Robert Weinberg, Ph.D., Chairman Scientific Advisory Board
Dr. Weinberg is a founding member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and the Daniel K. Ludwig Professor for Cancer Research in the Department of Biology at MIT. Dr. Weinberg is also a founder of Verastem Oncology. Dr. Weinberg is the internationally recognized authority on the genetic basis of human cancer development. Dr. Weinberg is the author or editor of five books and more than 350 articles. Three of the books are intended for a lay audience; “One Renegade Cell,” “Racing to the Beginning of the Road: The Search for the Origin of Cancer” and “Genes and the Biology of Cancer” the latter co-authored with Dr. Harold E. Varmus, former Director of the National Institutes of Health. More recently, Dr. Weinberg has published a textbook “The Biology of Cancer,” which is intended for doctoral students learning about this disease. Dr. Weinberg is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Mario Sznol, M.D.
Dr. Mario Sznol is Professor of Internal Medicine, Leader of the Melanoma-Renal Cancer Disease-Associated Translational Research Team, and Co-Leader of the Cancer Immunology Program. Dr. Sznol is also the current President of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC). He has an international reputation in cancer drug development. Dr. Sznol graduated from Rice University and Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) in Houston, Texas. He trained in internal medicine at BCM and completed a medical oncology fellowship in the Department of Neoplastic Diseases, Mount Sinai Hospital, New York. He spent the next twelve years in the Biologics Evaluation Section (BES), Investigational Drug Branch (IDB), Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program of the National Cancer Institute, and was Head of the BES from 1994-1999. He attended on the inpatient units of the Biological Response Modifiers Program, NCI, from 1988-1996 and the Immunotherapy Service of the Surgery Branch, NCI, from 1997-1999. From 1999-2004, he served as Vice President of Clinical Development and Executive Officer of Vion Pharmaceuticals in New Haven, Connecticut.
Stephen A. Sherwin, M.D.
Dr. Sherwin currently divides his time between advisory work in the life science industry and patient care and teaching in his specialty of medical oncology. He is a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and a volunteer Attending Physician in Hematology-Oncology at the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. In his advisory work, Dr. Sherwin serves as a director of Aduro Biotech, Biogen, Neon Therapeutics and Neurocrine Biosciences and as a venture partner at Third Rock Ventures. He is also a member of the scientific steering committee of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy. Previously Dr. Sherwin was chairman and chief executive officer of Cell Genesys, a cancer immunotherapy company, from 1990 until the company’s merger in 2009 with BioSante Pharmaceuticals (now ANI Pharmaceuticals). He was also co-founder and chairman of Abgenix, an antibody company which was acquired by Amgen in 2006, and co-founder and chairman of Ceregene, a gene therapy company which was acquired by Sangamo Biosciences in 2013. From 1983 to 1990, Dr. Sherwin held various positions in clinical research at Genentech, most recently that of vice president, and prior to 1983 he was on the staff of the National Cancer Institute. In addition, Dr. Sherwin previously served on the board of directors of the Biotechnology Industry Organization from 2001 to 2014 and as its chairman from 2009 to 2011 and was a member of the President’s Council of Advisors in Science and Technology (PCAST) Working Group on Drug Development from 2011 to 2013. Dr. Sherwin holds a B.A. in biology from Yale University, an M.D. from Harvard Medical School, and is board-certified in internal medicine and medical oncology and a fellow of the American College of Physicians.
Lori Kunkel, M.D.
Dr. Kunkel has more than two decades of experience in oncology and immunology drug development and commercialization. Dr. Kunkel presently serves on the Board of Directors of Curis, Inc., Tocagen and Maverick Therapeutics. She was previously the acting Chief Medical Officer and served on the board of Loxo Oncology. Previously she served as Chief Medical Officer at Pharmacyclics (acquired by AbbVie) and Proteolix, Inc. (acquired by Onyx Pharmaceuticals), where she contributed to the global approvals of cancer therapeutics IMBRUVICA® and Kyprolis®, respectively. Prior to that, she served senior clinical roles at Xencor, Chiron and Genentech. She currently serves as a clinical advisor to Amphivena, Atreca, Nurix, and Rain Therapeutics. Prior to joining the biotechnology industry, Dr. Kunkel spent ten years in academic medicine and served as a faculty member at the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Kunkel obtained a medical degree from University of Southern California and a bachelor’s degree in biology from University of California, San Diego. She is board certified in internal medicine and held board certifications in hematology and oncology.
Edmund K. Waller, MD, PhD, FACP
Edmund K. Waller, MD, PhD, FACP is a tenured Professor of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Medicine, and Pathology at Emory University. He is also the Director of the Bone Marrow and Stem Cell transplant Program at Emory. Under Dr. Waller’s leadership, the annual number of stem cell transplants performed at Emory has risen from 93 in 2000 to 450 in 2018. Dr. Waller’s research is funded by the National Cancer Institute, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute as well as the National Marrow Donor Program and the American Society of Hematology. His research focuses on optimizing antitumor immunity in cancer patients. He has developed novel strategies of regulating immune responses by studying the interaction between T cells and dendritic cells in murine models and using clinical samples from patients. Dr. Waller is the author of over 280 peer-reviewed articles with an h-index of 51. He has trained 30 post-doctoral fellows and directly supervised 8 graduate students. Projects in his laboratory include graft engineering to select donor dendritic cell subsets that enhance graft versus leukemia activities and post-transplant immune reconstitution, novel drugs that target coinhibitory immune pathways and regulate graft-versus-host disease, and development of more effective ways to generate and expand cancer-specific T cells for adoptive therapy. The clinical translational focus of his research is in immunotherapy to treat patients with hematological and solid tumor malignancies, including patients undergoing autologous and allogeneic stem cell transplantation. Prior to Emory, Dr. Waller completed his undergraduate degree at Harvard University, his MD-PhD degree at Cornell-Rockefeller, and his clinical training in Oncology at Stanford University.