Science Advisory Board

DR. ALAN DAVIDSON

Dr Davidson trained in Chemistry at the University of Cambridge and, following post-doctoral work at the University of California at Santa Cruz and Oxford, took an academic post in Cardiff where his research group focused on the synthesis of biologically important natural products. He joined British Biotech as Head of Medicinal Chemistry and went on to set-up and run Chemical Development, Formulation and Bioanalysis. After 12 years at British Biotech he joined Chroma Therapeutics as a founding Executive and was responsible for Chemical and Pre-clinical Development. Alan has had extensive experience of taking compounds through pre-clinical development and into the clinic and played a major role in developing the ESM technology at Chroma Therapeutics.

PROFESSOR TANJA DE GRUIJL

Professor de Gruijl heads the Immunotherapy and Immune monitoring Lab at the Cancer Center of the Amsterdam University Medical Centers, where she has been appointed Professor of Translational Tumour Immunology and holds a Fenna Diemer Lindeboom Chair. Her research ranges from preclinical topics to immune monitoring of Phase I-III clinical trials and includes topics like the immune potentiation of tumour-draining lymph nodes and  the tumour microenvironment, tumour-mediated immune suppression, control of myeloid differentiation, immunological arming of oncolytic adenoviruses, and nanobody-mediated targeting of (NK)T-cell subsets. She has managed and supervised the research that has led to the allogeneic DC vaccination platform of the spin-off company DCPrime BV and is co-founder of LAVA Therapeutics BV. She is a member of the Grant Review committee of the Melanoma Research Alliance, a member of the scientific council of the Dutch Cancer Society, has chaired the Dutch Tumour Immunology Working Party, and is currently co-chair of the International Advisory Committee of the Society for the Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC).

DR LIZA MAKOWSKI

Dr. Makowski is currently a Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology-Oncology at the Univ of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis. She earned her Ph.D. in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health in the Division of Medical Sciences. She also received a Masters in Medicine concurrent with her Ph.D. studies as a Lucille P. Markey Fellow from Harvard Medical School. She completed postdoctoral studies in the Departments of Medicine and Pharmacology & Cancer Biology at the Duke University Medical Center in the Stedman Center for Nutrition and Metabolism. After 8 years as faculty at UNC Chapel Hill, she moved to Memphis to join the University of TN Health Science Center. The Makowski lab studies immune cells in obesity, atherosclerosis, and cancer. Her research focuses on immunometabolism, primarily bioenergetics, and metabolic reprogramming of macrophages in the adipose and tumor microenvironment. She has published manuscripts and reviews in journals such as Molecular Metabolism, Breast Cancer Research Treatment, JBC, Obesity (cover), and eLife. She has served on planning committees at AACR (obesity and cancer), South East Lipid Research Conference Organizing committee, and The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB)/EB. Graduate students (4) and fellows (3) have received funding from NIH (NIH NRSA F32, NIH Integrative Vascular Biology T32 slot), industry (Sanofi-Aventis), and/or internal merit-based (University of North Carolina Chancellor’s Fellowship, Royster Society of Fellows). Undergraduates trained have gone to Harvard Med, Wash U Med, UNC Med, UNC Dental, and Harvard Chan School of Public Health. Finally, she has served on several study sections including Tumor Microenvironment (TME) and a special emphasis panel for National Cancer Institute’s Provocative Questions as well other foundations including The American Heart Association and The Mary Kay Foundation.

DR ALBERTO MANTOVANI

Dr. Mantovani is professor of pathology at the Humanitas University in Milan and scientific director of the Istituto Clinico Humanitas. He is also Chair of Inflammation and Therapeutic Innovation at The William Harvey Research Institute in London. His attention has been focused on molecular mechanisms of innate immunity and inflammation. He has contributed to the advancement of knowledge in the field of immunology formulating new paradigms and identifying new molecules and functions. For his research activity, he has received several national and international awards, including in 2016 the Triennial OECI Award from the Organization of the European Cancer Institutes and the Robert Koch Award for his contribution to tumor immunology and immunotherapy. The broad impact of his contributions is testified by citations. As of February 2018, he has over 101,958 citations and an H–index of 153 (source: Scopus).

PROFESSOR LUKE A.J. O’NEILL

Professor O’Neill FRS is Professor & Chair of Biochemistry in the School of Biochemistry and Immunology, Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. He is one of the key figures whose research and publications are responsible for the major increase in interest amongst immunologists in innate immunity over the past 20 years and is listed by Thompson Reuters/ Clarivates in the top 1% of immunologists in the world, based on citations per paper.

Professor O’Neill is founder director of three companies exploring innate immune targeting, Opsona, Inflazome and Sitryx.

He was awarded the Royal Dublin Society / Irish Times Boyle Medal for scientific excellence, the Royal Irish Academy Gold Medal for Life Sciences, The Society for Leukocyte Biology (SLB) Dolph O. Adams award, the European Federation of Immunology Societies Medal and in 2018 the Milstein Award of the International Cytokine and Interferon Society. He is a member of the Royal Irish Academy, EMBO (European Molecular Biology Organisation) and a Fellow of the Royal Society.

DR. MICHAEL OWEN

Dr Owen has worked in biomedical research, and in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries for nearly 40 years. He serves as a director on five boards. He is the Chairman of Ossianix Inc, a privately held biotechnology company. He is on the boards of Zealand Pharma A/S, Avacta Group plc, ReNeuron plc and GammaDelta Therapeutics. Dr Owen is also an advisor to the CRT Pioneer Fund and Abingworth LLP, and is Chairman of ReNeuron’s and Avacta’s SABs. Prior to board services, Dr Owen co-founded and served as the first CSO of Kymab Ltd, a biopharmaceutical company. Prior to co-founding Kymab, Dr Owen worked for GSK where he was SVP and Head of Research for Biopharmaceuticals R&D. Dr Owen received a BA degree from Oxford University in 1973 and a PhD from Cambridge University in 1976. He was elected a member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

DR. LASZLO RADVANYI

Dr. Radvanyi is the President and Scientific Director of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR). Dr. Radvanyi obtained his PhD in Clinical Biochemistry from the University of Toronto in 1996. After obtaining his PhD, he performed post-doctoral work at Harvard University (Joslin Diabetes Center) and then worked for four years at Sanofi Pasteur Canada as a Senior Scientist in the Immunology Platform.
He joined OICR from EMD Serono (Merck KGaA, Darmstadt Germany) where he was a Senior Vice President, Global Senior Scientific Advisor in Immunology and Immuno-Oncology playing a central scientific advisory role, facilitating major academic center alliances, and running EMD Serono’s CAR T-cell program in partnership with Intrexon. He also served as Global Head of the Immuno-Oncology Translational Innovation Platform where he was instrumental in rebuilding immuno-oncology research at the company, hiring new world-class scientific staff as well as pruning and re-orienting the discovery pipeline. Prior to joining EMD Serono, Dr. Radvanyi was a Professor in the Department of Melanoma Medical Oncology at the University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston for about 10 years (2004-2014). While at MD Anderson, he established a GMP-grade T-cell therapy manufacturing program for metastatic melanoma using expanded tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) supporting a number of Phase II clinical trials and performed pre-clinical research on TIL biology, tumor microenvironment, and immunotherapy biomarker discovery. He also established and headed up an immuno-monitoring core facility at MD Anderson. Dr. Radvanyi then became the founding Chief Scientific Officer at Lion Biotechnologies (recently renamed Iovance Therapeutics) based in Tampa, Florida. In this role, he built the biotech’s R&D infrastructure in Tampa, FL and lead development activities critical for launching two ongoing Phase II clinical trials.

DR. CLIVE STANWAY

Dr Stanway is Chief Scientific Officer of Cancer Research Technology Ltd. As CSO, Dr Stanway is responsible for the external scientific profile of CRT as well as the strategic analysis and development of the CRT project portfolio. Included in this role is responsibility for leading the new alliance team. Before moving to this role, he led the drug discovery and biotherapeutic discovery activity of CRT. Prior to the formation of CRT in 2002, he was Director of Project Development for Imperial Cancer Research Technology, a role which focused on the identification and development of projects with therapeutic potential. From his time in the private sector, he has 5 years’ experience in drug discovery gained whilst working for Xenova and Prolifix where he held the positions of Head of Assay Development and Head of Biology, respectively. In the academic part of Dr Stanway’s career he held several postdoctoral positions at Oxford University and also was an independent research fellow. He has a PhD from Imperial College and a BSc from Nottingham University.