohl Division of Hematology and Center for the Study of Blood Diseases and the Ronald Bloom Family Chair in Lymphoma Research at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. He is also the Director of USC Blood and Marrow Transplant Program. He is a nationally recognized physician-scientist with research interests in several areas of cancer including Chimeric Antigen Receptor modified T cells (CAR-T), cancer drug resistance, biology of normal and leukemic hematopoietic stem cells, programmed cell death and novel therapies for leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma and solid tumors. Dr. Chaudhary obtained his medical degree from Delhi University, Maulana Azad Medical College. He then received a PhD from the University of Illinois at Chicago where he did pioneering research in the isolation and characterization of bone marrow stem cells and mechanism of multi-drug resistance to cancer chemotherapy. Subsequently, Dr. Chaudhary did residency training in Internal Medicine at the Northwestern University in Chicago and fellowship training in Hematology-Oncology at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington, Seattle. As a part of his postdoctoral training, Dr. Chaudhary worked in the laboratory of Dr. Leroy Hood, where he was involved in the isolation and characterization of several novel genes involved in the regulation of apoptosis and immune response. His recent work is focused on developing next generation chimeric antigen receptors for the treatment of cancer. Dr. Chaudhary has authored or co-authored numerous publications in such outstanding journals as Cell, Immunity, JNCI, Blood and PNAS, and holds six US patents in the areas of hematopoietic stem cell purification, multi-drug resistance to cancer chemotherapy, and cellular signaling. A number of his patent applications in the areas of Chimeric Antigen Receptors (CAR-T) and cancer immunotherapy are pending. One of his patent applications (WO1999011791A2) was the top cited cancer related patent between1993-2013. Dr, Chaudhary has been continuously funded by NIH R01 grant since 2000 and has been elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigations (ASCI), an honor society of physician-scientists.

John Desjarlais, PhD

Senior Vice President, Research and Chief Scientific Officer at Xencor, Inc.

Dr. Desjarlais since joining Xencor in 2001, Dr. Desjarlais has overseen the company’s engineering, discovery, and preclinical work on antibodies and other proteins. With his coworkers, Dr. Desjarlais has developed several novel technologies for the optimization of antibodies and other proteins, including a platform for generation of bispecific antibodies, and has led the discovery of multiple therapeutic antibody candidates, including CD3 bispecific antibodies, checkpoint bispecific antibodies, and cytokine-Fc fusions for treatment of a variety of diseases. Dr. Desjarlais oversees all of Xencor’s discovery research and preclinical activities, from project conception and candidate generation through preclinical proof-of-concept and early development. Prior to Xencor, Dr. Desjarlais was an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Penn State University (1997-2001), where he developed and tested methods for the de novo design of protein sequences. He began his work in the field of protein design as a Jane Coffin Childs Fellow at U.C. Berkeley. Dr. Desjarlais holds a Ph.D. in Biophysics from the Johns Hopkins University and a B.S. degree in Physics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

David J. DiLillo, PhD,

Associate Director, Oncology/Angiogenesis, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals

Dr Jessica Flechtne

Associate Director, Oncology/Angiogenesis, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals

Brent A. Hanks, MD, PhD

William Dalton Family Assistant Professor of Medical Oncology; Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology; Associate Director of Basic and Translational ResearchDuke Center for Cancer Immunotherapy, Duke University, Duke Cancer Institute

Brent A. Hanks, M.D., Ph.D. is the William Dalton Family Assistant Professor of Medical Oncology in the Departments of Medicine and Pharmacology and Cancer Biology at Duke University with a dual appointment with the Duke Cancer Institute.   Dr. Hanks completed his medical degree along with a Ph.D. in tumor immunology while in the Medical Scientist Training Program at Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Hanks went on to complete his internal medicine residency training and his hematology and oncology fellowship training at Duke University.   He now manages a basic and translational research lab focusing on understanding biochemical mechanisms of tumor-mediated immune evasion and immunotherapy resistance in cancer.  More recently, his lab is also exploring the underlying mechanisms associated with immunotherapy-associated toxicities.  In addition to his research efforts, he is also a medical oncologist and manages patients with advanced skin cancers including melanoma and Merkel cell carcinoma.  Using an array of experimental techniques, his labs' research goals are to develop novel strategies to enhance the efficacy of checkpoint inhibitor and vaccine immunotherapy while also developing predictive biomarkers to better guide the management of cancer patients with immunotherapeutic agents.

Christopher R. Heery, MD

Chief Medical Officer, Precision BioSciences, Inc.

Dr. Chris Heery is Chief Medical Officer, responsible for the overall clinical development strategy and execution across the portfolio of potential therapeutics at Precision BioSciences. Before joining Precision, Chris served as Chief Medical Officer of Bavarian Nordic where he oversaw clinical development programs for the company’s immune-oncology and infectious diseases portfolios. Prior to this, he was Head of the Clinical Trials Group of the Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). During his time at NCI, he joined the NCI Medical Oncology Branch as a Medical Oncology Fellow in 2009 and held an Adjunct Appointment in the Genitourinary Malignancies Branch. At NCI, Chris was also part of the larger effort of the Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology to create new immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer. He is board certified in medical oncology and internal medicine with primary expertise in the translational and clinical development of immunotherapies. Chris completed his internal medicine residency at the University of Illinois at Chicago after receiving his M.D. from East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine and a B.A. in English Literature from Duke University. Chris is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Chordoma Foundation and the Medical Advisory Board of Fight Colorectal Cancer. When Chris is not working, he enjoys spending time with his family and watching Duke basketball.

Dr Patrick Hurban

Senior Director and Global Head, Translational GenomicsQ2 Solutions 

Dr. Hurban is Senior Director and Global Head of Translational Genomics at Q2 Solutions, a leading clinical trials laboratory services organization. In this role, he is responsible for the identification and implementation of new genomic capabilities, encompassing bioinformatics and wet-laboratory methods, as well as the development and validation of genomic assays to support research and clinical programs. These include broad-based screening assays, such as exome and RNA sequencing, to highly focused expression, genotyping and sequencing assay panels that target a smaller number of genes. Dr. Hurban has more than 25 years of experience in molecular genetics, including more than 18 years in positions of increasing responsibility in high-profile genomics-focused organizations. His research interests have focused on the genetic control of gene expression and have spanned diverse fields such as toxicology, developmental, and cancer biology.
Following a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he earned his Ph.D. in Human Genetics from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City before serving as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow of the American Cancer Society in the Department of Developmental Biology at Stanford University.

Yisrael Katz, MD

Lead Medical Expert, CALVIRI; Associate Faculty, Biodesign Institute; Attending PhysicianUniversity of California - San Diego Medical Center

Dr. Katz is a board-certified internal medicine physician and currently practices inpatient hospital medicine at the University of California San Diego Medical Center. He serves as Lead Medical Expert at CALVIRI and associate faculty at the Biodesign Institute’s Center for Innovations in Medicine, and in this role he has been instrumental in setting up early-phase clinical trials for a diagnostic cancer screening platform and several cancer vaccine trials for solid tumors in both pediatric and adult populations. Dr. Katz’s medical training was completed at Georgetown University Hospital. He is also a nationally recognized clinical educator and expert on diagnostic reasoning, and has taught thousands of medical students and junior physicians as guest lecturer and visiting professor across dozens of US medical schools and residency programs. Dr. Katz’s background in translational research also includes former work in neuroimaging and peripheral inflammatory biomarkers in neuropsychiatric disease at the New York University and Mt. Sinai Schools of Medicine, as well as drug discovery for Friedreich’s Ataxia, a rare neurodegenerative disease, at the University of Pennsylvania.

Anurag Khetan, PhD

Senior Director, Global Cell Line Development and Omics, Bristol-Myers Squibb

Samir N. Khleif, MD

Director of Jeannie and Tony Loop Immuno-Oncology Laboratory, Biomedical Scholar, Professor of Oncology, Georgetown University Medical Center, Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center

Dr. Samir N. Khleif is currently the Director of the Loop Immuno-Oncology Laboratory and is a Biomedical Scholar and a professor in Medicine and Oncology at Georgetown University Medical School at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. He earned his medical degree from the University of Jordan, completed a residency in internal medicine from the Medical College of Ohio, and a fellowship in medical oncology from the National Cancer Institute.
Dr. Khleif is a pioneer and a leading researcher, as well as a Key Opinion Leader, in the field of immunotherapy. He was a NIH Scientist for more than 20 years and served as Chief of the Cancer Vaccine Section at the National Cancer Institute.
He previously served as the founding Director of the Georgia Cancer Center at Augusta University - the Georgia University System’s only cancer center led in conjunction with the Medical College of Georgia. He also served as the Special Assistant to the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) where he led the FDA’s Transformational Critical Path Initiative for Oncology, a project that reformed the process of cancer drug development in the US.
Dr. Khleif was detailed by the US government to serve as the founder and CEO/Director General of the King Hussein Cancer Center (KHCC) in Jordan, the main cancer center in the Middle East. And then, at the request of the King of Jordan and the US government, he developed the King Hussein Institute of Biotechnology and Cancer (KHIBC) and helped Jordan reform health care and higher education.
He is an international leader and KOL on global health where he serves in an advisory capacity on both governmental and non-governmental expert bodies. He also sits on many national and international committees that are driving global oncology and the immune-oncology field forward.
Dr. Khleif has been the recipient of many national and international awards; amongst them include the National Cancer Institute’s Director Golden Star Award, the National Institutes of Health Award for Merit, the Commendation Medal of the US Public Health Service, the Georgia State Distinguished Cancer Scientists and Clinicians Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Jordan Medical Association/General Union of Physicians honoring the 10 most influential physicians who contributed the most for advancing the health care system in Jordan in 50 years.
He is the editor of 3 books, the author of many peer reviewed scientific research articles and the holder of more than 20 patents.

Dr Patrice Milos

Co-Founder/President and CEO, Medley Genomics, Inc. 

Dr. Milos co-founded Medley Genomics to deliver novel data analytics for understanding the heterogeneity of complex diseases with an initial focus in oncology.   Immediately prior, Patrice was CEO of Claritas Genomics, a pediatric molecular diagnostic company spin-out from Boston Children’s Hospital. Dr. Milos was Boston Site Head for Pfizer’s Centers of Therapeutic Innovation, establishing academic-medical center partnerships to advance novel therapies to treat human disease. She was also SVP/CSO for Helicos BioSciences in Cambridge, MA, and Executive Director for Pfizer Inc, responsible for leading a broad platform of genomics supporting the Pfizer portfolio in precision medicine. Dr. Milos chairs the Board of Directors for RI Bio, serves as an advisor for the RIHub RI Venture Mentoring Services  and has served on the Rhode Island Economic Development Planning Council. Patrice is also Senior Advisor to several biotech companies and is an active NIH Grant Reviewer. She earned her MS/PhD at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with postdoctoral fellowships at Brown and Harvard.

Jacques Moisan, PhD

Translational Innovation Platform - Immuno-Oncology Scientific Site Head (USA), EMD Serono Research and Development Institute

Discovery team leader and scientist with extensive experience in the field of immunology with focus on biologics and small molecule drug development for cancer immunotherapy as well as rheumatology, inflammatory and autoimmune indications. Extensive experience in managing large multi-site cross-functional teams from target identification to candidate drug nomination and regulatory filings. Translational research focus in both innate and adaptive immunity relating to human, mouse and cynomolgus T lymphocytes (CD4+ and CD8+), myeloid cells, TLR biology as well as transcriptional control of T helper cell differentiation (Th1, Th2, Th17).

Alfredo Perales-Puchalt, MD, PhD

Vice President, Research & Development, Geneos Therapeutics

Dr. Perales-Puchalt serves as head of R&D for Geneos Therapeutics, adding his experience in Immuno-Oncology and DNA-based therapeutics. Previously he served in clinical development at Inovio Pharmaceuticals supporting the development of DNA vaccines and DNA-encoded bispecific antibodies for oncology and prior to that in academia at The Wistar Institute in the Vaccine and Immunotherapy Center. Dr. Perales-Puchalt received his MD and PhD from the University of Valencia, Spain, working on tumor immunology and immunotherapy for ovarian cancer and did his residency in Obstetrics & Gynecology. Dr. Perales-Puchalt has authored over 42 peer-reviewed manuscripts and has filed/issued multiple patent applications. He has received multiple grants and awards from government and non-government organizations including the Department of Defense, the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, and Fundación Alonso Martin Escudero.

Dr Sam Saibil

Clinical Associate, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto

Dr Christian Schmees

Head of Tumor Biology, NMI Natural and Medical Sciences Institute at the University of Tuebingen, Germany

Christian Schmees is heading the Tumor Biology group at the Natural and Medical Sciences Institute (NMI) at the University of Tuebingen, Germany. He received his undergraduate degree in biochemistry from Tuebingen University in 2002. Since 2006 he holds a PhD (with highest honors) 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 post-doc he joined the laboratories of Carl-Henrik Heldin at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (LICR) in Uppsala, Sweden (2006-2010) and Philippe Bastiaens at the Max-Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology in Dortmund, Germany (2010-2011). 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 in cancer cells.
In 2011 he joined the Natural and Medical Sciences Institute at the University of Tuebingen (NMI) as a senior scientist in tumor biology and was appointed Head of Tumor Biology in 2014. Ongoing projects in his group are focusing on the development of clinically relevant cellular model systems for drug development and target validation in translational oncology. These approaches are combined with gene editing and silencing technologies as well as protein profiling and immunophenotyping platforms for mode-of-action analyses of different compound classes. Dr. Schmees is member of the Association for Cancer Immunotherapy (CIMT).

Omid Vafa, PhD, MBA

Chief Business Officer, Teneobio, Inc.

Dr. Vafa is the Chief Business Officer of Teneobio Inc. He has more than 15 years of global business and scientific experience in biotechnology and pharmaceutical drug discovery, asset evaluation, transactions and licensing. Prior to joining TeneoBio, Dr. Vafa was the Director of Strategy and Scientific Partnerships at Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson and Johnson and the Biotechnology and Oncology Lead at the London Innovation Center of J&J. Dr. Vafa earned his doctorate at Georgetown University, his MBA from the Villanova University School of Business, and his B.S. from the University of California at Irvine. He completed his post-doctoral fellowships at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California.