See also: https://www.acswomenandwellness.com/honorees
Head Oncology, Translational Strategy,
(Unpaid consultant to BreakBio)
In his role of Head Oncology Translational Strategy, Dr Sachsenmeier is leading the development of new cancer treatments by translating advances in new research and integrating this with existing drugs to create new approaches to curing cancer.
Kris studied at the University of Wisconsin, Madison for both undergraduate and graduate degrees in Biochemistry, Immunology and Toxicology. Next, he studied tumor viruses during a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh in the lab of Dr. Jim Pipas. Kris then worked in two startup-biotechnology companies: Automated Cell in Pittsburgh and Arius in Toronto. In both companies, Kris led teams doing anti-cancer antibody discovery. After joining Medimmune, Kris led the first Oncology Research bi-specific antibody project as well as various “Function First” target/lead discovery projects. One of these projects led to discovery of a functionally active antibody targeting CD73, an ectoenzyme which generates adenosine within the tumor microenvironment. Kris led the project team from target discovery, through validation, lead isolation and discovery through to filing of an IND and support of the clinical team for what became the first anti-CD73 antibody to enter human clinical trials: MEDI9447. Prior to Takeda Oncology, Kris was with the Translational Sciences team at Astrazeneca.
Ken Shapiro is a former serial entrepreneur and now advises successful entrepreneurs, founders and CEOs of rapidly growing companies on their personal financial issues related to their families, strategic business exit planning and inter-generational wealth planning. His wife Patricia was diagnosed with rectal cancer in 2017. Ken dug deeply into colorectal cancer, he travelled the world meeting the very top doctors, researched every appropriate clinical trial he could find and convinced his wife’s doctors at MSK to combine unique experimental treatments that he pulled together from collaboration between cross-institutional specialists. This helped, but was not enough. From this Ken learned that beyond front line chemo there is no very effective treatment for metastatic colorectal cancer. Ken therefore became determined to make a difference and achieve success against this cancer in his lifetime.
Former Head of Mass Spectrometry at MD Anderson
Dr. Hawke has significant experience in proteomics and protein chemistry, and is considered a leader in mass spectrometry. Dr Hawke has special interest in MHC peptides, modified amino acids and post-translational modifications.
As former head of MD Anderson’s proteomics facility, he used mass spectrometry to detect antigens for an academic colorectal cancer trial, the only clinical trial ever to do mass spectrometry for each patient, synthesize the peptides vaccine based on this data for each patient, and vaccinate each patient with these tailor made peptides.
Additionally, Dr Hawke has held several leadership positions as Senior Applications Scientist, at Applied Biosystems and PerSeptive Biosystems, as Applications Development Manager at BioMolecular Technologies, and Technical Contributor, Protein Chemistry Systems at Hewlett-Packard Co. He has also held roles as Senior Project Chemist, Oxford GlycoSystems Ltd., Abingdon, England, UK., as Scientist, Chemical Research and Development, at Applied Biosystems, and Research Associate, Division of Immunology, Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope, Duarte, CA.
Dr Hawke received a B.S. in Chemistry at M.I.T., Cambridge, followed by a M.S. in Organic Chemistry from CalTech, Pasadena, and a Ph.D. In Bioanalytical Chemistry from the University of the Pacific, Stockton. He is also very widely published having 129 peer reviewed publications, to his credit.
Head of AncestryDNA
Former Head of Amazon Genomics and Diagnostics
Brian brings with him a wealth of skills and thought leadership that span general management, commercial and operational leadership, as well as global experience in both small entrepreneurial companies and large matrixed multinational companies.
In his present role of Senior Vice President at AncestryDNA at Ancestry, Mr Donnelly will work to advance scientific innovation and develop Ancestry’s long-term vision and global strategy for AncestryDNA to drive growth, improve the customer experience, and maximize its impact on the overall business. He previously worked at Amazon, where he served as the worldwide leader of Diagnostics and Genomics. Prior to Amazon, Donnelly held a variety of global leadership roles at market-leading genomics companies, such as Sequenom, Illumina, and Codex DNA where he was the Chief Commercial Officer.
Roy is a successful technology entrepreneur, who previously founded and ran Zedo, a world renowned ad-serving platform. When a family member was diagnosed with colon cancer, he changed his life focus to curing difficult metastatic cancers for the sake of patients and their families. As a founder of BreakBio Corp., he leverages his experience in cloud based software into personalized medicine which uses hugely complex AI software to analyze cancer cells from one patient and design a unique set of “drugs’” for only that patient. That drug is then manufactured for just that individual patient.
Roy is passionate about technology and moving the world forward. He likes reading (now listening to audio books) and traveling, and he looks forward to being able to travel to the beach and go on safari in Kenya where he was born.
Lead Immunologist Immuno-Genomics Lab and Mass Spec Leader, Dana-Farber
Dr Keskin is the lead Immunologist at Translational Immuno-Genomics Lab at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Previously, Dr Keskin was a research scientist at Broad Institute, He has also been an instructor in medicine at both Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Harvard Medical school,where he Conducted a cancer vaccine trial to test T cell based therapeutic HPV vaccine on head and neck cancer patients, plus several investigations related to influenza, malaria and other diseases relating to T cell generation. Prior to that he has been a research fellow at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Head of Weill Cornell Cancer Center, Colorectal Oncologist
(Unpaid consultant to BreakBio)
Dr Lewis Cantley, Ph.D., is the director of the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. He obtained a Ph.D. in biophysical chemistry from Cornell University in Ithaca in 1975 and was a professor at Tufts University and Harvard University in Boston before moving to New York City. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine. He has received a number of awards for his discovery of PI3K and its role in insulin function and in cancer, including the 2000 Heinrich Wieland Preis for Lipid Research, Munich; 2005 Pezcoller Foundation-AACR International Award for Cancer Research; 2009 Rolf Luft Award for Diabetes & Endocrinology Research, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm; 2013 Breakthrough in Life Sciences Award; 2015 Canada Gairdner International Award, Toronto; 2015 Ross Prize in Molecular Medicine; 2016 Wolf Prize in Medicine, Tel Aviv; and most recently the 2018 Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize from Columbia University.
Computational Lead Scientist, Cancer Vaccines, Dana-Farber Institute
Head of vaccine design for existing clinical trials (published in Nature). Coded Polysolver.
Dr. Shukla is a Senior Scientist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and an Associated Scientist at the Broad Institute. His primary area of work is cancer genomics with a special focus on immunology. He has developed computational algorithms that are being used by several research groups globally and have featured in high-impact publications. He is currently in-charge of bioinformatic data analysis from two ongoing clinical trials at Dana-Farber. He was previously the lead computational biologist at NewLink Genetics an immunotherapeutic start-up which has since gone public.
Assistant Professor, Founder of OpenVax,
University of North Carolina
Alex Rubinsteyn is a computational biology researcher, working as Assistant Professor at University of North Carolina . He is currently working on machine learning applications in cancer immunotherapy and designing computational pipelines for personalized cancer vaccines.
Alex received his PhD in Computer Science from NYU, where he worked on machine learning and runtime compilation for parallel hardware. After grad school he switched over to computational cancer immunotherapy research at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, where he helped start and run three personalized cancer vaccine trials. His current line of research focuses on optimizing personalized vaccination through better genomics and machine learning methods, as well as collaborating heavily with experimentalists to optimize vaccine formulation.
Director of Immunotherapy
Dr. Nina Bhardwaj MD, PhD, is Professor of Medicine (Hematology and Medical Oncology) and Urology. She is the Director of Immunotherapy, Medical Director of the Vaccine and Cell Therapy Laboratory, and Co-Director of the Cancer Immunology Program at The Tisch Cancer Institute. Dr. Bhardwaj holds the Ward Coleman Chair in Cancer Research.
Dr. Bhardwaj has made seminal contributions to human dendritic cell biology, specifically with respect to their isolation, subset discovery, immunobiology, antigen presenting function, and use of vaccine adjuvants in humans. She developed Toll Like Receptor agonist- and dendritic cell-based vaccines for the treatment of both cancer and infection in several investigator-initiated studies and has pioneered neoantigen vaccine studies at The Tisch Cancer Institute. Dr. Bhardwaj translates basic science advancements into clinically relevant patient trials.
Dr. Bhardwaj was named one of the Scientific American’s Top 50 Researchers, receiving the Award for Medical Research in 2004. She received the Fred W. Alt Award for new discoveries in Immunology in 2015 from the Cancer Research Institute. Dr. Bhardwaj is a senior editor for Cancer Immunology Research and Frontiers in Immunology. She has served on numerous NIH Study Sections and advisory councils, and was formerly chair of the Cancer Immunology Steering Committee of the American Association for Cancer Research. Dr. Bhardwaj has successfully secured multiple federal and foundation grants and has authored more than 200 publications
Successful Biotech Entrepreneur. CEO, Zero Point Five Therapeutics
Dr. Amprey is founder of Zero Point Five Therapeutics. Previously he led scientific research at Symbiomix and helped with its first and second rounds of institutional funding. Prior to joining Symbiomix, he co-founded Zyngenia, an antibody-based drug development company focused on new therapeutics for breast cancer and autoimmune diseases. Before that, he ran the $300 million MedImmune Ventures, which is now part of AstraZeneca. Dr. Amprey also worked at Carrot Capital, where he was responsible for deal sourcing and had operational roles within their portfolio of companies. He also completed his internship in internal medicine through a joint residency training program at both New York-Presbyterian Hospital and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Dr. Amprey earned his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Pennsylvania and his doctorate of immunology and medical degree from Cornell University.
Peptide Manufacturing Leader. Former President of PolyPeptide Group
Dr. Verlander is currently acting as an independent consultant supporting the pharmaceutical industry in the areas of product development and quality and regulatory compliance; he also serves as a member of USP’s Biologics Monographs-1 Peptides and Oligonucleotides Expert Committee, as well as their Glatiramer Acetate Expert Panel. Prior to this, he gained extensive experience in the areas of quality assurance and regulatory affairs in contract manufacturing organizations specializing in peptide APIs, including: the PolyPeptide Group [as President of PolyPeptide Laboratories San Diego (2009-2013), Global Director of Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs (2003-2009), and Executive Vice President, Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs and Co-founder, PolyPeptide Laboratories, Inc. (1996-2009)]; and Bachem California [as Vice President, Technical and Regulatory Affairs (1986-1996)]. He has also worked in the area of peptide research and development [as Director of Peptide Research and Peptide Production, Immunetech Pharmaceuticals (1985-1986); Research Director, BioResearch, Inc. (1978-1985); and as a member of the research faculty at the University of California, San Diego, Department of Chemistry (1972-1978)].
Physician and Professor MD Anderson. Former PI of Dana-Farber Cancer Vaccine Trials
Dr Bachireddy is Assistant Professor, Department of Hematopoietic Biology and Malignancy, Division of Cancer Medicine, Scientific Director, Department of ECLIPSE (Evolution of Cancer, Leukemia and Immunity Post Stem cEll transplant), Division of Therapeutics Discovery Division, as well as Assistant Professor, Department of Lymphoma/Myeloma, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Center of Cancer.
Additionally Dr Bachireddy serves as Instructor, Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He is an Attending Physician in Medicine, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Boston, and has served as Co-Leader, Cancer Program Working Group on Immuno-Oncology, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.
Dr Bachireddy has degrees in Medicine from Stanford University School of Medicine, and Biochemical Sciences from Harvard University. He has also done his Clinical Fellowship, Medical Oncology, at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Cancer Center, his Clinical Residency, at Internal Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and his Clinical Fellowship, Medicine, at Harvard Medical School. He has received several prestigious honors and awards including CPRIT Scholar in Cancer Research, Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas. He has also authored numerous cutting edge research papers and is published across several scientific journals.
Managing Director, Clinical Head and Colorectal & Pancreatic Oncologist,
Professor Dr. Dirk Jager is Managing director of the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT), Heidelberg and the Department of Medical Oncology at the University Center Heidelberg. He is also head of the research group “Applied Tumor Immunity” at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ).
He began his scientific career at Cancer Research Institute, New York at the Department of Pathology, Cornell Medical Center, New York, and the Ludwig Institute, New York Branch (L.J. Old, Y.T. Chen, 1998-2000). Subsequently, he joined the Department of Hematology/Oncology, Krankenhaus Nordwest, Frankfurt as head of the Research Group `Tumor antigen identification and characterization´(2001-2003). He moved on to the University Hospital Zurich, where he became PI of the Laboratory for Tumor Immunology at the Oncology Department (2003-2005). Since 2005 until today he works at the NCT in Heidelberg.
His research focuses on the characterization and better understanding of tumor-host immune interactions at the tumor site and the development of novel treatment strategies to therapeutically interact in this immunological interplay.
CEO PatientKnowHow, early Co-Founder BreakBio
Successfully tackled Ebola by flattening the curve and treating it (published in the Lancet) Similarly led BreakBio’s research to find a cure for colon cancer.
Devabhaktuni is a founder of Patient Knowhow and previously was chief technical officer of Tropos Networks. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Caltech and a master’s in electrical engineering & computer science from MIT. His research interests include nuclear security, quantum computing, parallel computing, and wireless mesh communications.
Associate Director of Clinical Research, and Co-Leader of Gastrointestinal Cancers, USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center
Heinz-Josef Lenz, M.D. is a Professor of Medicine in the USC Departments of Medicine and Preventive Medicine, J. Terrence Lanni Chair in Cancer Research, and Co-Director of the USC Center for Molecular Pathways and Drug Discovery, at the Keck School of Medicine. In addition, Dr. Lenz holds positions as the Scientific Director of the Cancer Genetics Unit, Associate Director of Adult Oncology, Program Co-Leader of the Gastrointestinal Cancers Program, and Co-Director of the Colorectal Center, and is a Member of the Executive Leadership Committee, at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Dr. Lenz earned his M.D. degree at the Johannes-Gutenberg Universität in Mainz, Germany. In 1991, he completed his internship, residency and fellowship training at the Eberhardt Karls Universität in Tübingen, Germany. He obtained special fellowship training at Universität Wien (Austria), George Washington University and Harvard Medical School. In 1991, he received the prestigious Research Fellowship Award from the “Deutsche Krebshilfe” (Bonn, Germany). He completed his research fellowship in biochemistry and molecular biology at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center before joining the faculty of USC in 1994. He was awarded a Career Development Award from STOP CANCER (1994-1997). Based on his research, he also received a Young Investigator Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in 1994. In 1995, Dr. Lenz was selected for the prestigious ASCO Career Development Award, as well as an NIH Mid-Career Development Award, in 1998.
Icahn School of Medicine
Leading Bioinformatic pipeline for BreakBio.
Dr. Chowell is a scientist working on problems at the intersection of cancer genomics, immunology, and computational biology. His lab applies approaches from computational biology and machine learning to unravel the molecular determinants of response to immune checkpoint blockade therapy, understand the co-evolution of tumor cells and the human immune system during cancer evolution, and learn the complex rules that govern T cell epitope recognition and immune escape.
He earned his PhD in applied mathematics from Arizona State University and a Master Class Fellowship from Utrecht University, The Netherlands, where he worked on dynamical systems and chaos theory. Dr. Chowell spent a year as a visiting graduate student at the Moe Win Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems at MIT. He was a postdoctoral research fellow in the Timothy Chan Lab at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.