Prof Julie Brahmer
Keynote speaker, Johns Hopkins, United States
Prof Julie BrahmerKeynote speaker, Johns Hopkins, United States
Julie R. Brahmer, M.D., M.Sc. is the Director of the Thoracic Oncology Program and Professor of Oncology at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins. She also directs the Kimmel Cancer Center on the Johns Hopkins Bayview campus and is co-principal investigator on Johns Hopkins' National Clinical Trials Network. Dr. Brahmer received her undergraduate degree in Chemistry and Philosophy in 1989 from the Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska and went on to receive her medical degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Medicine in 1993. Completing her internship and residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Utah, Dr. Brahmer later became the Chief Medical Resident until moving to Baltimore to complete her fellowship in Medical Oncology at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins.
Prof Mark Cragg
University of Southampton, UK
Prof Mark CraggUniversity of Southampton, UK
Mark Cragg is Professor of Experimental Cancer Biology in the Cancer Sciences Unit of Southampton University Faculty of Medicine. He obtained his PhD in 1998 and did his postdoctoral studies in Southampton with Martin Glennie and in Melbourne, Australia with Andreas Strasser before starting his own group in 2007. His research concerns how therapeutics result in tumour regression with a focus on antibodies and small molecules. The aim is to understand how these therapeutics delete tumour cells, how resistance occurs and how it might be overcome. Over the last decade, he has investigated many different therapeutic agents such as rituximab, bexxar, imatinib, gefitinib, cetuximab and tarceva and has been involved in the development of next generation antibody reagents such as ofatumumab and obinutuzumab, as well as first in class antibodies such as BI-1206. Throughout the strategy undertaken is highly translational with iterative cycling between in vitro experiments, appropriate in vivo model systems and primary clinical material. He sits on advisory boards for several charities and institutes and has published over 140 research papers.
Dr Andrew D Beggs
University of Birmingham, UK
Dr Andrew D BeggsUniversity of Birmingham, UK
Andrew Beggs is a Reader in Cancer Genetics & Surgery in the Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences, University of Birmingham. He currently holds a Cancer Research UK & Royal College of Surgeons Advanced Clinician Scientist award. He is also an Consultant Colorectal & General Surgeon at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham with a subspeciality interest in laparoscopic rectal cancer surgery and advanced endoscopy. His major research interests include colorectal, oesophageal and sarcoma cancer biology and translational medicine. He has published articles in The Lancet, Gut, Journal of Pathology and PLoS Genetics. He collaborated in writing the European consensus guidelines for the management of Peutz-Jeghers syndrome.
Prof Ben Wilcox
University of Birmingham, UK
Prof Ben WilcoxUniversity of Birmingham, UK
Ben leads an active research group in the field of cancer immunology and immunotherapy, with a focus on understanding immune receptor recognition. His recent work focuses on novel tumour antigens and unconventional T cell function, particularly in immunosurveillance of cellular stress. He has received major grants from Cancer Research UK, the Medical Research Council, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, and most recently Investigator Award funding from the Wellcome Trust. Ben’s research team combines molecular, structural and cellular expertise to understand clinically important immune receptor recognition events, including those underpinning the graft-versus leukaemia effect, unconventional T cell immunosurveillance of tumours, including gamma delta T cell responses, and T cell recognition of post-translational modified peptides. A key aim is to extend basic immunology studies in order to apply our molecular insights to improved targeting strategies for cancer treatment. In this area, we have several ongoing collaborations both within the CRUK Centre and with other UK or international groups to understand and explore both targeting of novel TAAs, and tumour targeting by unconventional lymphocytes.
Dr Jerome Galon
Dr Jerome GalonINSERM, France
Dr. Jérôme Galon is Director of Research at INSERM, and Head of the laboratory of Integrative Cancer Immunology in Paris, France. Dr. Galon was trained as an immunologist at the Pasteur Institute and at the Curie Institute (Paris, France). He holds a Ph.D. degree in Immunology (Jussieu University, Paris, France, 1996). Between 1997 and 2001 he worked at the NIH (National Institute of Health, Bethesda, USA). Since his full-tenured position at INSERM in 2001, he directs interdisciplinary research programs on tumor-Immunology. He is associate Director and co-founder of European Academy of Tumor Immunology (EATI), board Director of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC). His work on the comprehensive analysis of the tumor-microenvironment and the role of T-cells in human cancer led to the demonstration of the importance of adaptive pre-existing immunity in human cancer, and the concept of cancer immune-contexture. He pioneered the Immunoscore. He is the co-founder of HalioDx company and the Chairman of its scientific council. His contributions have been recognized with numerous awards, including the William B. Coley Award, which honors the best scientists in the fundamental and cancer immunology, and Award from the National Academy of Science, and Award from the National Academy of Medicine.
Dr. Dimitrios Mastellos
Dr. Dimitrios MastellosDemokritos, Greece
Dr. Dimitrios Mastellos is a Senior Researcher at the National Center for Scientific Research ‘Demokritos’ in Athens, Greece. Dimitrios studied biology at the University of Patras, Greece, and earned his PhD in Immunology from the Medical School of the same institution. He has been steadily studying various facets of complement-driven inflammation and their implications in health and disease since he was a graduate student. During his postdoctoral training with Professor John Lambris at the University of Pennsylvania, he applied animal models to interrogate the role of complement-triggered pathways in diverse pathophysiological processes and biological milieus. His research at ‘Demokritos’ focuses on how complement modulates innate immune activation, host-pathogen interactions and inflammatory signaling in health and disease. His group is also involved in developing novel biodiagnostic tools for monitoring complement activity in clinical disorders and drug efficacy in clinical trials evaluating complement-targeted inhibitors.
Dr Saeed Shoaie
Kings’ College London, UK
Dr Saeed ShoaieKings’ College London, UK
Dr. Saeed Shoaie is the group leader of Translational Systems Biology at CHMI. He is a BBSRC and EPSRC UKRI fellow since 2018 and the deputy lead of master program for microbiome at KCL. He has received his Msc and PhD degrees in Innovative and Sustainable Chemical Engineering and in Systems and Synthetic Biology of Host-Microbiome Interactions, from Prof. Jens Nielsen Systems Biology lab at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden. He worked as a researcher at Novo Nordisk A/S and Steno diabetic center in Denmark, and Science for life laboratory in Sweden, before he appointed as a Lecturer in Systems and Synthetic biology at King’s College London. His research activities from one side focus on analyzing multi-omics data in different cohort studies and aim to identify biomarkers and novel treatment strategies for human diseases. From the other side his activities include the generation of genome-scale metabolic models for host and microbiome, using these models as a scaffold to analysis of omics data with the objective to elucidate the host-microbiome interactions in different human disorders.
Prof Paul Moss
University of Birmingham, UK
Prof Paul MossUniversity of Birmingham, UK
Professor Moss is Professor of Haematology at the University of Birmingham and Director of Research and Knowledge Transfer in the College of Medicine. He is an NIHR Senior Investigator and was previously Chair of the Infection and Immunity Board at the Medical Research Council and the Clinical and Translational Research Committee at Cancer Research UK.
Prof Francesca Ciccarelli
The Francis Crick Institute, UK
Prof Francesca CiccarelliThe Francis Crick Institute, UK
Francesca Ciccarelli graduated in Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of Bologna and received a PhD in Natural Sciences from the University of Heidelberg. She worked under the supervision of Peer Bork at the EMBL where she studied the evolution of genomes using comparative genomics and phylogenetics. In 2005, Francesca started her own group at the European Institute of Oncology in Milan. In 2014, she moved to King’s College London and since 2017 her group is seconded to the Francis Crick Institute in London. She is theme co-lead of the Cancer Research UK KHP Centre and of the City of London Major Centre. Francesca works with a multidisciplinary team of biologists, mathematicians, oncologists, engineers and computer scientists who apply molecular genetics, data analysis and theoretical modelling to study cancer biology.
Dr Robin Ireland
King’s College Hospital, UK
Dr Robin IrelandKing’s College Hospital, UK
Dr Ireland is a member of a number of societies including the British Society for Haematology, American Society of Haematology, European Leukemia Network, MDS Flow Cytometry Working Group, UK MDS Forum and the Haematology Site-Specific Reference Group of the National Cancer Intelligence Network. Dr Ireland has a wide experience in general haematology and malignant diseases in both secondary and tertiary care settings, having previously worked at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich from 1989 to 2007. He is currently the Lead Clinician for the King’s Haematological Malignancy Diagnostic Centre (KHMDC), set up in 2007 which provides specialist diagnostic services for haematological cancers and bone marrow failure syndromes to a population of approximately 4.5 million in South East England. Clinical activities at King’s include investigation and management of general haematology and myeloid disorders especially myelodysplasia.
Dr Josephine Bunch
Imperial College London, UK
Dr Josephine BunchImperial College London, UK
Professor Josephine Bunch is a Principal Scientist and Co-Director of the National Centre of Excellence in Mass Spectrometry Imaging (NiCE-MSI) at NPL and Chair of Biomolecular Mass Spectrometry at Imperial College London. At NPL, Josephine leads research and metrology in MALDI and ambient mass spectrometry imaging within NiCE-MSI. She is currently leading a Cancer Research UK Grand Challenge programme. Josephine previously led a research group in mass spectrometry imaging at the University of Birmingham, where she was a Lecturer in Chemistry and Imaging in the School of Chemistry and PSIBS Doctoral Training Centre (2009–2013). Josephine completed a PhD in mass spectrometry imaging at Sheffield Hallam University, sponsored by Pfizer Global R&D (2005). She moved to the University of Sheffield (Department of Chemistry) in 2004 for her postdoctoral appointments (2004–2009). During this time, she was awarded an independent Enterprise Fellowship to support commercialisation of mass spectrometry imaging activities.
Dr Duncan Murray
University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire, UK
Dr Duncan MurrayUniversity Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire, UK
Duncan undertook his pre-clinical training at Cambridge University, moving to Oxford University to obtain his medical degree. He obtained Membership of the Royal College of Physicians in 2011, then started training in Clinical Haematology and became a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists in 2015. Under Prof Paul Moss, he pursued his PhD in T cell cancer immunology, taking a special interest in numerical computing for data science and the statistics of dimension reduction and clustering.
Prof Johanna Olweus
Oslo University, Norway
Prof Johanna OlweusOslo University, Norway
Our group aims to develop new T-cell based concepts for cancer immunotherapy that overcome the major challenge of self-tolerance in cancer. To this end, one of our main strategies involves studies of how the immune system from healthy donors can target patient cancer cells. We have a strong focus on the development of new technologies that allow high-throughput identification of therapeutic targets that can evoke immune responses, as lack of immunogenic targets represents a major limitation in therapeutic efficacy. The group furthermore has a strong translational focus and performs penetrating mechanistic analyses in clinical trials together with our clinical partners. The group is a member of K.G. Jebsen Center for Cancer Immunotherapy
Dr Sophie Papa
King’s College London, UK
Dr Sophie PapaKing’s College London, UK
Sophie Papa is a Senior Lecturer and Consultant Medical Oncologist at King’s College London and Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. Sophie undertook her medical training at the University of Oxford and Imperial College London. She completed a PhD in cancer immunotherapy from King’s College London in 2011. She is a clinical academic with research interests in the field of immune-oncology. Her research group studies approaches to optimise personalised cell based immune therapies for solid tumour oncology. In collaboration with colleagues at King’s Health Partners she is involved in delivering a first in man trial of CAR-T cell therapy for head and neck cancer. Sophie is a medical oncologist with a practice in malignant melanoma and is the lead for skin cancer research at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.
Dr Carmela De Santo
University of Birmingham, UK
Dr Carmela De SantoUniversity of Birmingham, UK
Following a degree in Biology at the University of Padua, Carmela joined Professor Vincenzo Bronte’s group in 2002 to study for a PhD. Her studies focussed on myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSCs), a heterogeneous grouping of myeloid lineage cells that suppress immune responses, and which are emerging as a key immunoregulatory axis, both in the context of pathogen-specific immunity, and also tumour-specific immune responses. After successfully completing her PhD, she carried out post-doctoral studies in Professor Vincenzo Cerundolo’s laboratory in the Weatherall Institute for Molecular Medicine in Oxford, in 2006, where her research again focussed on MDSCs both in cancer and virus infection, and also investigated the ability of invariant Natural Killer T cells to regulate MDSCs suppressive activity.
Prof Christoph Hess
University of Basel, Switzerland
Prof Christoph HessUniversity of Basel, Switzerland
After completing medical school in Zürich and Lausanne, Dr. Hess trained for his M.D. and Ph.D. at the University of Basel in Switzerland, before starting his clinical education in Internal Medicine and Clinical Immunology in Basel and at Imperial College in London. Subsequently, he moved to Boston, Massachusetts, where he worked on T cell migration at Harvard Medical School. Returning to Switzerland in 2004, Dr. Hess started his own research group in the Department of Biomedicine at the University of Basel. In 2009, he was appointed Professor of Medicine and Head of the Medical Outpatient Division and the Clinical Immunology Service at the University Hospital in Basel. Since 2019 he holds a second appointment at the University of Cambridge, UK, where he is the Chair and Professorship of Experimental Medicine. Dr. Hess’s research is focused on the translational aspects of lymphocyte function and its metabolic basis. The goal of his work is to understand patients suffering from disorders of immunometabolic regulation.
Prof Alberto Bardelli
University of Turin, Italy
Prof Alberto BardelliUniversity of Turin, Italy
Full Professor at Dept. of Oncology, University of Torino and Director of the Laboratory of Molecular Oncology at Candiolo Cancer Institute IRCCS. President of the EACR-European Association for Cancer Research. His work is aimed at developing precision medicines for cancer patients. As a postdoc at the Johns Hopkins University (USA), in the group led by Bert Vogelstein, he performed the first comprehensive mutational profile of kinases in colorectal cancers (CRC). As an independent investigator he has then translated these findings into clinical practice by discovering the molecular landscape of response and resistance to EGFR, HER2 and NTRK1 blockade in CRC. These findings have found clinical applicability and were translated in blood-based tests (liquid biopsies) used to monitor patient’s response during treatment. A focus of his lab is to study how the emergence and evolution of drug-resistant clones can be restrained to improve the efficacy of anticancer agents and develop therapies that adapt to tumor’s evolution. In 2014 Prof Bardelli has been listed in the Thomson Reuters List of Highly Cited Researchers. He won the Grant for Oncology Innovation Research Project (2016) and the ESMO Translational Research Award (2017). He is the author of over 200 peer-reviewed manuscripts (H factor 81).
Prof Joop Jansen
Prof Joop JansenRadboudumc, Netherlands
Joop Jansen is head of molecular hematology at the Central Hematology Laboratory. He is coordinator of the molecular studies for the Leukemia Group of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC). In human leukemia, various genetic mutations are now known that are critically involved in the oncogenic transformation of the cells. Novel treatments are being designed and clinically tested that aim to correct the biological effects of the mutated proteins. Our research focuses on the molecular mechanisms that are implicated in the development of human leukemia and myelodysplastic syndromes. The biological effects of several genes that are known to be consistently mutated are studied, with a focus on various transcription factors and their downstream targets. In addition, we aim to identify novel, as yet unknown mutations that are involved in leukemogenesis.
Prof Adrian Hayday
King’s College London & UCL, UK
Prof Adrian HaydayKing’s College London & UCL, UK
Professor Hayday’s laboratory employs molecular biology approaches to understand how lymphocytes function within tissues, and how those functions may contribute to human health and disease. The laboratory’s basic research includes model systems that permit fundamental questions about immune surveillance to be asked. The molecules and mechanisms identified by those studies are then examined for human counterparts that may teach us about pathogenesis, and provide new tools for application in clinical trials that we undertake. Likewise, we undertake innovative sponsored research agreements relating to the development of novel immunotherapeutics. Although each researcher in the laboratory pursues a clearly defined project, great emphasis is placed on the synergies that can be realised through small teams of researchers working together on the following areas.
Dr Nichola Cooper
Imperial College London, UK
Dr Nichola CooperImperial College London, UK
Our research focuses on understanding the molecular basis of autoimmune conditions in haematology, particularly immune thrombocytopenia (ITP), a condition leading to premature destruction of platelets. We combine genetic and genomic analysis of individuals with extreme phenotypes, CRISPR-based in vitro functional validation, and parallel ‘omic' approaches to define novel pathways regulating autoimmunity (eg Afzaku B et al Nat Immunol 2017 18:813-823).
Dr Ben Afzali
National Institutes of Health, United States
Dr Ben AfzaliNational Institutes of Health, United States
The Immunoregulation Section studies how transcriptional signals from the environment are integrated within immune cells to instruct fate decisions and direct effector function. Our aim is to better understand how immunoregulation is perturbed in diseases of autoimmunity that affect the kidneys and why resolution of inflammation can be followed either by tissue healing or irreversible scarring. Our goal is to develop novel strategies that manipulate the balance between inflammatory and regulatory immune responses and to minimize or prevent kidney scarring. Kidney disease is a common medical problem. We know that kidneys are often damaged by inflammation caused by the body’s own immune cells and that the treatments we have at present to reduce the inflammation are toxic. When inflammation does resolve, kidneys are very prone to developing scars that replace healthy tissue, so loss of normal kidney function progresses in the long-term, even if the original inflammation that started it has resolved. What we study is how the body’s immune cells take on inflammatory functions directed against the kidneys and how we can “re-program” them to take on anti-inflammatory properties instead. Simultaneously, we look at how the inflammation they cause results in kidney scarring. We hope to find ways in which we can disrupt this cycle and tip the balance towards anti-inflammation and reduced scarring.
Prof Farzin Farzaneh
Kings’ College London, UK
Prof Farzin FarzanehKings’ College London, UK
Professor Farzaneh received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1976 and a Master of Science degree in 1977 from the University of Aberdeen. Two years later he was given a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Sussex. He is a professor of molecular Medicine at King’s College London. His expertise are gene therapy-mediated immune rejection of cancer; cellular differentiation; molecular genetic analysis.
Prof Benjamin Vincent
Lineberger Cancer Centre, United States
Prof Benjamin VincentLineberger Cancer Centre, United States
The Vincent lab focuses on discovering determinants of response to immune checkpoint inhibition in cancer therapy, in order to develop clinically relevant biomarkers and guide development of novel therapeutics. Though great advances have been made in treating cancer though immunotherapy, not every patient benefits. Understanding how to improve cancer immunotherapy will be critical to personalizing treatment, properly sequencing and combining immunotherapy with other therapeutic modalities, and extending the lives of cancer patients going forward. My early career as a faculty investigator has centered on discovery of immunogenomics predictors of response to PD-1 inhibition in breast and bladder cancer, with the aim of developing biomarkers of clinical response and refining future immune checkpoint inhibition strategies. I have developed novel computational techniques for evaluating tumor immune microenvironment features from whole exome and mRNA sequencing data, as well as for T-cell receptor and B-cell receptor repertoire analysis. In order to understand the role of neoantigens in the anti-tumor immune response, I have also developed a robust neoantigen prediction pipeline that extends exome sequencing-based approaches by including MHC Class II (as well as Class I) neoantigens and using RNA expression data to inform the neoantigen predictions. These methods will be critical to Aim 1 of the proposed research.
Prof Sean Whittaker
King’s College London, UK
Prof Sean WhittakerKing’s College London, UK
Consultant dermatologist at Guys and St Thomas', 1999 - present Professor of cutaneous oncology division of Genetics and Molecular Medicine King's College London, 2007 - present Clinical director genetics, rheumatology, infection, dermatology and allergy directorate, 2007 – present Joint lead for the GRIID Clinical Academic Group King's Health Partners, 2008 - present Specialist CRG commissioning lead for skin cancer, 2013 - present.
Dr Jonathan Irish
Vanderbilt University, United States
Dr Jonathan IrishVanderbilt University, United States
Jonathan Irish is Assistant Professor in the Department of Cell & Developmental Biology (CDB) at Vanderbilt University, School of Medicine. He holds a secondary appointment in Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology (PMI) and is Scientific Director of the Cancer & Immunology Core (CIC) and the Mass Cytometry Center of Excellence (MCCE). Jonathan launched the Irish lab at Vanderbilt in 2012 after finishing his training with Garry Nolan (Ph.D.) and Ron Levy (Postdoc) at Stanford University.
Prof Sergio Quezada
University College London, UK
Prof Sergio QuezadaUniversity College London, UK
Sergio Quezada is a Professor of Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy at University College London Cancer Institute. He earned his undergraduate degree in biochemistry from the P. Universidad Católica de Chile and a Ph.D. from Dartmouth Medical School in the US. In 2004, he joined the laboratory of Prof James Allison at MSKCC, where he studied mechanisms governing anti-tumour T-cell immunity.
Prof Jeffrey Pollard
University of Edinburgh, UK
Prof Jeffrey PollardUniversity of Edinburgh, UK
Professor Jeffrey W. Pollard is Director of the Medical Research Council Centre for Reproductive Health and Professor of Resilience Biology at the University of Edinburgh. He holds a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award and is a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator. Professor Pollard received his PhD at Imperial Cancer Research Fund (now CRUK) in London, UK, followed by a post-doc at the Ontario Cancer Institute in Toronto before taking a Lectureship at King’s College University of London. Thereafter he was at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York for over 24 years finally as the Louis Goldstein Swann Chair in Women’s Health, Deputy Director of the Cancer Center and Director of the Center for the Study of Reproductive Biology and Women’s Health. In 2013 he moved to the University of Edinburgh but still runs a lab at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. His research was the first to show that macrophages promote tumour progression to malignancy and to enhance metastasis. He has shown these activities are due to the enhancement of the angiogenic switch, promotion of tumour cell invasion and intravasation as well as at the metastatic site enhancement of tumour cell extravasation, survival and persistent growth. He has identified many reciprocal signalling pathways between tumour cells and macrophages including the mechanism of monocyte recruitment to the metastatic site via the chemokines CCL2 and CCL3 as well as roles for VEGFR1 and CSF1R signalling in macrophages. His work iponeeried the understanding of the roles for macrophages in regulating development, for example in branching morphogenesis. For his studies he was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS) in 2011, Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2015 and Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2016. He has received several awards most notably the American Cancer Society “Medal of Honor for Basic Science Research” for his studies in tumour immunology.
Dr Shahram Kordasti
King’s College London, UK
Dr Shahram KordastiKing’s College London, UK
Following graduation from medical school and clinical training in Internal Medicine/ Haematology, Dr Kordasti received his MSc in Medical Immunology and PhD in Cancer studies from King’s College London. He has shown the role of regulatory T cells (Tregs) in MDS and their effects on disease progression and response to treatment. He continued his work at King’s College London and developed an interest in the immunobiology of aplastic anaemia (AA) during this time. He has been appointed as senior lecturer in applied cancer immunopathology at King’s College London and GSTT since April 2018. His main research interest is the immunobiology of bone marrow failure syndromes and myeloid malignancies. He is also interested in computational biology and multidimensional cytometry.
Dr Samra Turajlic
The Francis Crick Institute, UK
Dr Samra TurajlicThe Francis Crick Institute, UK
Samra Turajlic completed her undergraduate studies at Oxford University and her clinical training at UCL medical school. She gained a PhD in 2013 from University of London (Institute of Cancer Research) in the field of melanoma genetics and targeted therapy resistance. In 2014 she was awarded a Cancer Research UK Clinician Scientist Fellowship to study cancer evolution at the Francis Crick Institute, London. She completed her training in medical oncology in 2015 and joined the Skin and Urology Units at the Royal Marsden Hospital as a Consultant Medical Oncologist. She divides her time between the clinic and the lab. She is the Chief Clinical Investigator of translational studies into melanoma (http://tracerx.co.uk/studies/melanoma/) and kidney cancer (http://tracerx.co.uk/studies/renal/) . Her research goal is to improve an evolutionary understanding of cancer and the reasons for treatment success and failure. Her clinical research interest is in validating novel targets and therapies for kidney cancer and melanoma. She has received funding grants from Harry J Lloyd Trust, CRUK, RMH-ICR BRC and the Rosetrees Trust.
Dr Ash Alizadeh
Stanford University, United States
Dr Ash AlizadehStanford University, United States
Dr. Alizadeh completed his PhD in Biophysics and MD at Stanford in 2003, under mentorship of Pat Brown (Stanford Biochemistry) and Lou Staudt (NCI/NIH). Supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) and NIH Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP), he built the Lymphochip DNA microarray platform. He and his colleagues used this platform to profile gene expression in diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL), and many other tumors. This work led to the discovery of DLBCL subtypes, and a framework for their cell of origin. Following his clinical subspecialty, Hematology and Medical Oncology training at Stanford, he completed his postdoctoral studies with Ron Levy and Irv Weissman. During this time, he worked on molecular outcome prediction in DLBCL, developing a statistical framework for the identification of small numbers of genes for robust risk stratification and prognosis. Working with Irv Weissman, he identified CD47 expression as an adverse prognostic factor in non-Hodgkin lymphomas, and a therapeutic target of novel monoclonal antibodies that synergize to eradicate tumors. The Alizadeh lab studies genomic biomarkers of tumors, whether detected through biopsy of primary tissues, or non-invasively through monitoring blood using circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA). His group developed Cancer Personalized Profiling by deep Sequencing (CAPP-Seq) as a novel method for ctDNA detection, and developed a novel cell deconvolution framework (CIBERSORT). His group applies such genomic tools for early detection, diagnosis, and monitoring of diverse tumors. In this effort, his group builds and employs tools from functional genomics, computational biology, molecular genetics, and mouse models.
Dr Jennifer Wargo
MD Anderson, United States
Dr Jennifer WargoMD Anderson, United States
Dr. Wargo’s career commitment is to advance the understanding and treatment of disease through science. After completing her medical degree, she entered surgical residency training at the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School where she became interested in the biology and treatment of cancer. During her training, she completed 2 fellowships in surgical oncology with a focus on immunotherapy for cancer. Dr. Wargo was recruited to the Division of Surgical Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital in July 2008 and had an active research laboratory focusing on melanoma tumorigenesis and immunotherapy for cancer. One exciting finding involved data describing the effect of BRAF-targeted therapy on tumor antigen expression in melanoma as a basis for combining targeted therapy and immunotherapy in the treatment of this disease. Dr. Wargo validated those findings in patients treated with BRAF inhibitors. She has continued critical studies to better understand the effects of BRAF inhibition on immune responses in melanoma, and established a unique set of serial tumor biopsies and blood samples from patients enrolled on clinical trials on BRAF inhibitors. Through analysis of these samples, she contributed significantly to the world literature regarding resistance mechanisms and the effect of targeted therapy on anti-tumor immunity.
Dr Eileen Parkes
Queen’s University Belfast, UK
Dr Eileen ParkesQueen’s University Belfast, UK
Dr Parkes is a medical oncologist from Queens University of Belfast, studying the immune response to DNA damage. In her clinical work she is involved in early phase clinical trials with an immune focus. Dr Parkes’ lab group studies the role of innate immune pathways, previously identifying constitutive cGAS-STING activation in DNA repair deficient cancer. She focuses on the role of STING activation in modifying tumour behaviour and response to therapy.
Dr Susanne Heck
Guy’s & St. Thomas Trust, UK
Dr Susanne HeckGuy’s & St. Thomas Trust, UK
Susanne Heck received her PhD in molecular biology at the University of Bremen, Germany, in 1997. After a postdoc in molecular and cellular biology at Albert Einstein College in New York, Dr Heck took up a position in at Cellular Genomics Inc., USA, to work on preclinical models for small molecule kinase inhibitors. In 2004 she moved to the Lindsley F. Kimball Research Centre to build up and run the research Flow Cytometry Core of the New York Blood Centre. Dr Heck has been appointed as head of the NIHR BRC Flow Cytometry Core for Guys and St Thomas Hospital and King’s College London in 2009 and has established a successful human immune monitoring core of international reputation.
Prof Ton Coolen
King’s College London, UK
Prof Ton CoolenKing’s College London, UK
Professor Coolen completed his MSc in Theoretical Physics in 1987 and obtained his PhD in Theoretical Physics/Biophysics, both at the University of Utrecht in 1990, after which he was appointed to the post of Research Assistant at the same university from 1990-91, and at the University of Oxford from 1991-95. He joined the Mathematics Department at King’s College London in 1995 as a Reader in Mathematics, and was promoted to Professor in 2000. He is a member of the IOP (Institute of Physics), the LMS (London Mathematical Society) and the EPSRC College. He is an advisory board member of Journal of Physics A, a Fellow of the London Institute for Mathematical Sciences, and honorary Professor at UCL's Cancer Institute.
Prof Arjan Van de Loosdrecht
Amsterdam University, Netherland
Prof Arjan Van de LoosdrechtAmsterdam University, Netherland
I am involved in the development of cellular vaccines in the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS); the development of diagnostic tests to improve the early diagnosis of MDS / AML; and with the development of prognostic tests to optimize MDS / AML treatments and tailor them to individual treatment plans.
Dr Graham Taylor
University of Birmingham, UK
Dr Graham TaylorUniversity of Birmingham, UK
Graham Taylor completed his PhD in molecular virology at the University of Warwick in 1997 then worked for two years in a frontline clinical diagnostics role before joining the University of Birmingham in 2000. Working in Alan Rickinson’s Epstein-Barr virus group, Graham gained significant experience in T-cell biology, antigen processing and cancer vaccine development. The vaccine he generated was tested in four international clinical trials and further development is ongoing. The experience of immune monitoring gained from these trials, for which Graham was lead scientist and was awarded the 2015 NCRI Translational research prize, fostered a strong interest in high dimensional analysis of the immune system in cancer which is a major focus of Graham’s research group.
To find out when each speaker is scheduled, please view our full event programme.
Abstract submission for participants
We invite all participants to submit scientific abstracts to be presented as oral or poster presentations.
Abstract submission deadline: 15th July 2019
Abstracts need to be maximum 500 words (excluding references, authors and affiliations) and may include 1 figure. Please email your abstract as a PDF below.