Editorial Board


John B. Haanen MD, PhD

Professor John B. Haanen MD, PhD
Amsterdam, Netherlands

CAR T-cell therapy, Cell therapy, Neoadjuvant trial designs, Neoantigens, T-cell receptor, Tumor mutational burden

Prof John B. Haanen is CSO Research Theme Immunotherapy, consultant medical oncologist in the Division of Medical Oncology, senior group leader in the Division of Molecular Oncology & Immunology at the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam. He is Professor of Translational Immunotherapy of Cancer at Leiden University Medical Centre, the Netherlands.

Dr. Haanen received his medical degree at University of Leiden, then completed his PhD in human immunology at the Department of Immunohematology & Blood Bank of the Leiden University Medical Centre and at DNAX Research Institute in Paolo Alto, California, USA.

He then trained in internal medicine at Leiden University Medical Centre and at Bronovo Hospital in The Hague, the Netherlands. He did a postdoctoral fellowship in tumour immunology at the division of immunology, followed by training in medical oncology at the Netherlands Cancer Institute. He received a permanent clinical and research position at NKI in 2001. He headed the Division of Medical Oncology from 2009 till 2018.

His research focuses on the translation of novel immunotherapy strategies into the clinical practice, especially adoptive cell transfer programs and immune checkpoint blockade. His clinical medical oncology practice is focused on melanoma and renal cell carcinoma patients.

He authored over 250 peer reviewed publications, served as scientific co-chair of ESMO IO from 2016 till 2019 and is scientific chair of ESMO 2020 congress.

Disclosures: Prof Haanen has provided advisory work for Amgen, Astra Zeneca, Bayer, BMS, GSK, Ipsen, MSD, Merck Serono, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche/Genentech, Sanofi, Seattle Genetics, Third Rock Ventures. He serves as member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Achilles Tx, AIMM, Immunocore, NeonTx, Neogene Tx, Vaximm. He received research grants from BMS, MSD, Novartis, and Neon Therapeutics.

Senior Editors


Professor George Coukos MD, PhD
Lausanne, Switzerland

Immunotherapy of cancers, Research on tumor microenvironment, Lymphocyte-based immunotherapy

Professor George Coukos is both head of the Lausanne University Hospital Oncology Department and director of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research Lausanne.

A pioneer in cancer immunotherapy, Professor Coukos is a specialist in gynecological cancers. He created the Center for Research on Ovarian Cancer at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, where he worked for 22 years. Previously, he had worked for 11 years at the University Hospital of Modena, Italy.

Holder of numerous scientific distinctions, Professor Coukos is the author of more than 300 publications in his field. Areas of academic and / clinical interest includeImmunotherapy of cancers, research on tumor microenvironment. Professor Coukos' laboratory is dedicated to the study of the tumor microenvironment and the development of lymphocyte-based immunotherapy for the treatment of cancer patients.

Declaration of Interest: Dr Coukos has received grants, research support or is coinvestigator in clinical trials by BMS, Celgene, Boehringer Ingelheim, Roche, Iovance and Kite. Dr Coukos has received honoraria for consultations or presentations by Roche, Genentech, BMS, AstraZeneca, Sanofi-Aventis, Nextcure and GeneosTx. Dr Coukos has patents in the domain of antibodies and vaccines targeting the tumor vasculature as well as technologies related to T-cell expansion and engineering for T-cell therapy. George Coukos holds patents around TEM1 antibodies and receives royalties from the University of Pennsylvania regarding technology licensed to Novartis.

Associate Editors

Dr Michal Bassani-Sternberg PhD

Dr Michal Bassani-Sternberg PhD
Group leader, Antigen Discovery Group, The Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Lausanne, and Head of Immunopeptidomics Unit, Department of Oncology, University Hospital of Lausanne (CHUV), Switzerland.

Neoantigens, tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes

Michal Bassani-Sternberg received her PhD degree in Biology (2010) from the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology. From 2011 to 2015 she was a post-doctoral researcher at the Proteomics and Signal Transduction Department, headed by Prof. Matthias Mann at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry. Currently she is a group leader at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Lausanne branch, responsible for antigen discovery research, and she is heading the Immunopeptidomics Unit affiliated to the Center of Experimental Therapeutics at the Oncology Department at the CHUV. The group develops and implements advanced experimental and computational mass-spectrometry based antigen discovery workflows to support development of personalized cancer immunotherapy and early phase experimental cancer vaccines.

Declaration of interest: No conflicts of interest to declare.

Dr Alena Gros

Dr Alena Gros PhD

Vall d'Hebron Institute of Oncology, Barcelona, Spain
Cell therapies and cytokines

Dr. Alena Gros is a young investigator who is driven to understand and exploit the naturally occurring T cell response to treat cancer. Initially trained as a Biologist, she obtained a PhD in Genetics and did a 7-year postdoctoral fellowship at the NCI working with Steven A. Rosenberg. Her most cited contribution to the field is the identification of PD-1 as a biomarker of tumor-reactive lymphocytes residing in the tumor (JCI 2014), and the use of this marker to develop non-invasive personalized T cell therapies from peripheral blood (Nature Med 2016, JCI 2019). She has been directly involved in several clinical studies where patients received neoantigen-enriched or 4-1BB+ selected lymphocytes. She is author of 38 articles and inventor in 5 patents, 3 of them related to the development of personalized T-cell therapies. In 2016, she received a Miguel Servet I Fellowship award and was recruited to Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO) in Barcelona, where she initiated her independent career leading the Tumor Immunology and Immunotherapy Group. Her group’s research is devoted to understanding the immune response to cancer and developing more effective personalized T-cell therapies.


Dr Gros has acted as a consultant or speaker for Neon Therapeutics, Achilles Therapeutics, PACT Pharma, Roche and OIT. She receives license fees/royalties for intellectual property from Cellular Biomedicine Group, Inc., and direct research funding from Novartis, EMD Serono and Roche/Genentech.

Professor Sine Reker Hadrup PhD

Professor Sine Reker Hadrup PhD
Copenhagen, Denmark

T cell recognition, T cell detection, Cancer antigens, Neoantigen, Immunotherapy, Adoptive Cell Therapy

Professor Sine Reker Hadrup is internationally recognized for her work on standardizing the use of MHC multimers and has built a successful research career on using flow cytometry for characterizing specific T cell populations. She is the inventor of a groundbreaking high-throughput technology for next-generation multiplex detection of antigen-specific T cells using DNA-barcode labelled MHC multimers. Sine has published >85 peer-review articles in the field of T cell detection and immune recognition of cancer.

Declaration of Interest: Prof Hadrup is co-founder of Immumap, Tetramershop and PokeAcell. She received grants from Janssen Pharmaceutica.

Johanna Olweus, MD, PhD

Dr Johanna Olweus MD, PhD
Oslo, Norway

Adoptive cell therapy and gene therapy

Johanna Olweus is a physician scientist with over 10 years of experience in T-cell based cancer immunotherapy. She is Head of Department of Cancer Immunology at the Institute for Cancer Research at Oslo University Hospital, and Professor at the University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway, since 2008. She got her M.D. degree in 1992, and her Ph.D. (in hematopoiesis) in 1998, both at the University of Bergen, Norway, and did a postdoc studying dendritic cell differentiation at Becton Dickinson Immunocytometry Systems, San José, USA. She did her medical specialization in Immunology and Transfusion Medicine/Clinical Immunology (Specialist 2006). She was the Director of K.G. Jebsen Center for Cancer Immunotherapy financed by a competitive grant for the full center period 2013-19. Her training in transplantation immunology has inspired her research, which is focused on strategies to utilize the powerful immune responses of graft-versus-tumor-reactivity and graft rejection to reject cancer cells in a targeted way. She has demonstrated that healthy donor T cells provide a rich source of T-cell receptors specific to self-antigens, in the context of mismatched HLA, and to neoantigens, in context of self-HLA. She is a member of the executive board of CIMT.

Declaration of interest:

Professor Olweus is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Intellia-Extellia, has a research collaboration with Kite Pharma/Gilead and is the inventor on six patents. She has received research funding from Roche.

Li Tang

Dr Li Tang PhD
Lausanne, Switzerland, Nanoparticles

Immunoengineering, Immunotherapy, Immunometabolism, Mechanoimmunology, Drug delivery, Nanoparticles

Assistant Professor, Institute of Bioengineering (IBI) / Institute of Materials Science & Engineering (IMX) École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)

Li Tang received his B.S. in Chemistry from Peking University in China in 2007, and his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA, in 2012, under the supervision of Prof. Jianjun Cheng. He was an Irvington Postdoctoral Fellow in the laboratory of Prof. Darrell Irvine at Massachusetts Institute of Technology during 2013-2016. He joined the faculty of Institute of Bioengineering, and Institute of Materials Science & Engineering, at École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland, as a Tenure-Track Assistant Professor in 2016. His research focuses on modulating the immune system using smart biomaterials to develop novel vaccines and immunotherapies. Dr. Tang is the recipient of 2018 European Research Council (ERC) starting grant, Nano Research Young Innovator Award (NR 45 under 45), and Irvington Postdoctoral Fellowship from Cancer Research Institute.

Declaration of interest: Co-founder: PepGene

Daniela Thommen, M.D. Ph.D.

Dr Daniela Thommen MD, PhD
Junior Group Leader, Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Biomarkers and novel IO targets

Daniela Thommen completed her undergraduate studies in medicine in 2005 at the University of Basel. She received her MD in experimental neurobiology in 2006 and her PhD in immunology in 2010 from the University of Basel, Switzerland. She then trained in internal medicine and medical oncology in Switzerland. In parallel to her clinical specialization as oncologist, she worked as a research fellow in the lab of Alfred Zippelius at the Department Biomedicine in Basel investigating the role of intratumoral T cell heterogeneity for response to immune checkpoint blockade in human lung cancer. In 2016, she joined the lab of Prof. Ton Schumacher at the Netherlands Cancer Institute with a postdoctoral fellowship from the Swiss National Science Foundation, where she developed human tumor explant models to study immunotherapy responses ex vivo.

In 2020, Dr Thommen became an independent Junior group leader at the Netherlands Cancer Institute. Her research is focusing on the development of novel biomarkers and personalized immunotherapy strategies using human explant models in combination with multi-dimensional analyses of human cancers. Dr Thommen is the recipient of the 2019 Swiss Pfizer Research Prize in Oncology.


Research funding: Research support from Bristol-Myers Squibb Patents filed/granted: Methods for predicting treatment outcome and/or for selecting a subject suitable for immune checkpoint therapy (WO2019156568A1), Combination therapy of T cell activating bispecific antigen binding molecules and PD-1 axis binding antagonists (WO2016079050A1)

Dr Samra Turajlic PhD MRCP

Dr Samra Turajlic PhD MRCP
London, UK

Genomics, tumor mutational burden, tumor heterogeneity

Samra Turajlic completed her undergraduate studies at Oxford University and her clinical training at UCL medical school. She gained a PhD in 2013 from Institute of Cancer Research in the field of melanoma genetics and targeted therapy resistance. In 2014, she was awarded a Cancer Research UK Clinician Scientist Fellowship to study cancer evolution at the Francis Crick Institute. She completed her training in medical oncology in 2015 and was appointed a Consultant Medical Oncologist on the Skin and Urology Units at the Royal Marsden. She became an independent Group Leader at the Francis Crick Institute in 2019, and divides her time between the clinic and her lab. Dr Turajlic is the Chief Investigator of translational studies into melanoma and kidney cancer, and her research goal is to develop an evolutionary understanding of cancer for patient benefit. She is a member of the NCRI Bladder and Renal Cancer Clinical Studies Group, ESMO Faculty member for genitourinary cancers; and Scientific Committee member for ESMO, Molecular Analysis for Personalised Therapy, Kidney Cancer Association, and EORTC-NCI-AACR Symposia. She is a Trustee of the Kidney Cancer Support Network and a Senior Editor at Macmillan Cancer Support.

Declaration of interest/Disclosures
Grants: ,Cancer Research UK (grant reference number C50947/A18176), The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre at the Royal Marsden Hospital and Institute of Cancer Research (grant reference number A109), The Kidney and Melanoma Cancer Fund of the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, The Rosetrees Trust (grant reference number A2204), Ventana Medical Systems Inc (grant reference numbers 10467 and 10530).
Speaker fees: Roche, Astra Zeneca, Novartis and Ipsen
Patents filed: Indel mutations as a therapeutic target and predictive biomarker PCTGB2018/051892 and PCTGB2018/051893, Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma Biomarkers P113326GB

Editorial Board

Professor Timothy A. Chan MD, PhD

Professor Timothy A. Chan MD, PhD
New York, United States

Cancer, Hyperprogression, Immune cell, Immune checkpoint, Immunotherapy, Localized mutation, Renal cell carcinoma, T cells, Tumor infiltrating lymphocytes

Physician-scientist Timothy A. Chan focuses on the characterization of genetic determinants underlying response and resistance to cancer therapeutics. He is Chair of the Center for Immunotherapy and Precision-Immuno-Oncology at the Cleveland Clinic. He is a board-certified radiation oncologist with a special interest in treating patients with brain tumors. He is the principal investigator of a cancer genetics laboratory, where he is investigating the genetic changes that lead to cancer and therapeutic resistance. Professor Chan’s group is dedicated to using their findings on the cancer genome to develop better diagnostic and treatment approaches that will improve the care of people with cancer. He is an elected member of AAP and an NCI Outstanding Investigator.

Declaration of interest: Grant funding: NIH, DOD, AstraZeneca, Illumina, Pfizer, BMS. Co-founder of Gritstone Oncology. Advisor for BMS, AN2H, Merck, AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Eisai.

David Gfeller

Associate Professor David Gfeller PhD
Lausanne, Switzerland

Computational immunology, Cancer immunotherapy, Bioinformatics

Dr Gfeller was trained as a theoretical physicist and obtained his Phd in 2007 at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL). He then bridged to Computational Biology during his post-doc at the University of Toronto under the supervision of Pr. Gary Bader, woking on protein-protein interaction predictions. After a second post-doc at the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics with Pr. Olivier Michielin, he established his own group at the Ludwig Institue for Cancer Research at the University of Lausanne in Dec 2014. His research is now focused on computational onco-immunology.

Declaration of interest: No conflict of interest

Dr. Siwen Hu-Lieskovan

Dr Siwen Hu-Lieskovan MD, PhD
University of Utah Health Huntsman Cancer Institute, Salt Lake City, Utah, United States of America

Immunomodulatory agents, Target agents, Oncolytic viruses, Cancer vaccines, Cell-based therapies

Dr. Siwen Hu-Lieskovan is an Assistant Professor of Medicine, and Director of Solid Tumor Immunotherapy at the Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah. Siwen is a physician scientist with clinical expertise on melanoma and early phase testing of cancer immunotherapies in solid tumors. She is experienced with protocol development and conduct of immunotherapy-based clinical trials, and has been principal investigator of industry-, investigator- or cooperative group-initiated trials testing immunomodulatory agents, target agents, oncolytic viruses, cancer vaccines and cell-based therapies. Siwen co-chairs the SWOG Immunotherapy Committee, and is a Study Chair and Translational Lead of several trials initiated by the SWOG melanoma and immunotherapy committees. She has been a consultant for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Dr. Hu-Lieskovan’s laboratory research focuses on the mechanism of response and resistance to immunotherapies, develop novel combination strategies to overcome resistance and improve efficacy, as well as monitor and prevent immunotherapy-induced toxicities, by studying immune-competent (syngeneic) animal models and patient-derived clinical samples. Her team effort brings the discovery from her laboratory to the clinic to improve the effectiveness and tolerability of immunotherapy, with the ultimate goal of bringing the survival benefit of immunotherapy to every patient.


COI: Paid consultant/ scientific advisory board member for BMS, Amgen, Genmab, Xencor. Research support (paid to institution) form BMS, Vaccinex.

Professor Keith M Kerr, BSc, MB ChB, FRCPath, FRCPEd, FFPath(RCPI)

Professor Keith M Kerr, BSc, MB ChB, FRCPath, FRCPEd, FFPath(RCPI)
Consultant Pathologist to Grampian Health Board at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary
Professor of Pulmonary Pathology, Aberdeen University Medical School

Thoracic pathology, Thoracic cancers, Biomarkers, EGFR, Fluorescence in situ hybridisation, Immunohistochemistry, KRAS, Multiplex mutation analysis, Next-generation sequencing, Non small cell lung cancer, PD-L1

Keith Kerr is a Consultant Pathologist for NHS Grampian and Honorary Chair in Pulmonary Pathology at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. He has a busy diagnostic clinical practice and is active in lung cancer research. He is a member and current Chair of the IASLC Pathology Panel and served on the IASLC Board of Directors from 2013 to 2017. In 2016 he received the IASLC Mary Matthews award for Pathology and Translational Research and in 2019 the Lifetime Achievement award from the British Thoracic Oncology Group. He is a member of the ESMO Lung Educational Faculty, is Pathology Chair for the ETOP Lungscape group, and was a member of the panel for the 2004, 2015 & 2020 WHO lung cancer classifications. He has worked on numerous clinical research lung cancer trials groups, guideline panels, and conference scientific committees. He is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Thoracic Oncology. He received Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh in 2006 and Honorary Fellow of the Faculty of Pathology, Royal College of Physicians of Ireland in 2016.


Dr Kerr has acted as a consultant to AbbVie, Archer Diagnostics, AstraZeneca, Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, Merck Serono, Merck Sharp & Dohme, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche, and Ventana. In addition he has received honoraria as a speaker from AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, Merck Serono, Merck Sharp & Dohme, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche, and Ventana.

Alexander Menzies

Dr. Arthur M. Krieg, MD
Cambridge, MA, USA

Novel oligonucleotides for cancer immunotherapy

Arthur M. Krieg, MD has worked in the oligonucleotide field since the 1980s. Most recently he founded Checkmate Pharmaceuticals to develop novel oligonucleotides for cancer immunotherapy, where he currently serves as CSO. Prior to that role Art was CSO at Sarepta until July 2014; co-founder and CEO at RaNA Therapeutics from 2011 to 2013; CSO of Pfizer’s Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Unit from 2008 to 2011; and co-founder, CSO of Coley Pharmaceutical Group from 1997 until its acquisition and incorporation into Pfizer in 2008. Art discovered the immune stimulatory CpG DNA motif in 1994, which led to a new approach to immunotherapy and vaccine adjuvants. Based on this technology he co-founded Coley Pharmaceutical Group in 1997, discovering and taking 4 novel oligonucleotides into clinical development, including the anthrax vaccine adjuvant CpG 7909 in AV7909 (NuThrax®). Art co-founded the first antisense journal, Nucleic Acid Therapeutics, which he edited for 16 years, and the Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Society, for which he recently served as President. He is a Professor in the University of Massachusetts RNA Therapeutics Institute and he serves on the scientific advisory boards of several companies developing oligonucleotide therapeutics.

Art graduated from Haverford College in 1979, received his MD from Washington University in 1983, and completed a residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Minnesota in 1986. He was a Staff Fellow at the NIH in the Arthritis Institute from 1986 to 1991, when he joined the University of Iowa, becoming Professor of Internal Medicine in the Division of Rheumatology. He has had 19 years of patient care experience, although his focus has always been on basic research and teaching. Art left academia and joined Coley full-time in 2001. He has published more than 250 scientific papers, and is an inventor on >50 issued US patents covering oligonucleotide technologies.


Dr Krieg is a founder, employee, and shareholder in Checkmate Pharma, and an inventor on patents relating to oligonucleotide therapeutics, for which he may receive royalties.

Aurelien Marabelle

Dr Aurelien Marabelle MD, PhD
Villejuif, France

Intratumoral immunotherapy

Aurélien Marabelle is the Clinical Director of the Cancer Immunotherapy Program at Gustave Roussy Cancer Center in Villejuif, France. Dr Marabelle’s clinical practice is dedicated to Early Phase Clinical trials in Cancer Immunotherapy and his translational research is focused on mechanisms of action of immune checkpoint monoclonal antibodies. He works as a senior medical oncologist and an investigator in the Drug Development Department (DITEP) directed by Prof Jean-Charles Soria. He is coordinating a team focusing on cancer immunotherapy translational research projects in the INSERM U1015 lab directed by Prof Laurence Zitvogel. Dr Marabelle is a member of ESMO, ASCO, EATI & AACR.


Principal Investigator of Clinical Trials from the following companies: Roche/Genentech, BMS, Merck (MSD), Pfizer, Lytix pharma, Eisai, Astra Zeneca/Medimmune, Tesaro, Chugai

Co-investigator of Clinical Trials from the following companies: Abbvie, Aduro, Agios, Amgen, Argen-x, Astex, AstraZeneca, Aveo pharmaceuticals, Bayer, Beigene, Blueprint, BMS, Boeringer, Ingelheim, Celgene, Chugai, Clovis, Daiichi Sankyo, Debiopharm, Eisai, Eos, Exelixis, Forma, Gamamabs, Genentech, Gortec, GSK, H3 biomedecine, Incyte, Innate Pharma, Janssen, Kura Oncology, Kyowa, Lilly, Loxo, Lysarc, Lytix Biopharma, Medimmune, Menarini, Merus, MSD, Nanobiotix, Nektar

Therapeutics, Novartis, Octimet, Oncoethix, Oncopeptides AB, Orion, Pfizer, Pharmamar, Pierre Fabre, Roche, Sanofi, Servier, Sierra Oncology, Taiho, Takeda, Tesaro, Xencor

Member of Clinical Trial Scientific Committee: NCT02528357 (GSK), NCT03334617 (Astra Zeneca)

Member of Data Safety and Monitoring Board: NCT02423863 (Oncovir, Inc.)

Scientific Advisory Boards : Innate Pharma, Merck Serono, eTheRNA, Lytix pharma, Kyowa Kirin Pharma, Bayer, Novartis, BMS, Symphogen, Genmab, Amgen, Biothera, Nektar, GSK, Oncovir, Pfizer, Seattle Genetics, Flexus Bio, Roche/Genentech, OSE immunotherapeutics, Transgene, Gritstone, Merck (MSD), Cerenis, Innate pharma, Protagen, Partner Therapeutics, Servier, Sanofi, Pierre Fabre

Teaching/Speaker Bureau activities: Roche/Genentech, BMS, Merck (MSD), Merck Serono, Astra Zeneca/Medimmune, Amgen, Sanofi

Scientific & Medical Consulting : Roche, Pierre Fabre, Onxeo, EISAI, Bayer, Genticel, Rigontec, Daichii Sankyo, Imaxio, Sanofi, BioNTech, Corvus, GLG, Deerfield, Guidepoint Global, Edimark, SYSTEM ANALYTICS, imCheck, Sotio, Bioncotech


Pre-Clinical and Clinical Research Grants (Institutional Funding): Merus, BMS, Boehringer Ingelheim, Transgene.

Member of the following scholar societies: ASCO, ESMO, AACR and EATI.

Supervisory Board Member of the Gustave Roussy Foundation.

Alexander Menzies

Dr Alexander Menzes BSc(Med) MBBS(Hons) PhD FRACP
Medical Oncologist and Associate Professor of Melanoma Medical Oncology at Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA), The University of Sydney, and Royal North Shore and Mater Hospitals.

Clinical trials of new systemic therapies for melanoma, Biomarkers of response and resistance to systemic therapy, Immunotherapy related toxicity

Dr Menzies received his PhD in 2015 for research exploring the biology of BRAF-mutant melanoma and biomarkers of response and resistance to targeted therapy, and has an impressive track record for clinical and translational research for this early stage in his career. Since 2009 he has been an investigator on over 80 sponsored and investigator-led Phase I to III clinical trials of systemic therapies in melanoma, and in the last 5 years has over 85 publications with more than 2000 citations in journals such as Nature, Lancet Oncology, Nature Communications, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Annals of Oncology and Clinical Cancer Research. He received a NSW Premier's Award for Outstanding Cancer Research Fellow in 2018.

Alexander conducts several investigator-led and sponsored clinical trials, manages the medical oncology clinical and biospecimen databases at MIA that underpin clinical and translational research, and serves as a faculty member and research committee member at MIA. He has co-established an international clinical research collaboration network between several major Australian, USA and European melanoma centres providing opportunities for junior research staff leading to high impact original research publications, and is a founding member of the international neoadjuvant melanoma consortium (INMC).

His main research interests are clinical trials of new systemic therapies for melanoma, biomarkers of response and resistance to systemic therapy, and immunotherapy-related toxicity.


Advisory board BMS, MSD, Novartis, Roche, and Pierre-Fabre.

Dr Michael C. Milone, MD, PhD

Dr Michael C. Milone, MD, PhD
Philadephia, USA

TCR gene therapy

Dr. Milone is an Associate Professor at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. His research is focused on the design of synthetic immunoreceptors and the development of adoptive T cell immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer, autoimmunity and other non-malignant conditions. Dr. Milone received his M.D. and Ph.D. in experimental pathology in 1999 from New Jersey Medical School and UMDNJ-Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. After an Internship in Internal Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, he completed post-graduate medical training in Clinical Pathology, Transfusion Medicine and Laboratory Toxicology. Dr. Milone subsequently pursued post-doctoral research training in cancer immunology and adoptive immunotherapy at the University of Pennsylvania in the Laboratory of Dr. Carl June where he performed basic research to develop CTL019 (tisagenlecleucel, Kymriah), the first genetically engineered cell therapy to achieve regulatory approval in the US and Europe.

Declaration of interest: I am an inventor on several patents issued and pending that are assigned to the University of Pennslyvania in the field of CAR T cells. Some of these are licensed to Novartis Ag and Tmunity for which I receive royalties. I am also a co-founder and co-chair of the scientific advisory board of Cabaletta Bio. I have equity in Cabaletta Bio as well as receive compensation for my advisory role. I am also an inventor on patents assigned to the University of Pennsylvania and licensed to Cabaletta.

Professor Thomas Powles MRCP MBBS MD

Professor Thomas Powles MRCP MBBS MD

Uro-oncology, Immune oncology

Professor Thomas Powles is a director of Barts Cancer Centre and Professor of Urology Cancer at Barts Cancer Institute.

His background training includes Imperial College London and his MD thesis was in Mechanisms resistance to targeted therapy based at the University of London.

He has written over 200 in Uro-Oncology and Immune Oncology and given keynote presentations at key international meetings.

He leads the ESMO guidelines in bladder and renal cancer.


Professor Powles has done Consultancy or received an Honorarium from, AstraZeneca, BMS, Exelixis, Incyte, Ipsen, Merck/MSD, Novartis, Pfizer and Seattle Genetics. In addition he or his institution has received grants/funding from AstraZeneca and Roche. He has played a strategic advisory role with Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Roche and BMS.

Antoni Ribas, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr Antoni Ribas MD, PhD
Professor of Medicine, Surgery, Molecular and Medical Pharmacology

Adoptive t cell therapy, Cell biology, Gene editing in t cells, Histology, IL32 transcriptional regulation, Immune infiltration, Interleukin 32 (IL32), Melanoma dedifferentiation, Myeloid polarization, Non-viral gene editing in t cells
Director, Tumor Immunology Program, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center (JCCC)
Director, Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy (PICI) Center at UCLA
University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)

Antoni Ribas, M.D., Ph.D. is Professor of Medicine, Professor of Surgery, and Professor of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Director of the Tumor Immunology Program at the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center (JCCC), Director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy (PICI) Center at UCLA. Dr Ribas is a physician-scientist who conducts laboratory and clinical research in malignant melanoma, focusing on gene engineered T cells, PD-1 blockade and BRAF targeted therapies. His National Cancer Institute (NCI), State of California and foundation-supported research laboratory develops models of disease to test new therapeutic options, studies mechanism of action of treatments in patients and the molecular mechanisms of therapy resistance.

Dr. Ribas is an elected member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation (ASCI), has a Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Buenos Aires, co-led the Stand Up to Cancer (SU2C)-Cancer Research Institute (CRI)-AACR Immunotherapy Dream Team with the Nobel Laureate James Allison, is the recipient of a NCI Outstanding Investigator Award, was profiled as one of the five Visionaries in Medicine by the New York Times on May 27, 2018, acknowledged as Great Immigrant by the Carnegie Foundation in the New York Times on July 4, 2018, and is the recipient of the 2014 AACR Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Award and the 2018 AACR-CRI Lloyd J. Old Award in Cancer Immunology. He is currently the President-elect of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).

Declaration of Interest: Consultant – Honoraria: Amgen, Chugai, Genentech, Merck, Novartis, Sanofi, Scientific Advisory Board – Stock: Advaxis, Arcus, Bioncotech, Compugen, CytomX, Five Prime, FLX-Bio, ImaginAb, Isoplexis, Kite-Gilead, Merus, Rgenix, Co-founder – Stock: Lutris, PACT Pharma, Tango Therapeutics

Dr Padmanee Sharma

Dr Padmanee Sharma, MD, PhD
Professor, Department of Genitourinary Medical Oncology
Professor, Department of Immunology
Scientific Director, Immunotherapy Platform
M. D. Anderson Cancer Center

Immune checkpoint therapy

Dr. Sharma is a nationally and internationally renowned physician scientist whose research work is focused on investigating mechanisms and pathways within the immune system that facilitate tumor rejection, with subsequent clinical benefit, or elicit resistance to immune checkpoint therapy. She is a trained medical oncologist and immunologist and the T.C. and Jeanette D. Hsu Endowed Chair in Cell Biology. She designed and conducted the first pre-surgical trial, also known as a window-of-opportunity trial, with immune checkpoint therapy (anti-CTLA-4) in 2004, which allowed her to study the impact of immune checkpoint therapy on human tumors, with subsequent identification of the ICOS/ICOSL pathway as a novel target for cancer immunotherapy strategies. Dr. Sharma continues to design novel pre-surgical trials to evaluate human immune responses to different immunotherapies and she is the Principal Investigator for multiple immunotherapy clinical trials that focus on translational laboratory studies. Her studies enable development of new immunotherapy strategies for the treatment of cancer patients. She is a Professor in the departments of Genitourinary Medical Oncology and Immunology, and the Scientific Director for the Immunotherapy Platform at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. She is also the Co-Director of Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at MD Anderson Cancer Center. She is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI) and received the Emil Frei III Award for Excellence in Translational Research in 2016 and the Coley Award for Distinguished Research for Tumor Immunology in 2018.


Dr. Sharma reports consultantships for Oncolytics, Jounce, BioAtla, Forty-Seven, Polaris, Marker, Codiak, ImaginAB, Hummingbird, Dragonfly, Lytix, Lava Therapeutics, Infinity and Achelois. Dr. Sharma reports ownership interests in Constellation, Oncolytics, Apricity Health, Hummingbird, Dragonfly, Lytix, Lava Therapeutics, Achelois, Jounce, Neon, BioAtla, Forty-Seven, Polaris, Marker, Codiak, and ImaginAb. Dr. Sharma also owns a patent licensed to Jounce.

Professor Daniel E. Speiser MD

Professor Daniel E. Speiser MD
Lausanne, Switzerland

Clinical immunology, (hemato-) Oncology, Infection, Tumor immunity

Dr Speiser graduated in 1982 and received a Doctorate in Medicine in 1986 at the University of Zürich, Switzerland. He then completed a clinical degree in internal medicine, with specialization in clinical immunology and (hemato-) oncology. In the laboratory of Rolf Zinkernagel (then future Nobel Laureate), he specialized in infection and tumor immunity, subsequently extending his experience to basic and clinical immunology and habilitated at the University of Geneva in 1995. During his career, he has accomplished many R&D projects and clinical trials. For example, he developed experimental immunotherapy in mouse models with naturally arising tumors, in the labs of Pam Ohashi and Tak Mak at the Ontario Cancer Institute and the University of Toronto, Canada. Furthermore, Dr. Speiser was the first to demonstrate in humans that intratumoral T cells have a molecular and functional “exhaustion” profile, resembling the situation in animals and patients with chronic infection. His innovative work is possible thanks to sound scientific work and knowledge, directly applied to real-life situations in the clinic.

Dr Speiser promotes academic bio-medical progress at local, national and international levels. His aim is to move clinical research up the value chain, which is increasingly required for progress in medicine. Integration of clinic and laboratory works best when based on academic clinical studies. Since >25 years, Dr Speiser continuously develops Programs for Integrated Personalized Cancer Therapy. Therein, all the players in clinical care and in research are directly involved, and convene regularly at the respective clinical (tumor) board and at project-oriented meetings. These programs combine (i) state-of-the art patient care, (ii) education and development, and (iii) comprehensive clinical and laboratory investigation. This pioneering workstyle has now become widely acknowledged, because such programs excel in supporting innovation in bio-medical sciences and clinical medicine.

Declaration of Interest: Receipt of research support from Roche Pharma and Boehringer-Ingelheim. Honoraria and Stock Options from Checkmate Pharmaceuticals.

Professor Charles Swanton, MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRS

Professor Charles Swanton, MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRS
London, United Kingdom

Cancer evolution, Intratumour heterogeneity, Chromosomal instability, Genome instability, Immune evasion, Solid tumours

Charles completed his MDPhD training in 1999 at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund Laboratories and Cancer Research UK clinician scientist/medical oncology training in 2008. Charles combines his laboratory research at the Francis Crick Institute with clinical duties at UCLH and as director of the CRUK UCL Lung Cancer Centre, focussed on how tumours evolve over space and time. Charles has helped to define the branched evolutionary histories of solid tumours, processes that drive cancer cell-to-cell variation in the form of new cancer mutations or chromosomal instabilities, and the impact of such cancer diversity on effective immune surveillance and clinical outcome.

Charles was made Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in April 2011, appointed Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2015, Napier Professor in Cancer by the Royal Society in 2016, appointed Cancer Research UK’s Chief Clinician in 2017, and elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 2018.

Charles was awarded the Stand up to Cancer Translational Cancer Research Prize (2015), Glaxo Smithkline Biochemical Society Prize (2016), San Salvatore prize for Cancer Research (2017), the Ellison-Cliffe Medal, Royal Society of Medicine (2017), recipient of the Gordon Hamilton Fairley Medal (2018), the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Centre Kraft Prize for Excellence in Cancer Research (2018), the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) Paul A. Bunn Scientific Award for achievements in lung cancer (2018), and ESMO Award for Translational Research in 2019.

Declaration of Interest:

C.S. receives grant support from Pfizer, AstraZeneca, BMS, Roche-Ventana and Boehringer-Ingelheim. C.S. has received speaker fees or consulted for Pfizer, Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, MSD, BMS, Celgene, AstraZeneca, Illumina, Genentech, Roche-Ventana, GRAIL, Medicxi, and the Sarah Cannon Research Institute. C.S. is a shareholder of Apogen Biotechnologies, Epic Bioscience, GRAIL, and has stock options in and is co-founder of Achilles Therapeutics.

Michele Teng

Associate Professor Michele Teng PhD
QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Herston, Queensland, Australia

T cells

Associate Professor Michele Teng is head of the Cancer Immunoregulation and Immunotherapy laboratory at the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Brisbane, Australia. Over her career, she has published 103 peer-reviewed primary papers and reviews (H-index, 50) in high impact journals such as Cancer Discovery, Cancer Research, Nature Med, Nat Rev Clin Oncol and Lancet Oncol. She obtained her PhD in 2006 at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and University of Melbourne, Australia where her studies were amongst the first in pioneering the development of second-generation chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells for cancer treatment. During her early post-doctoral career, she developed expertise in the role of immunoregulatory T cells, including Tregs and innate-like T cells, in controlling immune responses to cancer. Here, in mouse models, she demonstrated the mechanism of action and activity of blocking type II NK-T cells or activating type I NKT in combination immunotherapies that synergized to suppress tumor growth. She also performed and published critical experiments that demonstrated that Tregs suppressed NK cell-mediated control of cancer. She was the first to conclusively demonstrate in mouse models of carcinogenesis that Tregs suppress both innate and adaptive anti-tumor immunity using the Foxp3-DTR mice, where Tregs could be conditionally depleted. She has continued to investigate the mechanisms by which tumor-induced immunosuppression impedes the effective treatment of cancer. Specifically, in cancer initiation, growth and metastasis, the research topics of her laboratory have included: the role of Tregs and other immunoregulatory T cell subsets, more recently mucosal associated invariant T (MAIT) cells; the extracellular adenosine pathway; and the IL-23-associated cytokine family. Her group has also developed a preclinical mouse model to assess how different combination therapies impact on tumour immunity and immune related adverse events. More recently, her group provided the game-changing pre-clinical proof that neoadjuvant immunotherapy was superior to adjuvant immunotherapy in the context of cancer surgery.


Michele Teng reports receiving speaker’s honorarium and/or travel support from Bristol Myers Squibb, Boehringer Ingelheim, Merck and Novartis

Anna M. Wu

Professor Anna M. Wu PhD
University of California Los Angeles David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California, United States of America

Antibody engineering, Antibody fragment, CD4, Diabody, diagnostics, ImmunoPET, Immuno-PET, Inflammatory bowel disease, Lymphocytes, Molecular imaging

Anna M. Wu, Ph.D, is Professor and Chair, Department of Molecular Imaging and Therapy and Co-Director, Center for Theranostic Studies, Beckman Research of the City of Hope, and Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, CA. She also holds the title of Research Professor, Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, where she previously served as Professor and Vice Chair. While at UCLA she also held positions as Director, Cancer Molecular Imaging Program, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and Co-Associate Director, Crump Institute for Molecular Imaging. She is a past Chair of the California Breast Cancer Research Council, and Fellow and Past President of the World Molecular Imaging Society. Dr. Wu’s research interests include engineered antibodies and proteins for targeting, imaging, and therapeutic applications in cancer and immunology, including the use of SPECT, PET, optical and multimodality approaches. Dr. Wu is the Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Advisor to ImaginAb, Inc., which develops and commercializes engineered antibodies for clinical imaging in cancer and other diseases. Dr. Wu received her A.B. degree in Biochemical Sciences from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. from Yale University in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry. Postdoctoral studies were conducted at Yale University and at the University of California, San Francisco.


Anna M. Wu is a founder, consultant, and shareholder of ImaginAb, Inc.