Assistant Professor, Division of Hematology-Oncology
Alice Soragni, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Hematology-Oncology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, a member of the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and of the UCLA Molecular Biology Institute. She has a Master of Science cum Laude from the University of Bologna, Italy and a PhD from the ETH of Zuerich, Switzerland. Dr. Soragni is a member of the boards of NPIS and of the Society for Functional Precision Medicine, and a Scialog Fellow. Her laboratory develops tumor organoid models to investigate the biology of rare tumors and to perform screenings for precision medicine applications.
Professor of Medicine, Dana Farber Cancer Institute & President
Anthony Letai received his MD and PhD at the University of Chicago. His PhD was done under the supervision of Elaine Fuchs. Dr. Letai then completed clinical training in Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston. Following this, he completed fellowship in Hematology and Oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He was introduced to apoptosis and BCL-2 family proteins as a post-doctoral researcher in the laboratory of the late Stanley Korsmeyer. In 2004, Dr. Letai became independent investigator at Harvard Medical School and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute where he is now a Professor of Medicine. Since that time, his laboratory has studied how apoptosis can be evaded, particularly in cancer cells, and how this evasion may be detected and targeted. Key to these studies is a novel assay - BH3 profiling. BH3 profiling can detect what blocks cancer cells use to evade apoptosis and profiling detect cells that are dependent on BCL-2. He has led efforts to translate BCL-2, BCL-XL, and MCL-1 inhibitors into the clinic. These include venetoclax, a BCL-2 inhibitor made by AbbVie approved by the FDA for CLL and now being tested across nearly all blood cancers. Moreover, BH3 profiling can be used as a summary measure of how close a cell is to the threshold of apoptosis. The Letai lab has found that proximity to this threshold correlates with better response to chemotherapy in the clinic. The laboratory will be testing whether BH3 profiling can be used as a predictive biomarker in clinical cancer therapy.
Senior Vice President
SEngine Precision Medicine
Dr. Grandori career started with a degree in Medicine from the University of Rome and subsequently a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from The Rockefeller University focused on tyrosine kinase oncogenes with Dr. Hanafusa, a founder of the field. In 1991, Dr. Grandori joined the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC) studying the transcriptome of the MYC oncogene and later established a laboratory focused on the discovery of MYC-synthetic lethal gene pairs as future drug targets. In 2006 Dr. Grandori academic background was enriched by experience in the industry setting, from Rosetta Inpharmatics, a subsidiary of Merck, where a platform of high-throughput siRNA screening and novel bioinformatics tools were employed in drug discovery. In response to direct requests from cancer patients Dr. Grandori’s career took a sharp twist that led to the foundation of Cure First, a not-for-profit organization supporting functional genomics approaches in cancer research and in 2015 of SEngine Precision Medicine, a biotech that merges functional precision medicine diagnostics with drug discovery. Dr. Grandori is currently CEO of SEngine Precision Medicine.
Principal Investigator, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, Co-Founder, SEngine Precision Medicine
& Vice President, SfPM
Christopher Kemp, PhD has studied the genetic and molecular basis of cancer for over 30 years and is internationally recognized for his pioneering research on tumor suppressor genes. Dr. Kemp received in BS in Biology from Case Western Reserve University, an MS in Toxicology from Oregon State University, and a PhD in Oncology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. This was followed by five years of postdoctoral research training at the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research. Dr. Kemp is a Full Member in the Division of Human Biology at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center where he has been since 1994. He is a co-founder of Cure First, SEngine Precision Medicine, and the Society of Functional Precision Medicine whose collective mission is to identify and develop safer, more effective targeted cancer therapies.
Clifford Reid is the founding CEO of Travera. Previously, Dr. Reid was the founding Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Complete Genomics (NASDAQ:GNOM), a leading developer of whole human genome DNA sequencing technologies and services. Prior to Complete Genomics he founded two enterprise software companies: Eloquent (NASDAQ:ELOQ), an internet video company, and Verity (NASDAQ:VRTY), an enterprise search engine company. Dr. Reid is on the Visiting Committee of the Biological Engineering Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a member of the MIT Corporation Development Committee, and an advisor to Warburg Pincus. He earned a S.B. in Physics from MIT, an MBA from the Harvard Business School, and a Ph.D. in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University.
Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation
Dr. Daniel Auclair, who managed the MMRF Multiple Myeloma Genomics Initiative from 2007-2010, has rejoined the company after three years at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.As senior leader in the Cancer Program at the Broad Institute, Dr. Auclair was involved with a wide range of academic and industry collaborations centered around cancer genomics and personalized medicine.
Senior Vice President
Strategy & Research, ABC2
Dr. Diane Heiser is currently the Scientific Founder and CTO of Notable Labs where she leads the scientific team behind Notable’s functional screening platform. Diane’s responsibilities include scientific strategy, new assay innovations and drug discovery initiatives to get novel treatments to the right patients, faster. Diane came to Notable Labs after a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University where she studied stem cells in the context of cancer in the lab of Dr. Michael Clarke. With over a decade of experience in flow cytometry and cancer biology, Diane is passionate about translational medicine and addressing the heterogeneity of disease in oncology. Diane received her Ph.D. in Cellular & Molecular Medicine from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and holds a B.A. in Molecular Biology from Princeton University. When not in the lab, Diane is usually found outside leading the Notable Run Club, hiking, camping or rock climbing.
Deputy Office Director of the Oncology Center of Excellence
& Supervisory Associate Director for Precision Oncology, FDA
Gideon M. Blumenthal, M.D. is Deputy Office Director of the Oncology Center of Excellence, FDA and Supervisory Associate Director for Precision Oncology in the FDA Oncology of Hematology Oncology Products. He is board certified in internal medicine, medical oncology, and hematology by the American Board of Internal Medicine. He earned his undergraduate degree from Washington University in St Louis and his medical degree from University of Maryland School of Medicine. He completed an internal medicine residency at University of Maryland, followed by a hematology/oncology fellowship at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Dr. Blumenthal previously worked as a medical officer, and clinical team leader in thoracic oncology and head and neck cancer. He was an associate investigator on early phase clinical trials in the thoracic malignancy branch of the NCI. In 2018, he was awarded the Public Service Award from the American Society for Clinical Oncology.
Dr. Gregory Vladimer is one of the Scientific Co-Founders and CSO of Allcyte, a biotech startup in Vienna, Austria. He received his PhD from the Department of Medicine of the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 2013 where he studied inflammasome signaling. Prior to Allcyte, he was a Senior Postdoctoral Fellow in the laboratory of Prof. Giulio Superti-Furga at CeMM, the Center for Molecular Medicine, in Vienna, where he and colleagues began their work on single cell imaging based drug screening and high-content analysis of primary material. Together with a team from the Department of Hematology of the Medical University of Vienna, they spearheaded the use of this technology for the personalized identification of treatments for hematological cancer patients through a prospective clinical trial, as well as several retrospective studies. As an immunologist, a focus has been on using single-cell imaging to map immunomodulatory effects of small molecule drugs and biologics to uncover new IO targets. His work has been supported by an EMBO Long Term Fellowship, an ERC proof of concept grant, WWTF Personalized Medicine grant, and other academic and SME funding. Greg is an advocate for combining many aspects of big-data (genetics, proteomics, functional) to enable “big data translational medicine” and biomarker discovery, through collaborations and public/private research partnerships.
Associate Professor, Pathology, Harvard Medical School & Secretary,
Dr. Ligon is an Associate Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School and Director of the DFCI Center for Patient Derived Models. His research has focused on development of patient derived models of cancer including cell lines and xenografts. His laboratory has a particular focus in development of novel functional diagnostic assays for drug response in cancer cells and incorporation of these assays into clinical trials. He has specific scientific and clinical expertise in neurooncology and is a Board Certified Neuropatholgoist and Chief of Neuropathology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He is a Co-Founder and Scientific Advisor to Travera which is working to develop single cell mass biomarkers as functional diagnostics in cancer.
Ken Dixon, MD, FACS, is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of SpeciCare, an organization dedicated to connecting the research and clinical care communities through the use of living tumor tissue in functional precision oncology. Dr. Dixon’s 35-year career as a community surgical oncologist led directly to his passion for increasing the accessibility of functional precision medicine and to his creation of SpeciCare, which enables patients to retain ownership of their living tumor tissue, so it can be used for their personal benefit as well as for broader research initiatives. Certified by the American Board of Surgery and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, Dr. Dixon graduated from Davidson College and received his medical degree from Emory University. He completed his residency in general surgery at Emory-affiliated hospitals as well as a surgical oncology fellowship at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. In addition to leading SpeciCare, he continues to treats patients at his community cancer practice in Gainesville, GA
University of Copenhagen
Vice President, Innovation & Strategy
Dr. Collins has held multiple executive roles in a variety of discovery, informatics and bioinformatics functions within global pharma, and founded three startup software companies in the machine learning and drug discovery space. In 2001, Dr. Collins worked for Cellomics (now part of Thermo Fisher Scientific), where he played a pivotal role in establishing the High-Content Cell Analysis market, building and commercializing several key informatics and bioinformatics products. After leaving Thermo Fisher, Dr. Collins developed and commercialized informatics solutions for clinical and translational research, specifically in the specimen tracking, omics data management and NGS analysis space, through key roles at BioFortis, Global Specimens Solutions and Genedata. Dr. Collins received his undergraduate degree in Applied Science from the University of Wolverhampton, UK and his Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Surrey, UK
Director, National Cancer Institute &
Acting Commissioner, FDA
Norman E. “Ned” Sharpless, M.D., was officially sworn in as the 15th director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) on October 17, 2017. Prior to his appointment, Dr. Sharpless served as the director of the University of North Carolina (UNC) Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, a position he held since January 2014. Dr. Sharpless was a Morehead Scholar at UNC–Chapel Hill and received his undergraduate degree in mathematics. He went on to pursue his medical degree from the UNC School of Medicine, graduating with honors and distinction in 1993. He then completed his internal medicine residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital and a hematology/oncology fellowship at Dana-Farber/Partners Cancer Care, both of Harvard Medical School in Boston. After 2 years on the faculty at Harvard Medical School, he joined the faculty of the UNC School of Medicine in the Departments of Medicine and Genetics in 2002. He became the Wellcome Professor of Cancer Research at UNC in 2012. Dr. Sharpless is a member of the Association of American Physicians as well as the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI), the nation’s oldest honor society for physician–scientists, and served on the ASCI council from 2011 to 2014. Dr. Sharpless was an associate editor of Aging Cell and deputy editor of the Journal of Clinical Investigation. He has authored more than 150 original scientific papers, reviews, and book chapters, and is an inventor on 10 patents. He cofounded two clinical-stage biotechnology companies: G1 Therapeutics and HealthSpan Diagnostics.
Professor & Director Science for Life Laboratory
Olli Kallioniemi, M.D., Ph.D. Director of Science for Life Laboratory (www.SciLifeLab.se), a national infrastructure for life sciences in Sweden and professor in Molecular Precision Medicine at the Karolinska Institutet (since 2016). After a postdoc at UC San Francisco in 1990-1992 he was nominated as faculty at the National Human Genome Research Institute (1995-2002). He was then the founding director of FIMM – the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (www.fimm.fi) at the University of Helsinki, as part of the Nordic EMBL partnership in Molecular Medicine (2007-2015). Prof. Kallioniemi’s research group is currently active in individualized systems medicine of cancer, with a focus on improving the diagnostics and therapy of leukemia and ovarian cancer. Olli Kallioniemi is an author of 379 PubMed publications (with 42,996 citations, H-index of 102) and an inventor of several patents on diagnostic and genomic technologies, such as FISH, CGH, tissue microarrays, cell microarrays and bioinformatic methods. He is a recipient of multiple awards, such as the Anders Jahre Prize, NIH Director’s lecture, Harold G. Pritzker Memorial Lecture (Toronto), AACR team science award and the IFCC-Abbot Award for Molecular Diagnostics and national medical awards in Finland and Sweden. Olli Kallioniemi is a member of European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), European Academy of Cancer Sciences as well as the Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institutet.
Professor of Medicine
University of Washington School of Medicine
Dr. Becker is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology at the University of Washington School of Medicine, where she is a member of the Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine. She is also a Member of the Clinical Research Division at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and an Attending Physician in Hematologic Malignancies at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. She received an AB degree magna cum laude in Biochemical Sciences at Harvard University, and her medical degree at the Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts Institute of Technology Health Sciences and Technology Program. She earned her PhD in Cell and Developmental Biology from the Harvard Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. She trained in Internal Medicine at Boston’s Beth Israel Hospital/Harvard Medical School, and pursued a postdoctoral fellowship in Hematology at the Yale University School of Medicine. She is a current member in numerous professional societies including the American Society of Hematology, American Society for Clinical Oncology, American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation, and the American Society for Gene and Cell Therapy. She is an author on more than 125 peer-reviewed journal publications. Her research focuses on the mechanisms by which blood cancers are resistant to drug treatments, and how molecular data and functional screening against drug panels can optimize cancer therapy for individual patients.
Director, Division of Molecular Genetics & Pathology,
Office of In Vitro Diagnostics & Radiological Health, FDA
Hubrecht Organoid Technology