Early Career Scientist Speed Mentoring Event

Early Career Scientist Speed Mentoring Event

Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023  |  8:30 p.m.–9:30 p.m. PST*  |  Marriott Marquis Ballroom - Rooms 11, 12 & 13  |  Sign-Up When Registering for SITC's Annual Meeting

*Times and program schedule subject to change. SITC membership is required for participation in the ECS Speed Mentoring event.
For additional questions, please contact Renee Reyes at rreyes@sitcancer.org.

Program Description

The ECS Speed Mentoring Event will provide early career scientists the opportunity to receive mentorship from an expert in the field of cancer immunotherapy in a one-on-one setting. Hosted by SITC's Early Career Scientist Committee, mentees will be matched with an expert mentor allowing time for a discussion with an expert mentor. Also, during this event we will provide an opportunity for networking in an adjoining area. Mentees are required to indicate interest to attend this event when registering for SITC's annual meeting. Mentees are selected on a first come first serve basis and will be contacted for participation. 

Program Organizers

  • Kristin G. Anderson, PhD – University of Virginia
  • Allison Betof Warner, MD, PhD – Stanford Cancer Center
  • Zachary A. Cooper, PhD – AstraZeneca
  • Brendan A. Horton, MD, PhD – Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Ashley K. Koegel, MD – Bristol-Myers Squibb
  • Nicole E. Scharping, PhD – University of California San Diego


Target Audience

The audience for the ECS Speed Mentoring Event includes Students and Scientists-in-Training who are seeking one-on-one career mentorship from experts in the field of cancer immunotherapy. Clinical fellows and clinical residents are also welcome to apply for this event. All mentees should be prior to assistant professorship. SITC membership is required for participation in the ECS Speed Mentoring event. Click here to become a member.

Program Logistics

This event will take place on Thursday, Nov. 2nd from 8:30–9:30 p.m. PST in rooms 11, 12 & 13 of the Marriott Ballroom, Marriott Marquis San Diego.

Speed Mentoring 2023 On-site Schedule

Check-In Time – 8-8:30 p.m. 
Welcome and program overview – 8:30 p.m.

Mentoring Session A – 8:38 p.m.

Mentoring Session B – 8:56 p.m. 

Mentoring Session C – 9:14 p.m. 

Informal Mentoring and Networking – 8:30–9:30 p.m.  

  • For accepted participants please visit the sign-in table in front of room 13 to check in and receive your folder for the event. Your folder includes your schedule, map, and guiding questions.
  • If you have been assigned mentoring sessions, you will receive instructions about lining up for your mentoring session shortly before the start time - please listen for instructions from the emcee.
  • If you would like to sign up for the waitlist, please see the waitlist table in front of room 13. Your information will be taken, and you will be contacted upon any cancellations.
  • If you do not have an assigned mentoring session, we welcome you to join the networking reception area in room 13. This area will have topics at each table for receiving themed, informal mentoring with the SITC ECS Committee members and networking with other early career scientists. For any additional questions during the event, please visit the sign-in table.

After the ECS Speed Mentoring Event, we invite you to attend the ECS Networking Reception from 9:30–10:30 p.m. on the Ballroom Terrace at the Marriott Marquis San Diego.

Program Faculty

*Mentors are subject to change and one-on-one time with any particular mentor or mentoring in any particular topic cannot be guaranteed.

Niroshana Anandasabapathy, MD, PhD

Weill Cornell Medicine

Niroshana Anandasabapathy, MD, PhD is Associate Professor of Dermatology in the Department of Dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical College, Vice-Chair of Research in Dermatology, and is actively involved in Immuno-oncology at the Meyer Cancer Center. 

Read more

A practicing physician-scientist with a focus in melanoma, her translational and basic science laboratory researches immune barrier homeostasis and the influence on tumor immune surveillance in both mice and humans.  The Anandasabapathy lab seeks to understand how tissue immune homeostasis is conditioned, maintained, and co-opted by tumors, leading to tumor immune escape.  Her group studies DC: T cell cross-talk in barrier sites, and in tumors. They also study the role of DC in protein vaccine immunity, smallpox immunization, and TRM regulation, and seek to understand how the hierarchy of DC programs in tissues contributes to their behavior.

Dr. Anandasabapathy received formal training in cancer biology and T cell immunology during her MD Ph.D. at Stanford University, research coupled Dermatology residency at NYU, and received a masters in clinical investigation conducting clinical trials and studying DC biology at the Rockefeller University with the late Ralph Steinman (Nobel Prize 2011), before starting her own lab at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in 2013. She relocated her lab to Weill Cornell Medicine in NYC in 2018  where she has active roles in Dermatology, the Meyer Cancer Center, and precision human immunology.

Artavazd Arumov, PHD

Qiming Venture Partners USA

Artavazd Arumov, PhD joined the Qiming US team in May 2021 and is based in the Cambridge, MA office. 

Read more

Prior to joining Qiming US, Artavazd held numerous roles across the life sciences. He led business development and therapeutic strategy for early-stage biotech Redesign Science. Prior to Redesign Science, he completed doctorate training at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine. He also spent time in clinical research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where he was responsible for the end-to-end management and operations of a portfolio of breast cancer sponsored and investigator initiated phase I/II clinical trials. 

Artavazd completed his PhD in Cancer Biology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. His research focused on the development and advancement of novel precision therapeutics for use in lymphoma and the study of fundamental drug resistance mechanisms. He currently serves as an entrepreneur in residence for U Innovation’s Coulter Center for Translational Research. He also holds a B.S. in Biology from Brooklyn’s St. Francis College.

Uli Bialucha, PhD

Xilio Therapeutics

Dr. Bialucha is a passionate life science leader with more than 15 years of experience in oncology/immuno-oncology drug discovery and preclinical development. 

Read more

Dr. Bialucha has served as Xilio’s chief scientific officer since August 2022 and joined Xilio as the senior vice president of research in April 2021. He joined Xilio from Immunitas Therapeutics where, as vice president of drug discovery, he led the development of a single cell genomics-based discovery platform and immuno-oncology focused therapeutic pipeline. Prior to joining Immunitas, Dr. Bialucha held roles of increasing responsibility at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, most recently leading the oncology biotherapeutics group, where he directed multiple programs towards successful entry into clinical development across a variety of modalities. Dr. Bialucha serves on the scientific advisory board for the Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation. Dr. Bialucha received his B.S. in molecular genetics from the University of Sussex and his Ph.D. in molecular cell biology from the MRC Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology, University College London. He completed his postdoctoral training in Professor Scott Lowe’s laboratory at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, studying tumor suppressor gene networks using genetic mouse models of cancer.

Tullia Bruno, PHD

University of Pittsburgh


Tullia C. Bruno, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Immunology at the University of Pittsburgh and a faculty member in the Tumor Microenvironment Center and the Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy Program at the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center.

Read more

She obtained her Ph.D. in Immunology from Johns Hopkins in 2010 and completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Colorado in 2015—both with a focus in tumor immunology.  While Dr. Bruno’s PhD training focused on inhibitory receptors on intratumoral T cells, she became interested in the role of B cells and tertiary lymphoid structures (TLS) in the tumor microenvironment (TME) during her postdoctoral fellowship and has built her independent research program around understanding intratumoral B cell and TLS function in multiple human cancers.  Dr. Bruno’s research lab has an overt focus on studying immunity within cancer patients, which makes her research highly translational with the potential for future clinical trials targeting B cells. Thus, Dr. Bruno’s overall research objective is to develop a B cell-specific immunotherapy in the next five to ten years.  Dr. Bruno is actively involved in the UPMC Hillman community, and is an advocate for women in science, as is evidenced by her current role as chair of the UPMC Hillman Women's Initiatives Taskforce and her contributions to the Society of Immunotherapy's Women in Immunotherapy group. 

Susan Bullman, PhD

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center


Dr. Susan Bullman is an Assistant Professor at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, where she established her independent research group in 2019. 

Read more

Her research program focuses on determining the contribution of the intratumoral microbiota to cancer progression and patient treatment response. Following her graduate research in infectious disease in 2013, she pursued her postdoctoral training, and was Instructor in Medicine, at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School and Broad Institute in Massachusetts. During this time, her research centered on the microbiome in colorectal cancer (CRC), where she demonstrated the persistence of the oncomicrobe Fusobacterium in distant site metastases and the potential role of microbiome modulation in the treatment of Fusobacterium-positive CRC. Susan’s team at the Fred Hutch have recently revealed that the intratumoral microbiota have a heterogenous distribution within oral and CRC tumor and are associated with epithelial and immune cell types that contribute to cancer progression. Her team adapt and apply emerging technologies in spatial omics and single cell sequencing, along with preclinical model systems and reductionist approaches, to unravel the intricate interactions between microbes, cancer cells, and immune cells within the tumor microenvironment.

Margaret Callahan, MD, PhD

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

I am a board-certified medical oncologist specializing in the use of novel immunotherapies to treat melanoma and other cancers. 

Read more

Immunotherapies act by stimulating or strengthening the immune system’s inherent ability to fight cancer. In recent decades, this treatment option — particularly a type of immunotherapy called checkpoint inhibitors — has significantly improved outcomes for many patients with melanoma, including those with advanced disease. During my time at MSK, I have led efforts to identify biomarkers that can predict which patients will respond to checkpoint inhibitors. I have over a decade of experience in leading phase 1 clinical trials testing novel immunotherapies in development for patients with melanoma and other cancers. A collaborative approach is important to me in both research and in patient care. I work closely with a team of medical oncologists, surgeons, radiation oncologists, and research nurses on our Melanoma and Early Drug Development services. My patients are at the heart of this team; we work together to craft a treatment plan that is right for them. I want patients to feel heard, seen, and empowered to be part of the decision-making process. The strong relationships that we forge along the way are the most fulfilling aspect of my work as a medical oncologist. I value the opportunity to serve as a resource and guide to help patients and their families navigate the complexities of cancer care. When I am not conducting research or seeing patients, I can be found chasing two young children and a labradoodle puppy, who keep me busy in my free time.

Christian Capitini, MD

University of Wisconsin-Madison


Dr. Christian Capitini is an Associate Professor and Chief of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant at the University of Wisconsin (UW)-Madison and is co-Director of Developmental Therapeutics at UW Carbone Cancer Center. 

Read more

He also serves as Director of Clinical Innovation for the UW Forward BIO Institute. Dr. Capitini leads an NIH supported laboratory focusing on development of cell-based therapies including NK cells and CAR T cells for the treatment of childhood solid tumors. The laboratory also manufactures cell-based therapies for complications of bone marrow transplant, including alternatively activated macrophages to treat graft-versus-host-disease and acute radiation syndrome. In the clinic, Dr. Capitini was a site Principal Investigator (PI) for the first multicenter CAR T cell trial, which lead to the FDA approval of tisagenlecleucel-T (Kymriah). Presently he is a site PI for multiple CAR T and TCR T cell, and serves as PI for an investigator-initiated trial studying alpha beta T cell depletion for haploidentical stem cell transplant with post-transplant zoledronic acid for relapsed childhood cancers.

Dr. Capitini has been an active member of SITC since 2010 and first served as Co-chair of the Early Career Scientist Committee from 2011-2013. He has also served as a representative on the Annual Program Committee (2012-13), the By-laws Committee (2016-17) and the Awards Committee (2018-2022). Dr. Capitini created the first SITC online CME course, Basic Principles to Cancer Immunotherapy, as a pre-requisite to the Advances for Cancer Immunotherapy (ACI) seminar series, and Co-chairs the ACI subcommittee. He is the Section Editor for Commentaries/Editorials for JITC, and was a Co-organizer and now Advisor for the Annual SITC Winter School.

Alessandra Cesano, MD, PhD

ESSA Pharma Inc.

Alessandra Cesano, MD, PhD is the Chief Medical Officer at ESSA Pharma since July 2019. 

Read more

Previously she has been the Chief Medical Officer of NanoString Inc from July 2015 until June 2019 where she focused in the development of translational and diagnostic multi-plexed assays for the characterization and measurement of mechanisms of immune response/resistance. Prior to joining NanoString, Dr. Cesano was Chief Medical Officer at Cleave Biosciences, Inc. and before then she served as Chief Medical Officer and Chief Operations Officer at Nodality, Inc., where she built and led the R and D group, while providing the overall clinical vision for the organization. Between 1998 and 2008, Dr. Cesano held various management positions at Amgen, Biogen Idec and SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals, where she helped to advance various oncology drugs through late stage development and FDA approvals. Early in her professional career Dr. Cesano spent 12 years conducting research in tumor immunology, including nine years at the Wistar Institute, an NCI Basic Cancer Center connected with the University of Pennsylvania. She also holds membership in several professional and scientific societies including ASCO, ESMO, ASH, EHA, AACR and SITC. In the latter she serves as co-chair in the SITC Industry Committee, Associate Editor for the Biomarker section of JITC and is an active member of the SITC Biomarker Working Group. Over her careers she has been an author on over 140 publications. Dr. Cesano received an MD summa cum laude, a Board Certification in Oncology and a PhD in Tumor Immunology from the University of Turin.

Gregory Delgoffe, PhD

University of Pittsburgh

Greg M. Delgoffe is Associate Professor of Immunology at the University of Pittsburgh, and Director of the Tumor Microenvironment Center at the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. 

Read more

Dr. Delgoffe obtained his PhD at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 2010, and completed postdoctoral training at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Since its inception, Dr. Delgoffe’s lab has worked to both understand how immune cells alter their functional and differentiate state through integration of metabolic cues, most notably in cancer. He studies how immune cells become metabolically deficient as they infiltrate tumors and leverage that insight into metabolic strategies to bolster immunotherapy for cancer. Much of his work has been translated into novel therapeutics and clinical trials repurposing metabolic drugs as immunometabolic agents to improve immunotherapy, most notably in the spaces of checkpoint blockade, oncolytic virus, and adoptive cell therapies. He is extremely competitive for funding from federal, philanthropic, and foundation sources, and has received multiple awards lauding the innovative aspects of his research program, including the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award and the Cancer Research Institute’s Lloyd J Old STAR Award. Work from his laboratory has been licensed to large pharma to be developed into clinical agents, and he sits on the Scientific Advisory Board of several biotech companies. Importantly, he has also founded two Pittsburgh-based companies based on work from his laboratory, Novasenta and RemplirBio, which are working to develop therapeutic agents to enhance immunity to cancer. 

Sandra Demaria, MD

Weill Cornell Medicine

Sandra Demaria, M.D., a native of Turin, Italy, obtained her M.D. from the University of Turin, and then moved to New York City for her post-doctoral training in immunology as a Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Cancer Research Fund awardee, followed by a residency in anatomic pathology at NYU School of Medicine (NYU SoM).

Read more

She remained on the faculty at NYU SoM until 2015, raising to the rank of Professor. She is currently Professor of Radiation Oncology and Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City. Dr. Demaria is internationally known for her pioneering studies demonstrating the synergy of radiation with immunotherapy. Her lab has a central interest in addressing the molecular mechanisms that regulate ionizing radiation’s ability to generate an in situ tumor vaccine in both preclinical models as well as cancer patients.  Seminal findings from her lab include the demonstration that radiation upregulates the expression of chemokines that attract effector T cells to the tumor, activates canonical pathways of viral defense that elicit the production of interferons, and enhances the production and presentation by cancer cells of mutational neoantigens recognized by T cells.  As a breast cancer pathologist Dr. Demaria also studies the immunological microenvironment of breast cancer in patients, and therapeutic strategies to modulate the immune infiltrate in preclinical models and in patients. She has authored more than 130 articles and has received awards from the US National Cancer Institute, American Cancer Society, the Department of Defense CDMRP, and several private Foundations, and serves in the editorial board of the Journal for the ImmunoTherapy of Cancer and Cancer Immunology Research. She is currently the Chair of the AACR Cancer Immunology Working Group, and has previously served in the board of the Society for the Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) and of the Radiation Research Society (RRS).

Nick Durham, PhD


Nick Durham joined the Graduate Program of Immunology at Johns Hopkins in 2007 after graduating from Oregon State University with a degree in Microbiology.  

Read more

While at OSU, Nick work in the lab of Dr. Morrie Craig studying how anaerobic bacteria in ruminants might be able used for bioremediation.  When Nick arrived at Johns Hopkins University, he joined the laboratory of Dr. Charles Drake which focused on immuno-oncology and T-cell function.  During his time Nick focused on an immunological checkpoint molecule LAG-3 and it’s role in regulating T cell proliferation.  In addition to research, Nick learned to produce blocking antibodies at scale and generated grams of LAG-3, PD-1, and CTLA-4 antibodies that other researchers used across JHMI.  This work led to 1 first author publication on LAG-3 and 7 more across the immuno-oncology field.  After graduating from the GPI program, Nick joined MedImmune, the biologics arm of AstraZeneca, as a Translational Scientist in Oncology. In the 9 years he has been there, Nick has had the opportunity to design and execute translational strategies for multiple types of immune-oncology assets including oncolytic viruses, cell therapy products, T-cell agonists, and checkpoint blockade.  This work has led to over 20 abstracts, publications, or oral presentations.  Outside of Oncology, Nick was deployed to support COVID-19 T cell work which led to a better understanding of T cell roles in preventing severe effects of SARS-COV2 infection.  This work was reported in a NEJM paper and a Science Translational Medicine paper.   In 2021 he was promoted to Senior Director and manages a team of 4 translational leads that oversee ~20 oncology pipeline drugs.

Leisha Emens, MD, PhD

Ankyra Therapeutics


Leisha A. Emens, MD, PhD has been the Senior Vice President of Translational Research at Ankyra Therapeutics since December 1, 2022. 

Read more

She received her MD/PhD in the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) at Baylor College of Medicine, and completed postgraduate training at the National Cancer Institute, the University of Texas at Southwestern, and Johns Hopkins University. She joined the faculty at Johns Hopkins University in 2001, where she rose to the rank of Associate Professor of Oncology before joining the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center as Professor of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh in 2018. She is a medical oncologist focused on breast cancer and is internationally recognized for her work in breast cancer immunotherapy. She developed and tested a vaccine for breast cancer patients, and also played a key role in the development of the anti-PD-L1 agent atezolizumab for triple negative breast cancer and HER2+ breast cancer. Dr. Emens was a member of the FDA Advisory Committee on Cellular, Tissue, and Gene Therapies (CTGTC) 2012-2016. She is an active member of ASCO, AACR, ESMO, and SITC, and is a former member of the Cancer Immunology (CIMM) Steering Committee of the AACR. After serving a 2-year term from 2021-2022 as the Vice President of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC), and Dr. Emens ascended to become SITC President in January 2023. She has received several awards for her work, including the President’s Award from the YWCA of Greater Baltimore, the Maryland Governor’s Citation, the Sy Holzer Immunotherapy Research Award, and the Stand Up to Cancer Laura Ziskin Prize in Breast Cancer Translational Research. 

Robert Ferris, MD, PhD

UPMC Hillman Cancer Center

Robert L. Ferris, MD, PhD is Hillman Professor of Oncology and Director at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, Associate Vice Chancellor for Cancer Research, and Professor of Otolaryngology, of Immunology, and of Radiation Oncology.

Read more

He also Co-Directs the Tumor Microenvironment Center. Dr. Ferris currently serves on the Editorial Boards of JNCI, JCO, Clinical Cancer Research, Cancer Immunology Research and Section Editor for Cancer. He is Editor in Chief of Oral Oncology. Dr. Ferris has published over 320 peer-reviewed manuscripts and book chapters. In 2015 was elected co-chair of the NCI Head and Neck Steering committee to facilitate prospective clinical trials, and currently chairs the NIH tumor Microenvironment study section.
Dr. Ferris's NIH-funded laboratory is focused on reversal of immune escape and immunotherapy using monoclonal antibodies and vaccines, leading randomized phase II-III trials of cancer immunotherapy. He is PI of several prospective randomized trials, including Checkmate-141 which led to the FDA approval of Nivolumab for head and neck cancer, ECOG 3311, testing radiation dose-deintensification after transoral robotic surgery (TORS) for HPV+ oropharynx cancer, as well as ECOG-ACRIN 3132, using p53 mutational testing in HPV- cancer, to predict response to radiation versus chemoradiation. He is a Principal Investigator of the University of Pittsburgh Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant for translational head and neck research, and a T32 training grant, "Training of Head and Neck Oncologists," both funded by the National Cancer Institute until 2020.

Teri Foy, PhD

Bristol Myers Squibb

Teri Foy is an immunologist with more than 25 years of biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry experience developing novel therapeutics in the areas of oncology and inflammation. 

Read more

At Bristol Myers Squibb, Teri leads the Immuno-Oncology and Cell Therapy Thematic Research Center. With a mission to drive leadership in the use of immune effector cell-based therapies in hematological and solid cancers, Teri and her team focus on the development and translation of BMS’ early I-O and cell therapy pipeline from discovery through human proof of concept. As part of her research, Teri also oversees close collaborations with other key research areas across the company, as well as external scientific partnerships.
Prior to her role at BMS, Teri worked at Celgene for more than five years. She was instrumental in establishing Celgene’s Seattle site, focusing initially on building the I-O strategy and pipeline, and subsequently expanding focus to include oversight of Celgene’s cell therapy research and early development strategy and pipeline. She and her team spearheaded foundational research in numerous novel targets, including innate immune cells, myeloid cells and regulatory T cells.
Earlier in her career, Teri held Seattle-based scientific leadership positions at Corixa Corp. and GlaxoSmithKline. She also served as the chief scientific officer at VLST, a private company focused on developing therapeutics for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.
Teri earned her doctorate in immunology from the University of Iowa, a master’s degree in microbiology, and completed her post-doctoral fellowship in immunology at Dartmouth Medical School. Teri has an extensive publication record and holds nearly a dozen patents for novel immune compositions. 

Paul Frohna, MD, PhD, PharmD

ImCheck Therapeutics

Dr. Frohna is a physician-scientist with expertise in all facets of drug development from the bench to bedside that has been applied to the development of novel small molecules, biologics, peptides, and cell therapies in immuno/oncology, immunology, hematologic, cardiovascular, and neurodegenerative diseases for over 20 years.

Read more

Since 2019, serves as the Chief Medical & Scientific Officer of ImCheck Therapeutics where he oversees all research and discovery activities for the pipeline of butyrophilin-targeted mAbs, including the g9d2 T cell activating antibody ICT01 that is in Phase I/II trials in solid and hematologic malignancies. Previously, he served in senior development roles at Bioniz Therapeutics (CMO), Receptos (VP), Profibrix (CMO) and Genentech (Sr MD) where he designed and conducted over 50 Phase I-III clinical trials, with the successful associated regulatory filings (IND, CTA, BLA). Serves as an Independent Director for Accure Therapeutics (Barcelona, SP)  since 2017, and on the Scientific Advisory Board of IAMA Therapeutics (Genoa, IT) that are focused on developing novel neurotherapeutics. He trained in internal medicine after graduating with an MD from Georgetown University, a PhD in Pharmacology from PENN, and a Pharmacy Degree from the University of Texas at Austin.

Lorenzo Galluzzi, PhD

Weill Cornell Medicine

Lorenzo Galluzzi (born 1980) is currently Assistant Professor of Cell Biology in Radiation Oncology with the Department of Radiation Oncology of the Weill Cornell Medical College (New York, NY, USA), Honorary Assistant Professor Adjunct with the Department of Dermatology of the Yale School of Medicine (New Haven, CT, USA), and Assistant Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology with the Graduate School of Medical Sciences of the Weill Cornell Medical College (New York, NY, USA), as well as Faculty Member with Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Biotechnology of the University of Ferrara (Ferrara, Italy), the Graduate School of Pharmacological Sciences of the University of Padova (Padova, Italy), and the Graduate School of Network Oncology and Precision Medicine of the University of Rome “La Sapienza” (Rome, Italy).

Read more

Prior to joining Weill Cornell Medical College (2017), Lorenzo Galluzzi was a Junior Scientist of the Research Team “Apoptosis, Cancer and Immunity” at the Cordeliers Research Center (Paris, France; 2012-2016). Lorenzo Galluzzi did his post-doctoral training at the Gustave Roussy Comprehensive Cancer Center (Villejuif, France; 2009-2011), after receiving his PhD from the University Paris Sud (Le Kremlin-Bicetre, France; 2005-2008). He is also Associate Director of the European Academy for Tumor Immunology (EATI), and Founding Member of the European Research Institute for Integrated Cellular Pathology (ERI-ICP).
Lorenzo Galluzzi is best known for major experimental and conceptual contributions to the fields of cell death, autophagy, tumor metabolism and tumor immunology. In particular, he provided profound insights into the links between adaptive stress responses in cancer cells and the activation of a clinically relevant tumor-targeting immune response in the context of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Lorenzo Galluzzi has published more than 500 scientific articles in international peer-reviewed journals. According to a survey published by Lab Times, he was the 6th and the youngest of the 30 most-cited European cell biologists (for the period 2007–2013), and he has been nominated Highly Cited Researcher by Clarivate Analytics (formerly, Thomson Reuter) in 2016 (Biology & Biochemistry), 2018 (Cross-Fields), 2019 (Immunology and Molecular Biology & Genetics), 2020 (Immunology and Molecular Biology & Genetics) and 2021 (Immunology, Molecular Biology & Genetics and Pharmacology/Toxicity, an honor shared with only 22 other scientists worldwide, all disciplines confounded).
Lorenzo Galluzzi currently operates as Editor-in-Chief of four journals: OncoImmunology (which he co-founded in 2011), International Review of Cell and Molecular Biology, Methods in Cell Biology, and Molecular and Cellular Oncology (which he co-founded in 2013). In addition, Lorenzo Galluzzi currently serves as Founding Editor for Microbial Cell and Cell Stress, Associate Editor for Cell Death and Disease and Aging, Section Editor for Cells, and Guest Editor for Methods in Enzymology.

William Grossman, MD

Gilead Sciences

Bill joined Gilead Sciences in July 2021 as the Senior Vice President and Therapeutic Area Head of Oncology Clinical Development to oversee the company’s Oncology portfolio and collaboration programs. 

Read more

Prior to that, he held Chief Medical Officer roles at Arcus Biosciences and Bellicum Pharmaceuticals. He has held additional leadership roles at Merck, Biothera, AbbVie and Genentech/Roche. Bill has more than 25 years of experience in oncology, having begun his career as a practicing hematologist/oncologist with expertise in bone marrow transplants before moving into the biopharmaceutical industry. At the Medical College of Wisconsin, he was Founder and Medical Director of the Clinical Immunodiagnostic and Research Laboratory, Professor for Microbiology and Genetics and Director of the Bone Marrow Transplant Division for the Immunodeficiency Transplant Program. 

Bill received his MD and PhD in Immunology from Washington University School of Medicine’s Medical Scientist Training Program and completed his medical and post-doctoral training in the Divisions of Pediatrics and Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine.

James Gulley, MD, PhD, FACP

National Cancer Institute, JITC Interim Editor-in-Chief


Dr. James Gulley is an internationally recognized expert in immunotherapy for cancer. 

Read more

He graduated from Loma Linda University in California with a PhD in microbiology in 1994 and an MD in 1995. As part of this eight-year MD/PhD Medical Scientist Training Program, he completed a dissertation on tumor immunology. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Emory University in 1998, followed by a Medical Oncology fellowship at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). 

Dr. Gulley serves within the Center for Cancer Research (CCR) of the National Cancer Institute as Co-Director of the Center for Immuno-Oncology, the Director of the Medical Oncology Service (CCR), and Deputy Director of the CCR. He has been instrumental in the clinical development multiple immunotherapeutic agents and has led multiple first-in-human immunotherapy studies through phase 3 clinical trials. He was the coordinating PI of an international trial of avelumab that led to regulatory approval. He serves as the coordinating PI of the international bintrafusp alfa, a bifunctional agent targeting PDL1 and TGF-beta. He also leads a number of rationally designed, cutting edge combination immunotherapy studies.

Dr. Gulley serves on many national and NIH boards and committees. He has been an investigator on more than 200 clinical trials, authored over 350 scientific papers or chapters which have been cited over 20,000 times, serves on a number of editorial boards and has made hundreds of scientific presentations at universities or national / international meetings. He has had multiple awards including the 2010 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest award bestowed by the US President on investigators early in their careers. He also was awarded the 2018 Hubert H. Humphrey Award for Service to America for contributing to the health, safety, and well-being of the nation by helping to get FDA approval for avelumab for Merkel cell carcinoma and urothelial carcinoma and has received 10 NCI or NIH Director’s Awards.

Cara Haymaker, PhD

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Cara Haymaker is an Associate Professor in the Department of Translational Molecular Pathology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. 

Read more

Dr. Haymaker is actively involved in immune profiling of clinical trials performed at MDA as Director of both the MDA Moonshots Translational Molecular Pathology-Immunoprofiling Platform (TMP-IL) and the CCSG developmental Oncology Research and Immune-monitoring core (ORION) as well as nationally as co-PI of the NCI-funded MDA Cancer Immune Monitoring and Analysis Center (CIMAC). 
Dr. Haymaker’s research program is divided into two main themes with the overall goal of defining the tumor immune microenvironment in rare solid tumors such as malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) and sarcoma where responses to immunotherapy strategies is lacking. Theme 1 is focused on investigating ways to modulate intratumoral antigen presenting cells (APCs), specifically dendritic cells, to improve antigen presentation and costimulation to tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL). This involves deeply assessing the immune landscape in MPM, identifying dendritic cell subsets and associated TIL populations and directly assessing receptor-ligand interactions through spatial profiling and single cell sequencing. Theme 2 is focused on defining the anti-tumor T cell responses in MPM and sarcoma. This theme utilizes TIL expansion to provide an in vitro model system to directly assess TIL cytotoxicity, polyfunctionality, anti-tumor function and identification of anti-tumor TCRs and underlying mechanisms driving T cell dysfunction such as altered metabolic states. 

Jane Healy, MD, PhD

Immuno-Onc Therapeutics, Inc.

Jane Healy is a medical oncologist and physician scientist with a background in oncology and a passion for innovative drug development with the goal of advancing clinical outcomes and quality of life for patients. 

Read more

She completed her MD and PhD in biochemistry at Duke University, followed by internal medicine residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and hematology/oncology fellowship at Duke. Prior to transition to industry, she specialized in the treatment of heme malignancies at Duke University and completed a postdoctoral research fellowship in cancer genetics of germinal center derived lymphomas. Her interest in cancer genomics and target validation led her to join Merck Research in 2016, in the division of early clinical development in oncology. Throughout her time at Merck, she has earned increasing responsibility and leadership roles, and currently is a section lead in early clinical development overseeing approximately one third of the early oncology pipeline. She also leads asset strategy for two assets in late development, V940 (an individualized neoantigen therapy) and vibostolimab (a monoclonal antibody targeting the immune checkpoint inhibitor TIGIT). She has significant experience in First in Human studies, dose finding studies, platform trials, and randomized trials, including filing experience for pembrolizumab in classical Hodgkin’s lymphoma and TMB-H advanced solid tumors. She has led early development strategy from IND to late development transition for numerous compounds including vaccines, small molecules, cell-based therapies, and antibody therapeutics. 

Kristen Hege, MD


Kristen Hege recently retired from BMS where she was responsible for advancing a pipeline of small molecules, biologics and cell therapies from first-in-human studies through clinical proof-of-concept. 

Read more

In addition, she led the 2Seventybio (formerly bluebird)-partnered BCMA CART cell program (Abecma) in multiple myeloma from inception through FDA approval. Prior to BMS she held a similar role at Celgene as well as executive roles in biotech at Cell Genesys, Cellerant, and Theraclone.

In addition to her work at BMS, Kristen was a Clinical Professor of Medicine at UCSF where she saw patients with blood cancers weekly.  She also serves on the Board of Directors of Mersana Therapeutics and Graphite Bio and served on the Board of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) for a 3-year term from 2016-2019. 

Kristen received her MD at UCSF and internal medicine and hematology/oncology subspecialty training at Harvard and UCSF, respectively. In 2015 she was recognized by Fierce Biotech as one of the top 12 women in Biopharma, in 2019 by the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association as a “Luminary”, in 2021 by San Francisco Business Times as one of the most influential women in Bay Area business, and in 2022 by UCSD with the Duane Roth Career Achievement Award for advances in science and medicine. Her career path and long history with CAR T cell development was featured as one of 25 physicians and scientists recognized as part of the 25th anniversary celebration of Nature Medicine and by Forbes magazine in 2022 as one of “50 women over 50: entrepreneurs” in recognition of her leadership role in the development of Abecma.

Dr. Hege retired from BMS in March 2023 to pursue her decades long dream of thru hiking the Pacific Crest Trail and is using this adventure to raise funds to support early career physician scientists pursuing careers in cellular immunotherapy research. 

Ping-Chih Ho, PhD

University of Lausanne & University Hospital of Lausanne

Ping-Chih Ho grew up in Taiwan and obtained his basic biomedical training, including bachelor degree (Life Science) and master degree (Biochemical Science), at National Taiwan University. 

Read more

He then obtained his PhD in Department of Pharmacology at University of Minnesota. Ping-Chih then did postdoctoral training with Susan Kaech at Yale University, where he demonstrated how cancer cells evade T cell immunosurveillance by depriving infiltrating T cells of glucose, which is consumed in large amounts by malignant cells. In September 2015, he relocated to Switzerland as a tenure-track assistant professor in the Department of Oncology at the University of Lausanne and act as an adjunct scientist at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research. Ping-Chih was promoted as a tenured associate professor at the University of Lausanne in August 2019 and promoted to Associate Member at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in January 2020. Since Jan. 2023, Ping-Chih is appointed as a Full Professor at University of Lausanne and a Full member at Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.  Png-Chih's research is also supported by University of Lausanne, the European Research Council, the Cancer Research Institute, the Swiss National Science Foundation, the Melanoma Research Alliance, the Swiss Cancer League, Harry J. Lloyd Fund, Anna Fuller Fund, the ISREC foundation. His research is also acknowledged by several international awards, including the CRI Lloyd J. Old STAR Award, EMBO Young Investigator award, MRA-SITC Young Investigator award, MRA Established Investigator Award, CRI CLIP-investigator award, and the Swiss Bridge Award.

Rachel Humphrey, MD

Normunity, Inc.

Rachel Humphrey has over 25 years of experience in clinical drug development, particularly in the field of cancer treatments and immunotherapies. 

Read more

Currently she serves as President and Founding CEO of Normunity, a Boston-based biotech focused on immune-oncology. Highlights of her career include leading the development of multiple blockbuster cancer therapies:  the CTLA-4 inhibiting immunotherapy Yervoy® (ipilimumab) at BMS, the PD-L1 inhibiting immunotherapy Imfinzi® (durvalumab) at AstraZeneca, and the kinase inhibitor cancer drug Nexavar® (sorafenib) at Bayer. After working at these big pharmaceutical companies, Rachel took her drug development expertise to emerging biotech companies, where she served in the role of Chief Medical Officer at Black Diamond Therapeutics, CytomX Therapeutics and Mirati Therapeutics, respectively. She previously served on the Board of Directors of CytomX Therapeutics and Xilio Therapeutics, respectively, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Pyxis Therapeutics and Sporos Bioventures. Rachel started her career as an oncology fellow and staff physician at the National Cancer Institute. She received her training in internal medicine at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, her MD from Case Western Reserve Medical School, and her BA from Harvard University.

Patrick Hwu, MD

Moffitt Cancer Center

Dr. Patrick Hwu is a tumor immunologist focused on the areas of vaccines, adoptive T-cell therapies, and immune resistance.

Read more

His research and clinical efforts have led to insights and advances in the understanding of the interactions between tumors and the immune system, and the development of cellular therapies.  He is the principal investigator on several NIH R01 translational immunotherapy grants, and other peer-reviewed grants.  Several ongoing clinical trials have resulted based on his group’s work, including a trial of T-cells gene-modified to enhance resistance against TGF-. Most recently, his preclinical studies have focused on combinations of immune checkpoint blockade and T-cell therapy, as well as rational combinations of targeted therapies and immunotherapies. 

Daniel Janiak, PhD




Nikhil Joshi, PhD

Yale School of Medicine

Dr. Joshi is an associate professor of Immunobiology in the Yale University School of Medicine. 

Read more

Dr. Joshi runs a research laboratory that uses genetically engineered mouse models to study the fundamentals of the T cell response against tumors. A cancer immunologist that uses engineered animal models to study the differentiation of CD8 and CD4 T cells in cancer and healthy tissue and how T cells shape the biology of tumors.

Johanna Kaufmann, PhD



Dr. Kaufmann is a scientific and strategic leader in immuno-oncology with broad expertise across preclinical and translational drug development. 

Read more

Before joining Codagenix, she was a Scientific Director at GSK, leading an immune biology group and supporting progression of multiple portfolio assets as part of the immuno-oncology senior leadership team. She previously led mechanisms of action studies for immuno-oncology assets at TESARO and headed three preclinical herpes virus vaccine programs at Genocea Biosciences. Dr. Kaufmann earned a MS in Molecular Medicine from Friedrich-Alexander University in Erlangen, Germany, and a PhD in Cancer Virology from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and Heidelberg University, Germany.

Tanya Keenan, MD



Dr. Tanya Keenan is a senior clinical director in the early-stage oncology group at Merck Research Laboratories.

Read more

She serves as the clinical director for first-in-human and solid tumor basket studies and the clinical lead for the early development team for a novel immune checkpoint inhibitor in phase 3 studies. Tanya graduated from the University of Pittsburgh and then earned an MD from the University of Pennsylvania and an MPH from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She completed her internal medicine residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, where she later served as chief resident. Tanya then completed her oncology fellowship with a focus in breast cancer at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, during which she collaborated on early phase immunotherapy studies and conducted computational analyses of genomic data. She has worked on multiple preclinical programs and global phase 1/2 trials in advanced solid tumors. Tanya lives in Boston, Massachusetts, with her husband, 3-year-old daughter, and 1-year-old son. 

Lewis Lanier, PhD

University of California, San Francisco


Lewis L. Lanier is an American Cancer Society Professor and J. Michael Bishop MD Distinguished Professor Emeritus at University of California San Francisco. 

Read more

Dr. Lanier received his B.S. in Biology from Virginia Tech and Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from UNC – Chapel Hill. After postdoctoral studies, he joined the R&D Department at the Becton Dickinson Monoclonal Center, advancing to Associate Director.  In 1990, he joined the DNAX Research Institute, where he advanced to Director of Immunobiology, and in 1999 joined the faculty of UCSF.  His research group studies Natural Killer cells, which recognize and eliminate cells that have become transformed or infected by viruses. In recognition of his contributions he was awarded the William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Basic Tumor Immunology from the Cancer Research Institute (2002), received the Rose Payne Award for contributions to the field of Immunogenetics by the American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics (2005), was elected to the US National Academy of Sciences (2010), and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2011).  He served as President of the American Association of Immunologists (2006-2007), received the AAI Excellence in Mentoring Award in 2017, and awarded the  AAI Lifetime Achievement Award in 2023. 

Charlene Liao, PhD

Immuno-Onc Therapeutics, Inc.


Charlene Liao, PhD, co-founded Immune-Onc Therapeutics and has served as our President and Chief Executive Officer and as a member of our board of directors since May 2016. 

Read more

Charlene has 25 years of industry experience in drug development and business leadership. From 2002-2016, Charlene held global drug development roles at Genentech where she was instrumental in leading development efforts across the product lifecycle for ten new molecular entities (NMEs) in a variety of therapeutic areas including: hematology-oncology, oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, and metabolic disorders. Prior to joining Genentech, Charlene was a Director of Business Development at Rigel. She began her career in biotech as a scientist at Tularik, before its acquisition by Amgen.

Charlene holds a B.S. in Biochemistry from Peking University in China, and received her Ph.D. from Brandeis University in the laboratory of famed biologist Dr. Michael Rosbash, who was awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Charlene completed her postdoctoral research in immunology at UCSF where she was a Fellow of the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Fund in the laboratory of Dr. Dan Littman and a Special Fellow of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) in the laboratory of Dr. Art Weiss.

Fiorella Magani, PhD


Fiorella Magani is an Argentinean and scientist by training – she did her undergrad in Biology in a small town in Buenos Aires and then moved to the US in 2014 to do a PhD in Cancer Biology at the University of Miami (UM), focusing on developing new computational and invitro approaches for gene network analyses. 

Read more

This led to the identification of novel predictive biomarkers and targets for Prostate Cancer, published in peer-reviewed articles and patented. During her time at UM she also worked in developing leadership skills, including becoming the Vice President of the Biomedical Graduate Student Government. In 2018 she moved to the Washington DC office to join one of the top Management Consulting firms: Boston Consulting Group, where she spent 4 years working in Healthcare. During this time she supported major pharmaceutical clients across the value chain, including R&D, operations, commercialization, and M&A, to strategically tackle some of their most challenging problems by developing state-of-the-art frameworks and analyses, building business models, performing market analyses and surveys, project management, stakeholder management, and presenting and teaming with senior audiences, including CEOs. In 2022 she joined AstraZeneca as a Senior Director in Competitive Intelligence/Strategy to help develop Oncology drugs, with a specific focus on Cell Therapy and T-cell engagers.  

Giovanni Melillo, MD


Dr. Giovanni Melillo obtained a Medical Doctor degree and a specialty in Medical Oncology from the University of Naples Medical School, Italy.

Read more

He was a post-doctoral fellow in the Laboratory of Experimental Immunology of the National Cancer Institute in Frederick, Maryland, USA from 1991 to 1996, and a Clinical Oncology Fellow at the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health (NIH), from 1996 to 1999. 
Between 1999 and 2011 Dr. Melillo held the position of Senior Investigator, Head of the Tumor Hypoxia Laboratory, Developmental Therapeutics Program, National Cancer Institute in Frederick where he contributed to the implementation of a translational program for the discovery and development of small molecule inhibitors of Hypoxia Inducible Factor 1 and was an attending physician involved in the design and execution of phase I-II clinical trials in Oncology. 
From 2011 to 2013 Dr. Melillo was Medical Director, Exploratory Clinical and Translational Research at Bristol-Myers Squibb in Princeton, NJ. In September of 2013 he joined AstraZeneca as Global Clinical Lead, Immuno-oncology - Global Medicines Development, where he first contributed to the design of the PACIFIC study and then led the Immuno-oncology Head & Neck clinical program. Since July 2017 he is Vice President, Head of Immuno-oncology, OBU Global Medical Affairs and from 2022 he is the Head of the Gastrointestinal & Emerging Portfolio Franchise with Global Medical Affairs. 
Dr. Melillo has served as Associate Editor of Cancer Research (2004-2012) and Journal of Molecular Medicine and as Editorial Board member of Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, Cell Cycle, Molecular Cancer, and Cell Death and Disease. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers between research articles, invited reviews and book chapters. 

Gordon Moody, PhD


Gordon Moody serves as a Senior Director at AstraZeneca Early Oncology and is a co-founder of the Cell Therapy Unit, established in January 2020.

Read more

Leading a team of more than 50 scientists, his primary focus lies in advancing a portfolio of CAR-T programs across various solid tumor types. Additionally, he is involved in the creation of an innovative off-the-shelf allogeneic platform. The team's core objectives include optimizing CAR designs and validating indication-specific strategies to enhance CAR-T efficacy in the suppressive tumor microenvironment. With over 25 years of experience in preclinical oncology drug development, Gordon has contributed to diverse areas, including bi-specific biologics, checkpoint and co-stimulatory immunotherapies, oncolytic viruses, cancer vaccines, as well as small molecules and biologics-based therapies targeting tumors.

Chyrstal Paulos, PhD

Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University

Chrystal M. Paulos, PhD, is Acting Associate Professor in the Department of Surgery and the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Emory University School of Medicine. 

Read more

Prior to joining Emory, Dr. Paulos was the Cecilia and Vincent Peng Endowed Chair in Melanoma at Medical University of South Carolina. She also served as co-leader of the Cancer Immunology Resrarch Program and Director of the Adoptive Cancer Immunotherapy Program at Hollings Cancer Center in Charleston, South Carolina.
Dr. Paulos holds professional memberships with American Association of Immunologists, International Society for Biological Therapy of Cancer and Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer. The objective of the Paulos research lab is to develop novel T cell-based therapies for patients with solid tumors. Her laboratory seeks to identify mechanisms underlying protective immunity in solid tumors, with an emphasis on adoptive T cell transfer (ACT) therapy. By combining basic and translational understanding of human T cells in clinical studies with mechanistic studies in relevant mouse models and in investigator initiated clinical trials in patients, her research team has contributed significant insight into the various roles of how to mount T cell memory responses to tumors.

Avery Posey, PhD

University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine


Avery D. Posey, Jr., PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Systems Pharmacology and Translational Therapeutics, a member of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, and a Research Health Scientist at the Philadelphia Veterans Administration Medical Center.

Read more

Dr. Posey holds a PhD in Genetics from the University of Chicago, B.S. degrees in Biochemistry and Bioinformatics from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). Dr. Posey's research focuses on identification of tumor antigens formed through aberrant glycosylation of the tumor cell surface for tumor-specific targeting, understanding interactions between the immune system and changes in glycosylation, and identifying signaling constraints that limit CAR T cell persistence.

Steven Reed, PhD

The Scripps Research Institute

Steve Reed is the Founder, President, and CEO of HDT bio, a Seattle based biotech company developing next generation RNA technologies for treatment and prevention of cancer and infectious diseases.  

Read more

His academic appointments include Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Cornell University Medical College and Research Professor of Pathobiology at the University of Washington. 

Dr. Reed’s dedication to global heath began during his undergraduate studies, and were the focus of this graduate studies at the University of Montana where he began work on adjuvants with Dr. Edgar Ribi. Dr. Reed received a PhD in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Montana in 1979. That year he was appointed as Scientist of the National Institute of Amazon Research in Manaus, Brazil, where he directed research on tropical diseases. 

Dr. Reed joined Cornell University Medical College in 1980 as Assistant Professor of Medicine, continuing to work in Brazil as manager of the Cornell-Bahia program in International Medicine. He joined the Seattle Biomedical Research Institute in 1984 where he worked until founding the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI) 1993. In 1994 he co-founded Corixa Corporation (which was later sold to GlaxoSmithKline, GSK) where he served as Chief Scientific Officer until leaving in 2004.  Reed also co-founded and was CEO of Immune Design Corp., a cancer therapeutics company later sold to Merck. Reed was also co-founder of Afrigen, a South African Biotech.

Dr. Reed’s research interests have focused on the immunology of intracellular infections, and on the development of vaccines and diagnostics for both cancer and infectious diseases. In partnership with GSK, he led the team that developed the first defined tuberculosis vaccine, now in advanced clinical development. He also developed the first defined vaccines for leprosy and leishmaniasis, as well as the K39-based diagnostic tests currently licensed for leishmaniasis. He has more than 400 original publications, 35 book chapters and reviews, and 105 issued patents on diagnostics, vaccines, and therapeutics for cancer and infectious diseases. 

Isabelle Riviere, PhD


Isabelle Rivière received her Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Paris, France.  

Read more

She conducted her graduate studies at the Institut Curie (Paris) and at the Whitehead Institute (Cambridge, MA). After completing her postdoctoral work at NYU, she joined the faculty of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center where she focused on developing novel strategies for cell therapies and immunotherapies. Over the past 20 years, her laboratory investigated genetic approaches to enhance various cell types including T lymphocytes and stem cells for the treatment of cancer and genetic blood disorders.  She has conceived and implemented cell manufacturing processes to support multiple CAR T cell-based clinical trials for the treatment of hematological malignancies and solid tumors. She recently joined Takeda Development Center Americas, Inc as VP, Cell Therapy Technologies and Product Engine. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT). She has served as a member on the Board of Directors of the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine (ARM) and on the Advisory Board of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Engineering Research Center (ERC) for Cell Manufacturing Technologies (CMaT). She is Scientific Co-founder of Juno Therapeutics Inc. and of Mnemo Therapeutics.

Montserrat Roja de La Vega, PhD

Scientific Editor at Cancer Cell


Montse Rojo de la Vega obtained her BSc. in Biology from Mexico’s National Autonomous University (UNAM), where her passion for cancer research started. 

Read more

She then obtained an MS in Molecular Oncology from the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) and a PhD in Cancer Biology from the University of Arizona, where she studied the anti- and pro-tumorigenic roles of NRF2 in cancer. Montse joined the editorial team of Cancer Cell in 2018.

Arlene Sharpe, MD, PhD

Harvard Medical School

Arlene Sharpe, MD, PhD is the Kolokotrones University Professor, Harvard University and Chair, Department of Immunology, Harvard Medical School (HMS).

Pallavur Sivakumar, PhD

Bristol Myers Squibb

Pallavur Sivakumar (PV) is currently Vice President and Head of Discovery, in the ImmunoOncology (IO) and Cell Therapy (CT) Thematic Research Center in Seattle. 

Read more

In his current role, PV leads the Discovery efforts for IO/CT and is responsible for the early pipeline across all modalities (biologics, small molecules and cell therapy). 
PV also helps establish and execute on the broader IO/CT Strategy, including working to identify and work with key external partnerships that compliment the internal portfolio. 

Prior to BMS, PV joined Celgene in 2015 as part of Celgene’s ImmunoOncology thematic center in Seattle. PV helped establish an ImmunoOncology Strategy for Celgene and lead the discovery team to establish an internal IO portfolio while at the same time driving Celgene’s partnering strategy with Jounce, Agios, Dragonfly, Ikena and others. PV also helped drive the Cell therapy strategy and post Juno Acquisition, also lead the discovery efforts for Cell therapy. 

He has over 20 years of biotech/pharma experience spanning early to late phases of drug development in Inflammation, Oncology, Immuno-Oncology, Virology and Diabetic Complications.  PV was born in India and has an undergraduate degree in Pharmacy (B.Pharm) and Biology (M.Sc).  After a Ph.D in Immunology at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, where his work focused on development of NK cells and the NK cell receptor repertoire, he moved to Seattle and has been in Seattle biotech industry at Immunex, ZymoGenetics and Novo Nordisk. He also spent 2 years at Novo Nordisk Headquarters in Copenhagen where he was responsible for Novo's Inflammation Portfolio and in establishing/executing strategy for the Inflammation area.

Outside of work, PV is a supporter of promoting education to students and in promoting science within the community. He has been a guest lecturer at Shoreline Community College and was part of Ballard High School Biotech Program Committee. He also loves to support local charities (Ballard Food Bank, Farestart) and businesses. He loves to cook and has for many years cooked Indian dinners for various charity auctions. He loves sports (Go Sounders!) and coached his son’s recreational soccer team. 

Melody Smith, MD, PhD

Stanford University

Dr. Melody Smith received her MD with Distinction in Research from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. 

Read more

She also completed an internship and residency in Internal Medicine at the University Texas Southwestern. She subsequently moved to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) to complete her fellowship in Hematology & Medical Oncology. She joined the faculty at MSK in 2015 as an Instructor of Medicine on the Adult Bone Marrow Transplant Service, and she was promoted to Assistant Member Level 1 in 2017. During her time as junior faculty at MSK, she obtained a Master of Science from Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences in Clinical & Translational Investigation. 

As of September 1, 2021, she joined the faculty at Stanford University as an Assistant Professor on the Blood and Marrow Transplantation & Cellular Therapy Service in the Department of Medicine. As a physician-scientist, her independent research in the lab focuses on strategies to develop cellular immunotherapy from allogeneic as opposed to autologous sources. She also investigates the regulatory mechanisms for the impact of the intestinal microbiome on CAR T cell outcomes.

Zhen Su, MD, MBA

Marengo Therapeutics


Zhen Su is a physician-scientist and business executive with near three decades of experiences guiding scientific innovations through discovery, clinical development, and commercialization to reach millions of cancer patients around the world.

Read more

His unique expertise lies in building and leading both R&D and commercial organizations to create value for scientific innovation and business growth.

Ryan Sullivan, MD

Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital


Dr. Ryan Sullivan is board certified in Medical Oncology, an Attending Physician in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), and an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Read more

At the MGH, he is the Associate Director of the Melanoma Program in the MGH Cancer Center and a member of the Termeer Center for Targeted Therapy. Dr. Sullivan is an active clinical and translational investigator whose main areas of interest are the development of novel molecular targeted and immunotherapeutic combinations for malignant melanoma and other solid tumors. More recently, he has been interested in describing, predicting, and optimally treating immune related adverse events from immune checkpoint inhibition. Finally, he is a member of a number of national organizations including ASCO, AACR, and SITC. He serves as the Chair of the SITC Immunotherapy Resistance Committee Leadership Taskforce, the SITC Science and Research Subcommittee, and the SITC Melanoma subcommittee.

Marc Theoret, MD

Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Dr. Marc Theoret is a medical oncologist and serves as Deputy Director in the Oncology Center of Excellence (OCE), FDA, and Acting Supervisory Associate Director of Oncology Sciences in the Office of Oncologic Diseases (OOD), Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, FDA. 

Read more

Dr. Theoret earned his medical degree from the Penn State College of Medicine. He completed internship and residency training in Internal Medicine at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, and fellowship training in Hematology and Oncology at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Bethesda. While a medical student as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute-National Institutes of Health (NIH) Medical Student Research Fellow and subsequently during fellowship training, he performed basic and translational clinical research in the Surgery Branch, NCI, to investigate novel immunotherapeutic strategies to treat patients with melanoma and other advanced solid tumors. In 2009, Dr. Theoret came to FDA and served as medical officer in the Division of Biologic Oncology Products and then in the Division of Oncology Products (DOP) 2. He served as the Clinical Team Leader of the Melanoma-Sarcoma team, DOP2, from 2013 to 2017. Subsequently, he served as Associate Director of Immunotherapeutics in the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products (OHOP) as well as an Acting Associate Director of Immuno-oncology Therapeutics in the Oncology Center of Excellence. Prior to his current position as Deputy Director in the OCE, he served as the Acting Deputy Office Director in OOD. In these roles in OHOP / OOD and OCE, Dr. Theoret has led the reviews of numerous breakthrough therapies, new molecular entities, and novel biologics. Dr. Theoret has contributed extensively to initiatives—regulatory, scientific, and policy efforts—in cancer therapeutic development, in particular immuno-oncology therapeutics, and consistently has provided FDA leadership in this field to wide-ranging external stakeholders. 

Claire Vanpouille-Box, PhD

Weill Cornell University

Claire Vanpouille-Box is an Assistant Professor of Cell Biology in Radiation Oncology.

Read more

She developed a keen interest in anti-cancer treatments based on the combination of immunotherapy and radiation therapy (RT). Her graduate work at the University of Angers (France), studied a new treatment concept that aims at generating a localized RT via the use of nanoparticles during which she became interested in radiation-induced anti-tumor immunity.

She then conducted her postdoctoral training  at NYU School of Medicine and at Weill Cornell Medicine whose preclinical studies demonstrated that TGFb is a master regulator of RT-induced anti-tumor immunity and that RT-induced cancer-cell type I interferon is required to elicit durable regression of the irradiated and non-irradiated tumor (i.e., the abscopal effect).

Claire has received many prestigious awards among which the 2014-Marie Curie Award from the Radiation Research Society (RRS) and the 2015-AACR Susan G Komen Scholar-in-training award from the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).

She serves as an associate editor for the Journal of Translational Medicine and Radiation Research.

Sarah Warren, PhD



Sarah Warren, PhD is director of Advanced Application, Immuno-Oncology, at NanoString Technologies. 

Read more

In this role, she enables high impact research using the NanoString platform by overseeing a network of collaborations and facilitating development of novel products and applications. Prior to joining NanoString, she was founder and Director of Research at Oncofactor Corporation, where she led the development of novel immune checkpoint therapeutics. She has over 7 years of experience in biopharma with experience in drug development and diagnostics for immuno-oncology. She holds membership in several professional and scientific societies, including AACR, ASCO, and SITC. She has a PhD in immunology from University of Washington and a BS in biochemistry and English from Iowa State University.  

E. John Wherry, PhD

University of Pennsylvania


Dr. E. John Wherry is the Barbara and Richard Schiffrin President’s Distinguished Professor, Chair of the Department of Systems Pharmacology and Translational Therapeutics in the Perelman School of Medicine and Director of the UPenn Institute for Immunology.

Read more

Dr. Wherry received his PhD at Thomas Jefferson University in 2000 and performed postdoctoral research at Emory University from 2000-2004. Dr. Wherry has received numerous honors including the Distinguished Alumni award from the Thomas Jefferson University, the Cancer Research Institute’s Frederick W. Alt Award for New Discoveries in Immunology, the Stanley N. Cohen Biomedical Research Award from the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine and was inducted as an AAAS Fellow in 2021.  As of November 2022, Dr. Wherry has over 300 publications, an H-Index of 126, and his publications have been cited over 86,000 times.  

Dr. Wherry helped pioneered the field of T cell exhaustion, the mechanisms by which T cell responses are attenuated during chronic infections and cancer. He helped identify the role of the “checkpoint” molecule PD-1 and others for reinvigoration of exhausted T cells in cancer. Dr. Wherry’s work has defined the underlying molecular and epigenetic mechanisms of exhausted T cells. His laboratory has also recently focused on applying systems immunology approaches to define Immune Health patients across a spectrum of diseases. In 2020-2021, Dr. Wherry’s laboratory focused considerable efforts on the immunology of COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2 vaccination including establishing a new Immune Health Project to interrogate and use immune features to identify novel treatment opportunities.  

Jon Wigginton, MD

Bright Peak Therapeutics


Jon Wigginton, MD, Senior Vice President, Clinical Development and Chief Medical Officer, joined us in August 2013.

Read more

Dr. Wigginton was the Therapeutic Area Head, Immuno-Oncology, Early Clinical Research and Executive Director, Discovery Medicine-Clinical Oncology at Bristol-Myers from October 2008 to August 2013. While there, he led the early clinical development of the Bristol-Myers' Immuno-Oncology portfolio including anti-PD-1 and anti-PD-L1. 
Prior to joining Bristol-Myers, Dr. Wigginton was the Director of Clinical Oncology at Merck Research Laboratories from May 2006 to October 2008, where he led early- and late-stage clinical development teams for small molecules and biologics. During his academic career, Dr. Wigginton held several positions at the National Cancer Institute Center for Cancer Research (NCI-CCR), including Head of Investigational Biologics Section, Pediatric Oncology Branch. Dr. Wigginton received his M.D. and B.S. in Biology from the University of Michigan. Dr. Wigginton is a Past President of SITC.

Jedd Wolchok, MD, PhD, FASCO

Weill Cornell Medicine

Jedd Wolchok, MD, PhD, FASCO, is the Meyer Director of the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center at Weill Cornell Medicine. 

Read more

Dr. Wolchok was most recently Chief of the Immuno-Oncology Service and held The Lloyd J. Old Chair in Clinical Investigation at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and remains Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. Dr. Wolchok is a clinician-scientist exploring innovative immunotherapeutic strategies in laboratory models, and a principal investigator in numerous pivotal clinical trials.  Dr. Wolchok helped establish immunotherapy as a standard approach to cancer treatment and was instrumental in the clinical development leading to the approval of ipilimumab and the combination of nivolumab and ipilimumab for advanced melanoma.  He supervises an NIH R01-funded basic science laboratory which is focused on investigating novel immunotherapeutic agents in pre-clinical laboratory models. The focus of his translational research laboratory is to investigate innovative means to modulate the immune response to cancer as well as to better understand the mechanistic basis for sensitivity and resistance to currently available immunotherapies. Dr. Wolchok received his BA degree from Princeton University, and his MS, PhD and MD degrees from New York University. Dr. Wolchok has received numerous honors for his work including: American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Memorial Award, the Giants of Cancer Care in Melanoma Award, the Berson Alumni Achievement Award in Clinical and Translational Science and the Zelmanovich Young Alumni Achievement Award from NYU Grossman School of Medicine, the Alfred Taubman Prize for Excellence in Translational Medical Research (Univ of Michigan) and has been designated a Fellow of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (FASCO), as well as board of directors.   He has been awarded the the Distinguished Alumni Award at MSK, the AACR-Joseph H. Burchenal Award for Outstanding Achievement in Clinical Cancer Research, the ESMO Award for Immuno-Oncology and the David Karnofsky Award from ASCO. Dr. Wolchok has served on the Board of Directors of ASCO and the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) and currently is the Treasurer of SITC. He is an elected member of Amerian Associaion for Cancer Research (AACR) board of directors, elected to the AACR academy of fellows (FAACR), the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI), Association of American Physicians (AAP) and is Chair of the Melanoma Committee for the ECOG-ACRIN NCI cooperative group. He is a full member of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and center director for the Parker Institute of Cancer Immunotherapy.  A former Damon Runyon-Lilly Clinical Investigator, Dr. Wolchok now serves as a member of the Damon Runyon Clinical Investigator Award Selection Committee and has mentored three Damon Runyon Awardees.

Catherine Wu, MD

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Catherine J. Wu, MD is a Professor of Medicine and Chief, Division of Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapies at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston.  

Read more

At DFCI, she oversees an integrated program of research and clinical activities that focuses on dissecting the basis of effective anti-tumor immunity.  Her laboratory has focused on the use of genomics-based approaches to discover immunogenic antigen targets, such as tumor neoantigens, and to understand the molecular basis of therapeutic response and resistance.