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Arsenal Biosciences, Inc. is a clinical stage, programmable cell therapy company focused on solid tumor cell therapies to defeat cancer.

With our programmable and computationally driven approach, we aim for enhanced and broader activity and safety profile.

Working together across technology, biological sciences, clinical and manufacturing disciplines, our team is designing medicines with multiple pharmaceutical functions to attack cancer’s inherent multi-faceted nature.

Engineering Hope

Our team is built of experienced scientists, engineers, clinicians and operations working hand-in-hand to deliver potential breakthroughs for people with cancer, and bring therapies to patients. We prioritize the team’s outcomes over individual goals to achieve our company mission – together.

Leadership Team

Ken Drazan, MD

Chairman, CEO, Co-Founder
Ken Drazan MD is Chairman, CEO, and co-founder of ArsenalBio. Immediately prior to Arsenal, Ken held the positions of President and Chief Business Officer of GRAIL (Acquired by ILMN). Prior to GRAIL, Ken founded and was a Board Director of Verb Surgical (Acquired by JNJ). Ken also co-founded private equity firm Bertram Capital with .9B AUM. Ken is a Board certified liver transplant surgeon with previous faculty appointments at Stanford and UCLA.

W. Nicholas Haining BM BCh

Chief Scientific Officer
W. Nicholas Haining, B.M., B.Ch. is a physician-scientist, immunologist, drug developer, and one of our company's founders. He received his undergraduate and medical degree from Oxford University, UK, and completed his medical training in Pediatrics at Boston Children's Hospital and subsequently in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. As an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and an Associate Member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard his lab defined some of the key transcriptional and epigenetic regulators of T cell exhaustion and used in vivo genetic screens to identify immune vulnerabilities of cancer cells in mouse models. His clinical expertise is in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and he attended on the bone marrow transplant service at Boston Children’s Hospital for almost twenty years. Most recently, he served as Vice-President, Discovery Oncology and Immunology at Merck Research Laboratories, where he led a multi-site, multidisciplinary team developing innovative approaches to identify therapies for cancer and immune diseases. Dr. Haining was elected into the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and received the Presidential Early Career Award for Science and Engineering.

Susie Jun MD PhD

Chief Medical Officer
Susie Jun headshot
Susie is an internationally recognized physician/scientist and strategic thinker with over 20 years of experience in clinical and translational research dedicated to improving the lives of patients. As an accomplished biopharmaceutical executive, Susie brings to her role as Chief Medical Officer at Arsenal Bio a proven track record of building and leading diverse teams of talented people who have successfully delivered novel and life-altering therapies. Prior to joining Arsenal Bio, Susie served as Chief Development Officer at Allogene Therapeutics, a clinical-stage company pioneering the development of allogeneic CAR T cell therapy. Susie has also served as Vice President, Head of Development for Abbvie-Stemcentrx and led the Companion Diagnostics Center of Excellence at Abbvie. Prior to Abbvie, Susie served in senior roles at Gilead and Amgen, leading the development of innovative oncology and hematology programs such as XGEVA®, Nplate®, and BLINCYTO®. Susie received her M.D. from The University of Michigan Medical School, and her Ph.D. from The Rockefeller University. She completed her internal medicine training at Parkland Memorial Hospital, UT-Southwestern Medical Center, and her medical oncology and hematology training at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. Susie is a founding member of the Chicago chapter of Chief, an organization dedicated to supporting, empowering, and mentoring women C-suite leaders.

Irene Pleasure, PhD, JD

General Counsel & Corporate Secretary
Irene brings 22 years of experience in life science law, working in a large global life science company and small biotechnology companies. She has been recognized for mentoring, coaching and people development skills and being an effective collaborator across corporate groups and global cultures. Irene was previously Vir Biotechnology’s Executive Vice President & General Counsel and prior to that position served as Vir’s Vice President of Intellectual Property and Associate General Counsel. Prior to Vir, Irene was at Achaogen, Inc., serving as its Vice President of Intellectual Property from March 2018 to August 2018 and its Chief Patent Counsel from May 2017 to March 2018. From November 2003 to April 2017, Irene held various positions at Genentech, Inc., including Senior Associate General Counsel and Head of Patents. Irene was also a member of the Roche Holding AG global patent leadership team where she was involved in strategic oversight of patent issues at the local and global level. Prior to Genentech, Irene practiced intellectual property law at Morrison and Foerster LLP and QuineIP Law Group, P.C. Irene received her B.A. in Chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania, a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Thomas Jefferson University, and a J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law.

Bee Nguyen

Chief People Officer
Bee Nguyen headshot
Bee is the Chief People Officer at ArsenalBio where she focuses on developing the company’s talent and cultivating the company culture. In her position, she oversees all aspects of organizational and HR strategy including talent management, HR operations, employee development and company culture initiatives. She brings more than 20 years of experience in HR leadership roles in the biopharma and health/beauty industries. Prior to joining ArsenalBio, Bee was the Vice President/Head of Human Resources at Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc. from 2011-2020, where she helped to define the culture and build out the team during a high-growth period, from start up to IPO to 4 product approvals. Prior to Ultragenyx, Ms. Nguyen held various HR leadership roles of increasing responsibilities at InterMune, BioMarin and Bare Escentuals. Ms. Nguyen earned her B.A. in Political Science/Pre-Law from California State University, Chico.

Tim Sirichoke

Chief Technical Operations Officer
Tim Sirichoke is the Chief Technical Operations Officer, responsible for all aspects of Technical Development, Manufacturing, and Quality. Prior to joining, Tim was Vice President, INeST (individualized Neo-Antigen Specific Therapies) Manufacturing at Genentech. Vice President, Manufacturing at Kite Pharma, and at Novartis, head of Quality at the first cell and gene therapy site supporting the commercial production of Kymriah. Tim has a BS in Biology from the University of California at Berkeley.

James Ahlers

Interim CFO
James is an accomplished business leader with over 25 years of experience building both private and public life science businesses. He served as Chief Financial Officer of Intarcia Therapeutics for 19 years and has provided strategic, finance, and operational consulting services to multiple public and private life science companies. During his career, he has managed capital-raising transactions, including IPOs, which have raised in excess of $2 billion. James holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting from the University of San Francisco.

Board of Directors

Beth Seidenberg MD

Dr. Seidenberg is a founding managing director of Westlake Village BioPartners and a general partner at Kleiner Perkins, a leading venture capital firm. A longtime life sciences investor, she has incubated-invested 15 biotech ventures. Dr. Seidenberg has a demonstrated ability to identify and accelerate medically meaningful molecules through development. Her expertise is grounded in her significant senior level industry experience with leadership roles at Amgen, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Merck Research Laboratories. Most recently, at Amgen, Dr. Seidenberg was chief medical officer and head of global development. Prior to life science investing, Dr. Seidenberg’s career focused on developing new treatments for AIDS, arthritis, asthma, cancer and psoriasis, cardiovascular, metabolic, neurological and renal disorders for over 20 years. During that time, she introduced 10 innovative products to market and achieved over 40 regulatory approvals (including new indications and formulations) on a worldwide scale. Dr. Seidenberg holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and anthropology from Barnard College and attended medical school at the University of Miami School of Medicine. She completed her medical residency at Johns Hopkins University and the George Washington University, and Fellowship at the National Institutes of Health.

Sean Parker

Sean Parker is a philanthropist and entrepreneur with a record of launching genre-defining companies and organizations. He is the founder and President of the Parker Foundation, which focuses on three areas: Life Sciences, Global Public Health and Civic Engagement. In April 2016, the Parker Foundation announced a $250 million grant to form the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, building on Mr. Parker’s leadership in funding and promoting research into the relationship between the immune system and cancer. In the ensuing years, the Parker Institute has evolved into a leader in the immunotherapy field for cutting edge research collaboration and clinical development, including funding a landmark human trial using CRISPR technology. In addition to cancer research, Mr. Parker has led many initiatives that revolutionized the civic and social landscape. He was the co-founder of Napster at age 19 and of Plaxo at 21. In 2004 he partnered with Mark Zuckerberg to found Facebook and served as its first president. In 2007 he co-founded Causes on Facebook, which registered 180 million people to donate money and take action around social issues. During his tenure as Managing Partner at Founders Fund, Mr. Parker became Spotify’s first American investor. Mr. Parker is also chairman and founder of the Economic Innovation Group (EIG), based in Washington D.C. He was a key architect behind EIG’s groundbreaking Opportunity Zones program, a community investment tool that connects private capital with low-income communities across America. For his work establishing the Stand Up 2 Cancer and Cancer Research Institute's (CRI) Immunology Dream Team in 2012, Mr. Parker was honored by CRI with the Oliver R. Grace Award for Distinguished Service in Advancing Cancer Research in 2013. In 2016 he received the Pontifical Key Philanthropy Award from the Vatican, the Jefferson Foundation Award for Outstanding Public Service by a Private Citizen, and the Friends of Cancer Research Cancer Leadership Award. In 2017, he received UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital’s highest honor, the Kaleidoscope Philanthropic Leadership Award, as well as the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) Public Service Award for his efforts in championing cancer immunotherapy. In August 2018, he was nominated as a Wired Magazine “Icon" alongside Alex Marson for their roles in the research of DNA programming and genome editing in the fight against cancer. In 2018, he received the Gold Medal of Honorary Patronage from Trinity College, Dublin, and received the Kemp Leadership Award for his leadership on Opportunity Zones. Throughout the years, Mr. Parker has been voted onto various influential lists, including Time Magazine's 50 Most Influential People in Health Care, Vanity Fair’s New Establishment, Politico's Politico 50, Chronicle of Philanthropy’s Philanthropy 50, Billboard’s Power 100, and Forbes' 100 Greatest Business Minds, among others. In addition to serving as chairman of the board at the Economic Innovation Group and the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, Mr. Parker is on the Obama Foundation's Board of Directors, the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Board of Trustees and Global Citizen’s Board of Directors. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife Alexandra and their two children.

Valentin Barsan MD

Valentin (Vali) Barsan, M.D. has served as Consultant at SoftBank Group since May 2017. Dr. Barsan is currently an Instructor and Attending Physician in the Department of Pediatric Oncology at Stanford University School of Medicine where he completed clinical fellowship in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation. There, he continues to focus on expanding the utility of immunotherapies in pediatric and adult cancers using molecular monitoring and genome engineering techniques. Dr. Barsan completed his residency in Pediatrics at UC San Diego. Dr. Barsan holds a B.S. in Bioengineering at University of California, San Diego and an M.D. from Baylor College of Medicine.

Matt Fust

Matthew Fust is a board member and advisor for life sciences companies. From 2009 - 2013, he was Chief Financial Officer of Onyx Pharmaceuticals. He previously served in Chief Financial Officer roles at Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Perlegen Sciences, and ALZA Corporation. Prior to joining ALZA, Matthew was a member of the healthcare strategy consulting practice at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture). Matthew serves on the boards of Atara Biotherapeutics, Crinetics Pharmaceuticals, and Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical. He is also an advisor to Out Leadership/Quorum and Women In Bio. Matthew holds an undergraduate degree in Accounting from the University of Minnesota and an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

Brook Byers

Brook Byers is a founding member of Kleiner Perkins. A venture capital investor since 1972, Brook has been closely involved with more than 80 new technology-based ventures, many of which have become public companies. He formed the first life sciences practice group in the venture capital profession in 1984 and led KP to become a premier venture capital firm in the medical, healthcare and biotechnology sectors. KP has invested in and helped build more than 120 life sciences companies that have developed hundreds of products to treat underserved medical needs for many millions of patients. Brook has been an innovator in precision medicine and health genomics, antibodies, devices, diagnostics, and cell therapy. He was the founding president and then chairman of four biotechnology companies that were incubated in KP’s offices and went on to become public companies with an aggregate market value of more than US $8 billion. He serves on the board of directors of Arsenal, Enjoy, Newsela, Octave and Verana Health. Brook serves on the Board of Overseers of the University of California San Francisco medical campus and hospitals, the Stanford Medicine Advisory Council, the Board of Directors of the New Schools Foundation, the Advisory Board of Stanford’s Center for Precision Health and Integrated Diagnostics and the Stanford Center for Biodesign. In 2007, UCSF awarded Brook the UCSF Medal, its honorary degree equivalent. In 2008, Brook was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2009, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Venture Capital Association. In 2010, he received an honorary Ph.D. from Georgia Institute of Technology. Raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Brook graduated with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Georgia Tech and received an M.B.A. from Stanford University.

Ken Drazan, MD

Chairman, CEO, Co-Founder
Ken Drazan MD is Chairman, CEO, and co-founder of ArsenalBio. Immediately prior to Arsenal, Ken held the positions of President and Chief Business Officer of GRAIL (Acquired by ILMN). Prior to GRAIL, Ken founded and was a Board Director of Verb Surgical (Acquired by JNJ). Ken also co-founded private equity firm Bertram Capital with .9B AUM. Ken is a Board certified liver transplant surgeon with previous faculty appointments at Stanford and UCLA.

Board Observers

Wolfgang Seibold

Wolfgang Seibold headshot
Wolfgang Seibold is Partner and CFO of Hitachi Ventures, the global venture capital arm of Hitachi Group. At Hitachi Ventures he oversees the Digital and Life Sciences investment activities and has invested in leading companies in areas like AI drug development, Regenerative Medicine, Digital Health and Diagnostics. Before that, Wolfgang was Managing Partner AGIC Capital, a $2B international Private Equity fund, and prior to that partner at Earlybird Venture Capital, one of Europe’s leading Venture Capital firms. He served on multiple boards. Wolfgang started is professional career as a management consultant at The Boston Consulting. He studied physics and mathematics in Ulm, Germany and astrophysics in Newcastle, UK and holds an MBA from INSEAD.

Mike Burgess, MD, PhD

Mike Burgess headshot
Mike Burgess is Senior Vice President and Head of Translational Medicine at Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) where he leads the strategy and execution of translational research for the late development clinical pipeline across therapeutic areas including oncology, hematology, immunology, cardiovascular, and neurology. Prior to this role, Mike headed Early Clinical Development for Immuno-Oncology and Cell Therapy at BMS where he led a team of physician scientists responsible for moving programs from discovery through clinical proof-of-concept into full development. Prior to BMS, Mike initially joined Celgene’s Early Development group in 2015 to lead programs in immuno-oncology, including overseeing cell engager programs and cell therapy programs following Celgene’s acquisition of Juno.

Jacqueline Fok PhD

Jacqueline (Jackie) Fok is an Investment Vice President at SoftBank Vision Fund, focused on life sciences and health tech. She has over 10 years of experience in the life sciences industry and was previously an investor at IP Group and a scientist in the Oncology R&D unit at AstraZeneca. She holds a PhD in Cancer Biology and Therapeutics from the Institute of Cancer Research, University of London.

Scientific Advisors

Tarjei Mikkelsen, PhD

Dr. Mikkelsen served as ArsenalBio's Chief Technology Officer from 2019 to December 2023.  Prior to that, Dr. Mikkelsen held the position of Vice President, Biology at 10x Genomics, where he was responsible for development and commercialization of technologies for single-cell gene expression analysis, adaptive immune receptor repertoire sequencing and spatially resolved genomics. Prior to 10x Genomics, Dr. Mikkelsen was a principal investigator at the Broad Institute, where his laboratory developed computational and experimental methods that have generated novel insights in fields such as human genetics, immunology, and stem cell biology. Dr. Mikkelsen is a graduate of the Harvard-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology, where he received his PhD in bioinformatics and integrative genomics.

E. John Wherry PhD

ArsenalBio Co-founder
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. Dr. Wherry received his Ph.D. at Thomas Jefferson University in 2000 then did postdoctoral research at Emory University with Dr. Rafi Ahmed from 2000-2004. Dr. Wherry was appointed Assistant Professor in 2005 in the Immunology Program at The Wistar Institute and then joined the Department of Microbiology in the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine in 2010. He became the Director of the Institute for Immunology in 2012 and Chair of the Department of Systems Pharmacology and Translational Therapeutics in 2018. Dr. Wherry has received numerous distinctions and honors for his consistent and significant contributions to immunology, infectious disease and cancer research including the Distinguished Alumni award from the Thomas Jefferson University, the Cancer Research Institute’s Frederick W. Alt Award for New Discoveries in Immunology and the Stand Up To Cancer Phillip A. Sharp Award. Dr. Wherry has over 190 publications in top international journals. He has an H-Index of 87 and his publications have been cited over 43,000 times. Dr. Wherry’s research has pioneered the field of T cell exhaustion – the fundamental mechanisms by which T cell responses (and likely those of other immune cells) are shut off or attenuated during chronic infections and cancer. His discoveries helped to identify the role of the “checkpoint” molecule PD-1 and the ability to block this pathway to reinvigorate exhausted T cells. His group was also one of the first to demonstrate that targeting multiple co-inhibitory receptors simultaneously could synergistically improve therapeutic efficacy, a foundation for current combination immunotherapy efforts in humans. Dr. Wherry’s work has also created the transcriptional and epigenetic atlas of exhausted versus functional T cell biology and this atlas of information has led to numerous mechanistic discoveries that helped define exhausted T cells as a distinct immune lineage. Finally, his laboratory has been a pioneer in using transcriptomics, high dimensional cytometry, and systems immunology approaches to study immune oncology, human vaccine responses and human infectious disease. Ongoing work in his laboratory focuses on applying transcriptional, epigenetic, single cell and systems immunology approaches to study exhausted T cells and other immune cells in health and disease.

Kole T. Roybal PhD

ArsenalBio Co-founder
Dr. Roybal is an Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of California, San Francisco. He received his doctorate in Immunology from UT Southwestern Medical Center and was a Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund Postdoctoral Fellow in the laboratory of Wendell A. Lim at UCSF and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He is currently the site head of the Parker Institute of Cancer Immunotherapy at UCSF, a member of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, and an inaugural Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Investigator. He is also the Deputy Director of the UCSF Center for Synthetic Immunology recently funded by the Cancer Moonshot Initiative. He was awarded the Sartorius and Science Magazine Prize for Regenerative Medicine and Cell Therapy and the NIH New Innovator Award in 2018. The Roybal lab harnesses the tools of Synthetic Biology and Immunology to control and customize immune cell therapeutics for cancer and autoimmunity. His body of work was foundational to the next-generation immune cell therapy company, Cell Design Labs, where he was a founding scientist. Cell Design Labs was acquired by Gilead at the end of 2017.

Brad Bernstein MD PhD

ArsenalBio Co-founder
Dr. Bernstein is a Professor of Pathology and Director of the Epigenomics Program at the Broad Institute. Bernstein’s research focuses on epigenetic gene regulation. His lab studies how gene activity is controlled by noncoding regulatory elements called ‘enhancers’, and by the way the genes are packaged into chromatin. He is a leader of the NIH’s ENCODE project that is mapping the locations and functions of all noncoding elements in the human genome. His work is notable for the identification of specialized chromatin structures that underlie stem cell pluripotency, enhancers associated with autoimmunity and other diseases, and specific epigenetic aberrations that lead to cancer. Bernstein received his B.S. from Yale University and his M.D. and Ph.D. from the University of Washington, before completing a residency in clinical pathology and postdoctoral research at Harvard University. Honors include an Early Career Scientist Award from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, a Career Award in the Biomedical Sciences from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, an American Cancer Society Professorship and the Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research. Bernstein is a founder and advisor for Fulcrum Therapeutics, which develops therapies to alter the activities of disease-causing genes, and HiFiBio Inc, a therapeutic antibody discovery company. He also serves on the Scientific Advisory Board for Cell Signaling Technologies.

Alexander Marson MD PhD

ArsenalBio Co-founder
Dr. Marson’s research goal is to understand the genetic circuits that control human immune cell function. Dr. Marson and colleagues have developed new tools to accomplish efficient genome engineering in primary human immune cells with CRISPR. With this technology scientists can now readily re-write specific sequences in human cells and interrogate the biological effects. These advances in genome editing will accelerate fundamental insights into how immune cells are "wired" and have potential to enhance the next generation of cell-based immunotherapies for cancer, infectious diseases, organ transplantation and autoimmune diseases. Dr. Marson completed his MD/PhD training at Harvard/MIT, Internal Medicine residency at Brigham and Women’s and Infectious Diseases fellowship at UCSF. Alex was a UCSF Sandler Faculty Fellow from 2013-2016. He is now a Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, with joint appointments in the Department of Medicine and the UCSF Diabetes Center. He is also the Scientific Director of Biomedicine at the Innovative Genomics Institute and a member of the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Marson has been recognized with the American Society of Clinical Investigation (ASCI) Young Physician-Scientist Award, the Burroughs Wellcome Foundation Career Award for Medical Scientists, and the NIDA/NIH Avenir New Innovator Award. He was recently named one of the inaugural Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Investigators. He is also the site head of the Parker Institute of Cancer Immunotherapy at Gladstone-UCSF.

Cameron Turtle MBBS PhD

Dr. Turtle completed medical training at the University of Sydney, Australia, followed by Fellowships of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia, and a PhD in Immunology. He is an Associate Member and the Anderson Family Endowed Chair for Immunotherapy at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC) and Associate Professor at the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle, WA. He serves as an attending physician on the Hematopoietic Cell Transplant (HCT) Service and the Immunotherapy Service at FHCRC, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) and the UW Medical Center, and has a research laboratory in the Clinical Research Division at FHCRC. His laboratory is focused on understanding the characteristics human T cells, their potential utility for tumor immunotherapy, and their role in immune reconstitution after HCT. Dr. Turtle is Principal Investigator and IND sponsor of several investigator-initiated clinical trials of CD19-targeted chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-modified T cell therapy for patients with B cell malignancies.

Padmanee Sharma, MD, PhD.

Padmanee Sharma headshot
Dr. Sharma is a nationally and internationally renowned physician scientist who is a pioneer in the field of immune checkpoint therapy. In 2006, Dr. Sharma designed and conducted the first neoadjuvant (pre-surgical) clinical trial with immune checkpoint therapy. She designed and conducted multiple clinical trials, which eventually led to FDA-approval of immune checkpoint therapy for cancer patients, including patients with bladder cancer as well as patients with renal cell carcinoma. She conducted key experiments to define biologic pathways that are involved in anti-tumor responses, including ICOS + effector T cells and tertiary lymphoid structures. She also performed innovative studies to define mechanisms of resistance to immune checkpoint therapy, including loss of signaling in the IFN-pathway, VISTA, and epigenetic pathways such as EZH2. In addition, she identified organ-specific immune responses that contribute to resistance of bone metastases to immune checkpoint therapy. Her detailed laboratory studies have allowed her to design and implement rational combination clinical trials to overcome resistance mechanisms. Currently, Dr. Sharma focuses her effort on a “reverse translation” process that encompasses studies on human immune responses to generate hypotheses related to mechanisms of tumor rejection, which she tests in appropriately designed pre-clinical models, and subsequently uses the new data to design novel clinical trials to improve outcomes for patients with cancer. She is the inaugural Scientific Director of the Immunotherapy Platform, Professor in the Departments of Genitourinary Medical Oncology and Immunology, the T.C. and Jeanette Hsu Endowed Chair in Cell Biology, and Co-Director of Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. She is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI); received the Emil Frei III Award for Excellence in Translational Research in 2016; the Coley Award for Distinguished Research for Tumor Immunology in 2018; and honored with the Women in Science with Excellence (WISE) award in 2020.

Christopher Hunter PhD

Christopher Hunter headshot
Christopher Hunter is recognized as an international leader in the role of cytokines in the induction of innate and adaptive immunity to infection, as well as their role in the resolution of inflammatory processes. His collaborative studies with the academic and biotechnology communities over the last 25 years on the IL-12 family members has helped to define their role in the induction of cell mediated immunity that have been broadly relevant to many types of inflammatory processes. For example, his discovery that IL-27 was a potent inhibitor of cell mediated immunity has formed the basis for work on its therapeutic potential in cancer and autoimmunity and continues to be a focus of the laboratory. Professor Hunter obtained his Ph.D. at the University of Glasgow, Britain and a post- doctoral fellowship at Glasgow developed his interest in the role of cytokines in immunity in the CNS. This was followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University working on Toxoplasma, before joining the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania. There his research group continues to study the cytokines that influence innate and adaptive immunity to parasitic infections. His collaborative studies with the academic and biotechnology communities over the last 25 years on the IL-12 family members has helped to define their role in the induction of cell mediated immunity that have been broadly relevant to many types of inflammatory processes. For example, his discovery that IL-27 was a potent inhibitor of cell mediated immunity has formed the basis for work on its therapeutic potential in cancer and autoimmunity and continues to be a focus of the laboratory. Dr. Hunter is recognized as an international leader in the role of cytokines in the induction of innate and adaptive immunity to infection, as well as their role in the resolution of inflammatory processes. He has provided service as a journal editor or member of editorial boards as well as extensive peer review for the NIH and HHMI. He is currently the president of the International Cytokine and Interferon Society, served as Chair of the Department of Pathobiology and is currently the Mindy Halikman Heyer President's Distinguished Chair and Director of the Institute for Infection and Zoonotic Diseases.

Ananda Goldrath PhD

Dr. Ananda Goldrath is a Professor and Chair of the Molecular Biology Section in the Division of Biological Sciences at the University of California, San Diego where she joined the faculty in 2004. She holds a Tata Chancellor’s Professorship in the Division of Biological Sciences and is a Pew Scholar and Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Fellow. She trained with Professor Michael Bevan in the Department of Immunology at the University of Washington for her graduate studies and Professors Diane Mathis and Christophe Benoit at the Joslin Diabetes Center and Harvard Medical School for her postdoctoral fellowship. Her work has contributed to the understanding of transcriptional regulation of T cell activation, differentiation, and homeostasis. Dr. Goldrath’s current research focuses on investigating new approaches to induce the immune system to provide protection from infections and eradicate malignancies.

Howard Y. Chang PhD

Howard Y. Chang M.D., Ph.D. is Director of the Center for Personal Dynamic Regulomes and the Virginia and D.K. Ludwig Professor of Cancer Genomics at Stanford University. He is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator; he is also Professor of Dermatology and of Genetics at Stanford University School of Medicine. Chang earned a Ph.D. in Biology from MIT, M.D. from Harvard Medical School, and completed Dermatology residency and postdoctoral training at Stanford University. His research addresses how large sets of genes are turned on or off together, which is important in normal development, cancer, and aging. Chang discovered a new class of genes, termed long noncoding RNAs, can control gene activity throughout the genome, illuminating a new layer of biological regulation. He invented ATAC-seq and other new methods for defining DNA regulatory elements genome-wide and in single cells. The long term goal of his research is to decipher the regulatory information in the genome to benefit human health. Dr. Chang’s honors include the NAS Award for Molecular Biology, Outstanding Investigator Award of the National Cancer Institute, Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research, Judson Daland Prize of the American Philosophical Society, and the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise. He is a Member of the National Academy of Medicine, American Society for Clinical Investigation and Academia Sinica. His work was honored by the journal Cell as a Landmark paper over the last 40 years and by Science as “Insight of the decade”.