- Michael A. Curran, Ph.D.
Dr. Curran is an Assistant Professor of Immunology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. He is scientific director of the Oncology Research for Biologics and Immunotherapy Translation (ORBIT) platform, which coordinates development and production of clinical immunotherapeutic antibodies based on novel targets and preclinical reagents originating at MD Anderson. He also heads an independent laboratory at MD Anderson, where his group studies the origins of the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment and how it can be disrupted to facilitate immune-mediated tumor rejection.
Dr. Curran completed B.A. degrees in biology and foreign affairs and a minor in computer science at the University of Virginia and received a Ph.D. in immunology from Stanford University. Dr. Curran completed his postdoctoral studies in the laboratory of James P. Allison, Ph.D., where he was the first recipient of the prestigious American Cancer Society Levy Fellowship. He is also a recipient of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer’s prestigious Presidential Award.
- Mike Gallatin, Ph.D.
Mike brings over 35 years of experience as a scientist and executive to the OncoResponse Scientific Advisory Board. He is a member of Frazier Healthcare Partners' Life Sciences team, has co-founded Calistoga (acquired by Gilead) and Stromedix (acquired by Biogen Idec) and served as President of Calistoga, which was the first company to demonstrate the clinical benefit of an isoform selective PI3K (idelalisib) inhibitor in hematologic malignancies. That drug, under the brand name Zydelig, received approvals from both the FDA and EMA in 2014 to treat chronic lymphocytic leukemia and follicular lymphoma. Mike was one of the founding scientists at ICOS Corporation, where he served as VP and Scientific Director. Mike's responsibilities at ICOS included discovery, preclinical research, medicinal chemistry, and process chemistry groups including those that helped generate and support the worldwide registration and launch of Cialis. Earlier, Mike developed expertise in the fields of immunology/inflammation and oncology while on the faculty at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center. Mike has also been a member of the Scientific Advisory Boards of the Keystone Symposia, Caprion, and the University of Texas Department of Chemistry.
Mike is currently is a member of the Therapeutic Advisory Board for FH V company AnaptysBio and is a member of the Board of Directors of EpiThany, Inc. Mike also serves as a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the Benaroya Research Institute and is co-chairman of the University of Washington CoMotion Advisory Board for Therapeutics and Diagnostics. Mike received his Ph.D. from the University of Alberta Department of Immunology. His doctoral research focused on genetic resistance to virally induced neoplastic disease and invasive mechanisms, including the first description of antigen gain associated with organ-specific tumor metastasis. While a Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell and American Cancer Society fellow at Stanford University in the lab of Irving Weissman, Mike discovered the first cell adhesion molecule implicated in site selective leukocyte traffic.
- David Hong, M.D.
Dr. Hong is an Associate Professor and Deputy Chair in the Department of Investigational Cancer Therapeutics (Phase I Program) at MD Anderson Cancer Center. The approach of the department is unique with an emphasis on molecular characterization of each patient’s tumor and personalized therapy in the Phase I setting. Dr. Hong has extensive expertise in drug development for combination therapy and patient populations with other major comorbidities, a clinical reality for many lung cancer patients due to association with smoking and advanced age (Islam KMM et al 2015). For example, he served as investigator on a recently completed combination drug trial that included cancer patients with diabetes (Busaidy N et al 2015). He has published extensively on the clinical investigation of combination drug therapy, including multiple studies involving antibody therapeutics and/or immuno-oncology drugs (Hong DS et al 2014, Hong DS et al 2015).Throughout his career, Dr. Hong has developed an interest in studying the efficacy of novel drug combinations in patients with solid tumors. Recently his research endeavors have focused on developing personalized therapies for patients, whose tumors bear specific genetic mutations/amplifications and combining targeted therapies with immunotherapies. He has demonstrated the ability to successfully place patients on clinical trials, manage toxicities and oversee the correlative studies associated with various phase I research projects.
- Elizabeth M. Jaffee, M.D.
Dr. Jaffee is an international leader in the development of immune based therapies for pancreatic and breast cancers. She is currently Deputy Director of the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center and Professor of Oncology at Johns Hopkins University, where her research focuses on evaluating mechanisms of immune tolerance to cancer, the identification of human tumor antigens recognized by T cells, and the analysis of antitumor immune responses in breast and pancreatic cancers. Prior to joining Johns Hopkins, she served as a research fellow and principal investigator at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Jaffee received her B.A. in biology and immunology magna cum laude from Brandeis University and her M.D. from New York Medical College. She completed her medical residency at Presbyterian-University Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
- James Welsh, M.D.
James W. Welsh, M.D,, Head of Immuno Radiation, is a Tenured Physician Scientist and faculty member at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Welsh started his oncology career in the Department of Molecular Oncology at Genentech Inc., at an exciting time when some of the first personalized target therapies were developed. While at Genentech he helped to discover and clone the Wnt-Induced secreted proteins (WISP) family of oncogenes. He later attended Dartmouth Medical School, and completed a residency in radiation oncology at the University of Arizona, where he helped develop a novel drug targeting c-Met kinase (MP-470). At MD Anderson, Dr. Welsh is the director of the immune radiation program, with has goal of using radiation to turn the tumor into an “in-situ” vaccine in order to prime T cells, turning radiation into a systemic therapy. Being able to both see patients and run a lab has provided insights on how to improve patient care which have resulted in the founding of three new companies Healios Oncology, MolecularMatch and OncoResponse.
- Albert Yu, M.D.
Dr. Yu has over 20 years of clinical drug development experience and expertise. At ICOS, he was instrumental in the development of Cialis® for the treatment of erectile dysfunction; at Calistoga, he was key for developing Zydelig® for the treatment of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. His experience covers a wide spectrum therapeutic areas including Cardiovascular, Central Nervous System, Critical Care, Dermatology, Gastroenterology, Hematology, Infectious Disease, Oncology, Respiratory, Urology, paired with in depth expertise in Clinical Pharmacology. Dr. Yu was Vice President of Clinical Development at Omeros Corporation; Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of Clinical Affairs at Calistoga Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; and Senior Director Clinical Operations, Research & Affairs at ICOS Corporation. Dr. Yu is trained in internal medicine, critical care medicine and pulmonary disease. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his medical degree from the University of Washington.