Leadership Team

David Meeker, MD, Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Meeker is the President & CEO of KSQ, a biotech company with a proprietary CRISPRomics drug discovery engine. Utilizing this engine, KSQ is advancing a pipeline of oncology and immuno-oncology drug development programs. Dr. Meeker was formerly the President and CEO of Genzyme, a Sanofi company, a position he assumed when Genzyme merged with Sanofi in 2011. He was also a member of the executive committee.

In his career with Genzyme, Dr. Meeker held key positions of increasing responsibility beginning in the R&D organization and subsequently in operating roles, culminating in the position of Chief Operating Officer at the time of the merger. In his most recent role within Sanofi, he headed Sanofi-Genzyme, the specialty care unit with responsibility for Rare Diseases, MS, Oncology and Immunology franchises.

Prior to joining Genzyme, Dr. Meeker was the Director of the Pulmonary Critical Care Fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic and an assistant professor of medicine at Ohio State University. He completed his internal medicine training at Harvard’s Beth Israel Hospital and his pulmonary/critical training at Boston University. He completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School in 2000.

Dr. Meeker is the Chairman of the Board of Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, and Trevi Therapeutics and a member of the board at Myokardia. He also serves on the boards of the Biomedical Science Careers Program, the Network for Excellence in Health Innovation and the Dimock Center, a Boston based community health center.

Frank Stegmeier, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer

Frank Stegmeier is an industry-leading expert in genetics, cancer biology and functional genomics who has led the industrialized application of functional genomics for oncology drug discovery in the pharmaceutical industry. Prior to joining KSQ Therapeutics, Frank served as Director and Head of Global Oncology Target Discovery at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research (NIBR), where he was responsible for developing the early oncology drug discovery portfolio. Frank also led the therapeutic siRNA research strategy at Novartis and directed the Cancer Cell Line Encyclopedia collaboration with the Broad institute. During his tenure at Novartis, Frank and his team identified more than a dozen novel oncology targets and advanced multiple chemical entities addressing these targets into preclinical development. He also led the biology efforts to advance the PKC inhibitor Sotrastaurin into phase I clinical trials in lymphomas and uveal melanoma. Frank was awarded the prestigious Novartis VIVA Leading Scientist Award for his vision, scientific excellence and innovative leadership.

Frank earned his PhD in biology from MIT and was a Helen Hay Whitney postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School in Dr. Stephen Elledge’s lab. He has authored numerous patents and published in top-tier scientific journals including Cell, Nature, Science, and Nature Medicine.

John Trzupek, MBA, PhD, Chief Business Officer

John Trzupek is an accomplished leader in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries with key contributions spanning drug discovery, strategy, operations, and entrepreneurship. Prior to joining KSQ Therapeutics, John held several business and scientific roles at Pfizer. Most recently, he served as Director of Strategy, Inflammation & Immunology where he founded and led a highly successful interdisciplinary drug discovery unit and also seeded investment in new diseases and research areas. In his prior work as a scientist at Pfizer, John was the co-inventor of multiple product candidates that reached the clinic. Notably, he was a primary contributor to the design and discovery of PF-06650833, a novel small molecule inhibitor being studied for the treatment of autoimmune disease. He also helped to pioneer and build a successful open innovation collaboration with the Structural Genomics Consortium that has resulted in the generation of multiple publicly-available, highly selective, and high quality chemical probes for epigenetic targets.

John earned an MBA with high honors as an Amy and Richard F. Wallman Scholar from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business where he concentrated in Finance. He also earned his PhD in organic chemistry from The Scripps Research Institute as a National Defense Science and Engineering (NDSEG) Predoctoral Fellow and completed his postdoctoral training at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

Doug Pagán brings more than 25 years of financial and operational experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. Prior to joining KSQ, Mr. Pagán was Chief Financial Officer of Paratek Pharmaceuticals, where he played a key role in transforming Paratek from a development stage company to a commercial company, and had responsibility for finance, investor relations, strategic planning and SEC reporting. Under his financial leadership, Paratek raised more than $450 million in equity financing and maintained a strong balance sheet to support the commercialization of the company’s first antibiotic product.

Prior to Paratek, Mr. Pagán served as Vice President, Finance at Acceleron Pharma Inc., where he was responsible for strategic and financial planning, accounting, SEC reporting, treasury and financial operations, and played a significant role in the company’s Initial Public Offering. Prior to working at Acceleron, he served in strategic and financial management roles at Biogen Idec and Bristol-Myers Squibb. Previously, Mr. Pagán worked in healthcare investment banking at J.P. Morgan, as well as pharmaceutical operational roles at Johnson & Johnson. Mr. Pagán received his BSE in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University and his MBA from Columbia Business School.

Ben Wolf brings nearly 20 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry as a senior clinical leader in oncology drug development, with expertise advancing new oncology programs in the clinic and optimizing patient selection to enable rapid proof of concept and registration.

Prior to joining KSQ, Dr. Wolf was Senior Vice President, Clinical Development at Blueprint Medicines, where he advanced three oncology programs for novel kinase inhibitors from investigational new drug (IND) applications to clinical proof-of-concept. During his four-year tenure, the clinical progress on Blueprint’s pipeline of oncology programs resulted in three breakthrough designations, plenary presentations for three different clinical programs at major oncology meetings, multiple publications in high-impact peer-reviewed cancer journals, and a range of other data presentations to the oncology and biotechnology communities.  Dr. Wolf also played a leadership role in the global registration strategies for these kinase inhibitor programs.

Previously, Dr. Wolf served as Senior Medical Director for Merrimack Pharmaceuticals where he advanced preclinical, translational and clinical development of a novel cancer antibody, leading all aspects of drug development, biomarker/companion diagnostic development, clinical planning, publications and patent submissions. Prior to working at Merrimack, he served in clinical and medical director roles at ImmunoGen, Amgen and Genentech.  Dr. Wolf started his industry career as a discovery scientist at Genentech. He earned a BS from Union College.  Dr. Wolf received his MD and PhD (Biochemistry) from the University of Virginia, and board certification in Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology after completing medical training at the University of California at San Diego.  He has authored more than 30 peer-reviewed publications and multiple patents related to drug discoveries.

Kimya Harris, PhD, Head of Intellectual Property

Kimya Harris is a skilled intellectual property professional with significant oncology patent experience both within the biopharmaceutical industry and in private practice. Prior to joining KSQ Therapeutics, Kimya held several roles of increasing responsibility during her six year tenure at ImmunoGen, most recently, as Senior Director, Intellectual Property. In this role, Kimya was responsible for ImmunoGen’s extensive patent portfolio for its antibody drug conjugate technology, including the development and execution of global IP strategies. Kimya’s work at ImmunoGen also included due diligence and competitive intelligence assessment for research and development product candidates and IP collaboration management in the negotiation and development of strategic partnerships. Prior to joining ImmunoGen, Kimya spent 10 years at Clark + Elbing, LLP, a boutique IP law firm, managing complex patent portfolios for leading biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies and academic institutions.

Kimya earned her PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Michigan, where her research focused on cell cycle regulation.  She continued her research in cancer biology as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School before pursuing her career in patent law.

René M. Lemieux, PhD, Head of Chemistry and Drug Design

René Lemieux is an experienced and successful drug hunter with nearly 20 years of experience in large pharma and biotech bringing first-in-class small molecule drug candidates from discovery to clinical trials. Prior to joining KSQ Therapeutics, René served as Director of Medicinal Chemistry at Agios Pharmaceuticals where he was responsible for leading the discovery efforts for a number of programs in the area of cancer metabolism and rare genetic diseases. During his tenure at Agios, René was a primary contributor to the discovery of AG-120, the first-in-class inhibitor of the IDH1 mutant enzyme, which is currently being evaluated in patients with cancers harboring an IDH1 mutation. Before Agios, he spent 13 years at Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals where he held scientific and leadership roles with increasing responsibility and was the recipient of the BI’s President’s Award for his work on an LFA-1 antagonism drug discovery program.

René earned his PhD in Chemistry at the University of British Columbia and completed a post-doctoral research fellowship in Chemistry with Professor Albert I. Meyers at Colorado State University. He is co-inventor of numerous patent applications and co-inventor of seventeen issued US patents in addition to having published several peer-reviewed articles in top tier journals.

Andrew Wylie, PhD, Head of Discovery Biology

Andrew Wylie has over 16 years of oncology drug discovery experience in both small biotech and big pharma environments. Prior to joining KSQ Therapeutics, Andrew served as a Director in the Oncology group at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research where he was responsible for leading drug discovery teams from early conceptual stages to the nomination of clinical candidates. In this role, Andrew led internal and external teams that identified and progressed a number of important oncology programs from lead optimization through IND-enabling studies including Asciminib (ABL001), the first allosteric inhibitor targeting BCR-ABL and LXS196 a PKC inhibitor in development for uveal melanoma. Prior to joining Novartis, Andrew held oncology drug discovery roles of increasing responsibility at Infinity Pharmaceuticals and Vertex. Andrew earned his PhD in Genetics from the University of Glasgow, Scotland, and was an AstraZeneca postdoctoral fellow based in Duke University, North Carolina, USA. He has authored several patents and published in top-tier scientific journals.

Scientific Founders

David Sabatini, MD, PhD, Founder

Dr. David M. Sabatini is one of the most respected leaders in the field of molecular cell biology, and has spent his career delving deeply into the mechanisms that regulate cell growth. He is a Member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Professor of Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He is also a Senior Associate Member at The Broad Institute MIT and Member of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT. A longtime interest of his research is the signaling pathway anchored by the mTOR kinase, which David discovered when he was an MD/PhD student at Johns Hopkins Medical School. The mTOR signaling network is a central regulator of growth, metabolism, and aging; the target of the well-known drug rapamycin; and is deregulated in common diseases, including cancer and diabetes. David’s lab is also a leader in developing new technologies such as cell-based microarrays for high throughput screening of cDNAs, and genome-scale RNAi and CRISPR/Cas9 libraries that can be applied to diverse biological problems. David has received a number of distinctions, including being named a W. M. Keck Foundation Distinguished Young Scholar, a Pew Scholar, a TR100 Innovator, a recipient of the 2009 Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research, 2012 The Earl and Thressa Stadtman Scholar Award from ASBMB, 2013 Feodor Lynen Award from Nature, the 2014 NAS Award in Molecular Biology, and the 2014 Colin Thomson Memorial Medal. In 2016, David was elected into the National Academy of Sciences.

David received his BS from Brown University magna cum laude and his MD/PhD from Johns Hopkins University in 1997. He completed his thesis work in the lab of Dr. Solomon H. Snyder in the Department of Neuroscience.

Jonathan Weissman, PhD, Founder

Dr. Jonathan Weissman is widely recognized for building innovative tools for broadly interrogating the organizational principals of biological systems. These include ribosome profiling for globally monitoring protein translation and the development of CRISRPi/a to enable fine-tuned modulating human gene expression at genome scale. He is Professor of Cellular & Molecular Pharmacology at the University of California, San Francisco and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He has received the Raymond and Beverly Sackler International Prize in Biophysics, the National Academy of Sciences Award for Scientific Discovery, the Keith R. Porter Lecture Award from the American Society for Cell Biology (2015) and the Irving Sigal Young Investigator Award from the Protein Society (2004). Dr. Weissman is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Weissman received his undergraduate physics degree from Harvard College. After obtaining a PhD in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he worked with Peter Kim, Dr. Weissman pursued postdoctoral fellowship training in Arthur Horwich’s laboratory at Yale University School of Medicine.

William Hahn, MD, PhD, Founder

Dr. William C. Hahn is a physician-scientist involved both the care of cancer patients and biomedical research directed toward a greater understanding of the mechanisms involved in malignant transformation. Dr. Hahn is a medical oncologist and Professor in the Department of Medical Oncology and an Institute Member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. He co-directs the Center for Cancer Genome Discovery, is the Chief of the Division of Molecular and Cellular Oncology and is the Chair of the Executive Committee for Research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Using genome scale tools and approaches, his laboratory is focused on the discovery of new targets and combination therapies for pancreatic, colon, breast and prostate cancer. Dr. Hahn has served as the President of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and has been elected to the Association of American Physicians. He has been the recipient of many honors and awards including the Wilson S. Stone Award from M.D. Anderson Cancer Center for outstanding research in cancer (2000), a Howard Temin Award from the National Cancer Institute (2001), the Ho-Am Prize in Medicine (2010) and the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Award from AACR (2015).

Dr. Hahn received his MD and PhD from Harvard Medical School in 1994. He then completed clinical training in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and medical oncology at DFCI. He conducted his postdoctoral studies with Dr. Robert Weinberg at the Whitehead Institute and joined the faculty of DFCI and Harvard Medical School in 2001.

Tim Wang, PhD, Founder

Tim Wang has pioneered the development of a novel method for conducting genome-wide genetic screens in human cells using the CRISPR/Cas9 system. He is a PhD student in the Department of Biology at MIT conducting his thesis research in the laboratories of David Sabatini and Eric Lander. Using the CRISPR/Cas9 approach, he has identified the set of genes required for proliferation in a human cancer cell line; his seminal work was published in two Science papers in 2014 and 2105. By extending this approach across a large collection of cancers, it will be possible to pinpoint highly specific vulnerabilities which may be exploited for the development of targeted cancer therapies.

Tim received a BS in bioengineering from the University of California, Berkeley and a PhD in biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a recipient of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, the NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award, the 2016 Harold M. Weintraub Graduate Student Award, and the 2017 Forbes 30 Under 30 Award in Healthcare. He is currently conducting postdoctoral studies at the Janelia Research Campus.

Board of Directors

Jim Gilbert, MBA, Chairman of the Board

Jim Gilbert is Senior Partner at Flagship Pioneering. He joined Flagship in 2016, bringing to the firm more than 35 years of experience in business strategy for life sciences and healthcare companies. At Flagship, Jim participates in corporate innovation partnerships and investments for the nutritional health sector of the firm. He is also involved with strategic planning for the broader Flagship organization.

Jim began his career at Bain & Company, where he stayed for over 24 years. Based in Boston and Munich, Jim served as the managing director of Bain’s Global Healthcare Practice, with a focus on serving medical technology, biopharmaceuticals, and life science tools clients. He also held the position of chairman of the management committee. As a leading member of Global Strategy Practice at Bain, Jim was a published author and speaker, sharing insights on medical technology and pharmaceutical industry strategic trends and issues as well as “profit pool-based” and “strategic principled-based” strategy implementation.

After Bain, Jim joined Boston Scientific as group president of the Global Cardiovascular Group and executive vice president of corporate strategy, business development, marketing, and health economics and reimbursement. Among other duties, he was responsible for providing strategic support on key projects and growth initiatives within Boston Scientific’s broad portfolio.

Most recently, Jim worked as an investor, board member, and advisor in the healthcare and life sciences industry. Before joining Flagship in 2016, Jim served as a senior advisor to the investment firm, General Atlantic, and as a senior operating executive at Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe. He was on the board of directors of Nestlé Health Science between 2012 and 2016. Jim is on the boards of multiple healthcare and life sciences companies, including Flagship portfolio companies TransMedics, Rubius Therapeutics, and Sigilon. Jim joined Rubius as director in 2015 and served as the company’s chairman until mid-2016. He is on the board of several other companies, including ECG Management Consultants and National Dentex Corp.

Jim graduated from Cornell University School of Engineering, where he earned a BS in industrial engineering and operations research with high distinction, and he holds an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School.

David Meeker, MD, Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Meeker is the President & CEO of KSQ, a biotech company with a proprietary CRISPRomics drug discovery engine. Utilizing this engine, KSQ is advancing a pipeline of oncology and immuno-oncology drug development programs. Dr. Meeker was formerly the President and CEO of Genzyme, a Sanofi company, a position he assumed when Genzyme merged with Sanofi in 2011. He was also a member of the executive committee.

In his career with Genzyme, Dr. Meeker held key positions of increasing responsibility beginning in the R&D organization and subsequently in operating roles, culminating in the position of Chief Operating Officer at the time of the merger. In his most recent role within Sanofi, he headed Sanofi-Genzyme, the specialty care unit with responsibility for Rare Diseases, MS, Oncology and Immunology franchises.

Prior to joining Genzyme, Dr. Meeker was the Director of the Pulmonary Critical Care Fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic and an assistant professor of medicine at Ohio State University. He completed his internal medicine training at Harvard’s Beth Israel Hospital and his pulmonary/critical training at Boston University. He completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School in 2000.

Dr. Meeker is the Chairman of the Board of Rhythm Pharmaceuticals, and Trevi Therapeutics and a member of the board at Myokardia. He also serves on the boards of the Biomedical Science Careers Program, the Network for Excellence in Health Innovation and the Dimock Center, a Boston based community health center.

David Berry, MD, PhD, Board Member

David Berry is General Partner at Flagship Ventures. He focuses on innovating, entrepreneuring, and investing in new ventures in life sciences and sustainability. He is a founder of Flagship portfolio companies Joule Unlimited, Eleven Biotherapeutics (NASDAQ: EBIO), Seres Therapeutics (NASDAQ: MCRB), Pronutria Biosciences, LS9 (acquired by Renewable Energy Group) and Symbiota. David has served as founding CEO of Joule, Pronutria and Seres. He currently serves on the boards of Eleven, Pronutria and Avedro. He was previously a Board member of CGI Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Gilead), Joule, Seres and Symbiota.

David currently serves on the Leadership Council of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network. He is currently on the Boards of the Hackley School and the Juventas New Music Ensemble, and has served on the MIT Corporation, its Board of Trustees as well as the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra.

Prior to Flagship, David received an MD from Harvard Medical School and a PhD from the MIT Biological Engineering Division, working in the laboratories of Professors Ram Sasisekharan and Bob Langer, completing the dual degree in just over 5 years.


Alan Crane, MBA, Board Member

Alan Crane is a Partner and Entrepreneur at Polaris Partners focusing on building and investing in healthcare companies. He has served as founder and/or has played a significant role as chairman and CEO in building six Polaris companies including: Momenta Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: MNTA), Cerulean Pharma (NASDAQ:CERU), Visterra, Navitor Pharmaceuticals, XTuit Pharmaceuticals and Arsia Therapeutics. In addition, he currently serves on the board of Seventh Sense Biosystems and has previously represented Polaris on the boards of T2 Biosystems (NASDAQ: TTOO), Ocular Therapeutix (NASDAQ: OCUL), Sirtris Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: SIRT, acquired by Glaxo SmithKline) and Adnexus Therapeutics (acquired by Bristol Myers Squibb).

From 2002 to 2006, Alan was President and CEO of Momenta Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: MNTA). He joined Momenta as the fifth employee and built it into a public company, creating an advanced and diversified pipeline, entering into two strategic collaborations with Novartis and raising $275 million. The first product from Momenta’s pipeline achieved over $1B during its first year of sales.

Prior to Polaris, Alan was Senior Vice President of Global Corporate Development at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, where he was responsible for leading Millennium’s strategic partnering, mergers and acquisitions, and licensing activities, generating over $2B in partner funding and acquiring 19 development stage products. Among these products was Velcade which became the main basis of the company’s $9B acquisition by Takeda. Before joining Millennium, Alan was a marketing executive at DuPont-Merck and a consultant with the Boston Consulting Group and Arthur D. Little.

Alan earned a BA in Biology, summa cum laude, from Harvard College, an MA in Cellular and Developmental Biology from Harvard Graduate School of Arts & Sciences and an MBA, with honors, from Harvard Business School. He also spent two years studying towards an MD at Harvard Medical School.

George Golumbeski, PhD, Board Member

Trained as a research scientist (Doctorate in Genetics), George has become a leader at enabling young, innovation-driven companies that seek to bring breakthrough medications to patients suffering from cancer and/or chronic inflammation. In his 25+ years in this sector, George has held senior positions in R&D and business development. He has worked on many medications that have reached the market and are benefiting patients worldwide, and he is known globally in the biotechnology industry for his interest in leading-edge science and his innovative approaches to forging inter-company collaborations. George was most recently Executive Vice President of Business Development for Celgene Corporation, where he was responsible for the full array of worldwide business development activities including evaluation of opportunities, structuring and negotiating collaborations, mergers and acquisitions, and alliance management.

George earned a BA in Biology from the University of Virginia and a PhD in Genetics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. George has served on the Board of Directors of multiple biotechnology companies.

Richard Moscicki, MD, Board Member

Richard Moscicki has more than 25 years of leadership experience in translational medicine, clinical development, regulatory affairs and medical affairs in the pharmaceutical industry.

Rich is currently the Executive Vice President for Science and Regulatory Advocacy and the Chief Medical Officer at Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). From 2013 to 2017, prior to joining PhRMA, he served as the Deputy Center Director for Science Operations for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER). Rich was senior vice president and head of Clinical Development at Sanofi-Genzyme from 2011-2013. He was Chief Medical Officer at Genzyme Corporation from 1992 to 2011, where he was responsible for worldwide global regulatory and pharmacovigilance, as well as all aspects of clinical research and medical affairs.

Rich is board certified in internal medicine, diagnostic and laboratory immunology, and allergy and immunology. He completed his residency in internal medicine, followed by a fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital in clinical immunology and immunopathology. He remained on staff at MGH and on the faculty of Harvard Medical School from 1979 until 2013. Rich received his medical degree from Northwestern University Medical School.

Scientific Advisory Board

Diane Mathis, PhD, Immuno-Oncology Advisor

Dr. Diane Mathis is a Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunobiology at Harvard Medical School and the Morton Grove-Rasmussen Chair in Immunohematology. She is also a Principal Faculty Member at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and an Associate Faculty Member of the Broad Institute. Her lab works in the fields of T cell differentiation, autoimmunity, and inflammation. Prior to her current positions, Dr. Mathis was a Professor of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and at Harvard Medical School and Associate Research Director and Head of the Section on Immunology and Immunogenetics at Joslin Diabetes Center. Earlier in her career, Dr. Mathis established a laboratory at the Laboratoire de Génétique Moléculaire des Eucaryotes [LGME, later the Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire (IGBMC)] in conjunction with Dr. Christophe Benoist. She presently serves on advisory boards of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Genentech, MedImmune, Pfizer, and Amgen, among others, and of several research institutes worldwide. Dr. Mathis was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 2003, the German Academy in 2007, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2012. She has trained more than 150 students and postdoctoral fellows. Dr. Mathis obtained a PhD from the University of Rochester and performed postdoctoral studies at the Laboratoire de Génétique Moléculaire des Eucaryotes in Strasbourg, France and at Stanford University Medical Center.

Randolph J. Noelle, PhD, Immuno-Oncology Advisor

Dr. Randolph Noelle is a Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. The Noelle lab has contributed extensively to identifying critical immunoregulatory molecules that control immunity and tolerance. In 1991, his lab discovered a novel membrane protein expressed on helper T lymphocytes (Th), CD154. The receptor for CD154 is CD40. This ligand-receptor pair plays a central role in the control of antibody- and cell-mediated immunity and tolerance, and CD154-targeted therapeutics are currently in development. In 2011, Dr. Noelle’s lab discovered VISTA, a novel immune checkpoint regulatory protein. Biologics targeting human VISTA are currently undergoing clinical trials in solid cancer. Research form the Noelle lab has also advanced understanding of long-lived immune memory and the control of immunity by retinoids. From 2009-2014, current with his position at Dartmouth, Dr. Noelle held a joint appointment as a Professor at Kings College London. In 2008, he founded ImmuNext, a company that has developed a number of new immunoregulatory drugs, some of which have entered clinical trials. Dr. Noelle is the recipient of a Wellcome Principle Research Fellowship Award. He received a PhD at the Albany Medical College of Union College in Biochemistry and Microbiology and trained as a postdoctoral fellow at Southwestern University in Dallas Texas.

Sergio Quezada, PhD, Immuno-Oncology Advisor

Dr. Sergio Quezada is a Professorial Research Fellow and Group Leader at UCL Cancer Institute in London, where he heads the Immune Regulation and Tumour Immunotherapy Laboratory. Dr. Quezada’s research is focused on the mechanism of action of anti-CTLA-4, anti-PD-1, and other immune-modulatory antibodies targeting co-inhibitory and co-stimulatory pathways (including ICOS, 4-1BB, OX-40) that are in use as novel anticancer therapies. His group has particular interest in the evolution of the immune response to cancer, the impact of immune-modulatory antibodies in the fate and function of tumor reactive T cells, and the role of the tumor microenvironment in the response and resistance to such therapies. Through a number of clinical collaborations, his team recently gained significant expertise in the characterization and interrogation of the immune function within the microenvironment of different human cancers, including melanoma, lung, and kidney cancers. The team expects its work to contribute to the identification of relevant immune-modulatory pathways that control anti-tumor immunity in different cancers, the understanding of the impact of conventional therapies in the expression of immune checkpoints, and the design of novel rational combinations incorporating conventional-, targeted-, and immune-based therapies. Prior to his position with UCL Cancer Institute, Dr. Quezada worked with Dr. James Allison at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center studying the mechanisms governing anti-tumor T-cell immunity and how they can be manipulated to generate potent anti-tumor immune responses. Dr. Quezada is the recipient of a Cancer Research UK Senior Cancer Research Fellowship, a Cancer Research UK Career Development Fellowship, a Cancer Research Institute investigator Award, and Dartmouth’s John W. Strohbern Medal for excellence in biomedical research. He received a BS in biochemistry from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and a PhD in immunology from the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth.

Jeff Saunders, PhD, Drug Discovery Advisor

Dr. Jeff Saunders has nearly 30 years of drug discovery, team-building, and leadership experience in start-up and early stage discovery organizations and has been a pioneer and leader in developing and evolving outsourcing models for effective and highly productive drug design teams. He most recently held the position of Vice President of Small Molecule Drug Discovery at Ember Therapeutics. Prior to joining Ember in 2012, he was Vice President of Chemistry at Agios. Dr. Saunders also worked as a consultant at Elixir Pharmaceuticals, where he managed chemistry and related intellectual property for five years. Previously, he held the position of Principal Investigator at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, where he worked for 14 years as chemistry head and project head for multiple programs. Previously, he was a research scientist at the Squibb Institute for Medical Research. Dr. Saunders received a PhD in synthetic organic chemistry at the University of South Carolina and held an NIH postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania. He received an AB in chemistry from Hope College in Michigan.

Charles L. Sawyers, MD, Clinical Oncology Advisor

Charles L. Sawyers is Chair of the Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Dr. Sawyers studies mechanisms of cancer drug resistance with an eye toward developing novel therapies. He co-discovered the antiandrogen drug, enzalutamide, which was approved by the FDA in 2012 for treatment of advanced prostate cancer. He shared the 2009 Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award for the development of the ABL kinase inhibitor, imatinib, for patients with chronic myeloid leukemia and the second-generation ABL inhibitor, dasatinib, to overcome imatinib resistance. Dr. Sawywers received the 2013 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, the 2013 Taubman Prize for Excellence in Translational Medical Science, and the 2015 BBVA Knowledge Award in Biomedicine. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is past President of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and the American Society of Clinical Investigation (ASCI), was appointed to the National Cancer Advisory Board by President Obama, and has served on the Board of Directors of Novartis since 2013. Dr. Sawyers received a BA from Princeton University and an MD from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, followed by a residency in internal medicine at The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He became a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator while at UCLA.

Alice T. Shaw, MD, PhD, Clinical Oncology Advisor

Dr. Alice Shaw is the Director of the Center for Thoracic Cancers and the Paula O’Keeffe Endowed Chair of Thoracic Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital. She is also an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. In addition to caring for patients with lung cancer, Dr. Shaw performs clinical and translational research. Her clinical research focuses on a variety of molecularly defined subsets of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Her translational research focuses on elucidating mechanisms of resistance to targeted therapies. Based on her research, she has helped to develop numerous FDA-approved targeted therapies for patients with oncogene-driven NSCLC, and her current efforts focus on developing novel combinatorial strategies aimed at overcoming drug resistance. Dr. Shaw has been awarded a number of research grants, including grants from the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the V Foundation for Cancer Research, Uniting Against Lung Cancer, the National Foundation for Cancer Research, and the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute. Dr. Shaw is an elected member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation. She received MD and PhD degrees from Harvard Medical School and an AB in biochemistry from Harvard University. Dr. Shaw completed a residency in internal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, a fellowship in hematology/oncology at Dana-Farber/Massachusetts General Hospital, and postdoctoral work in the laboratory of Dr. Tyler Jacks at MIT.

Chris Vakoc, MD, PhD, Functional Genomics Advisor

Dr. Chris Vakoc is an Associate Professor at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. His laboratory is focused on identifying novel transcriptional regulators of cancer cell growth with an objective of developing next-generation cancer therapies. Prior to his current position, as a Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Fellow, Dr. Vakoc initiated research into how chromatin modifications support the pathogenesis of leukemia. A key focus of this work involved the use genetic screens to reveal unique chromatin regulator dependencies in leukemia cells, which led to the discovery of BRD4 as a therapeutic target in this disease. Dr. Vakoc is the recipient of a Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Scholar Award, the AACR Outstanding Achievement in Cancer Research Award, and the Pershing Square Sohn Cancer Research Alliance Prize. He earned PhD and MD degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and a BS in biochemistry from Penn State. He performed his PhD dissertation research in the laboratory of Gerd Blobel, where he studied basic mechanisms of long-range enhancer function, hematopoietic transcription factors, and histone lysine methylation.

Drew Pardoll, MD, PhD, Immuno-Oncology Advisor

Dr. Drew Pardoll is an Abeloff Professor of Oncology, Medicine, Pathology and Molecular Biology and Genetics at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is the Director of the Bloomberg-Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy and Director of the Cancer Immunology Program at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins. Dr. Pardoll joined the Johns Hopkins departments of oncology and medicine in 1988. Dr. Pardoll has contributed a number of basic advances in cellular immunology, including the discovery of gamma-delta T cells, NKT cells, and interferon-producing killer dendritic cells. Over the past two decades, Dr. Pardoll has studied molecular aspects of dendritic cell biology and immune regulation, particularly related to mechanisms by which cancer cells evade elimination by the immune system. He is an inventor of a number of immunotherapies, including GVAX cancer vaccines and Listeria monocytogenes-based cancer vaccines. Dr. Pardoll’s basic immunology discoveries include the identification of gd-T cells, NKT cells, and IKDC. He elucidated the role of Stat3 signaling in tumor immune evasion and in Th17 development, leading to the discovery that Stat3-driven Th17 responses promote carcinogenesis. Dr. Pardoll discovered one of the two ligands for the PD-1 inhibitory receptor and leads the Hopkins cancer immunology program that developed PD-1 pathway-targeted antibodies, demonstrating their clinical activity in multiple cancer types. Dr. Pardoll has published more than 300 papers as well as over 20 book chapters on the subjects of T cell immunology, cancer vaccines, gene therapies, cancer prevention technologies, recombinant immune modulatory agents for specific pathways that regulate immunity to cancer, and infectious diseases. He has served on the editorial board of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute and Cancer Cell, and he has served as a member of scientific advisory boards for the Cancer Research Institute, the University of Pennsylvania Human Gene Therapy Gene Institute, Biologic Resources Branch of the National Cancer Institute, Harvard-Dana Farber Cancer Center, Cerus Corporation, Global Medical Products Corporation, Genencor Corporation, CellGenesys Corporation, Mojave Therapeutics, the American Association of Clinical Oncology, and the American Association of Cancer Research.

Dr. Pardoll earned his MD and PhD degrees from The Johns Hopkins University, where he completed his medical residency and oncology fellowship. He then worked for three years at the National Institutes of Health as a Medical Staff Fellow.