David Gandara, M.D.,Professor Emeritus and Senior Advisor of the Thoracic Oncology Program at University of California Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center (UCDCCC), brings deep knowledge and understanding to the immuno-oncology field, and he is recognized for his translational research and clinical work in cancer drug and biomarker development.

Dr. Gandara has received numerous awards, authored over 450 publications, and presented his work at meetings nationally and internationally. He is a co-leader at Lung MAP, a precision medicine umbrella clinical trial for the development of biomarker-driven strategies for new therapies in lung cancer. His current research includes the development of preclinical modeling and clinical research in lung cancer. Recently, he was appointed Chief Medical Officer of the International Society for Liquid Biopsy. Prior to his present roles, he was president of the International Association for Study of Lung Cancer, as well as treasurer and BOD member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). He has previously served as chair of the Lung Committee for the Southwest oncology group (SWOG) and is founding co-chair of the NCI Investigational Drug Steering Committee (IDSC).

Dr. Gandara obtained his M.D. from University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, and he completed his clinical training as a resident at Madigan Army Medical Center, and as a Fellow in hematology and oncology at Letterman Army Medical Center. He received his B.A. at the University of Texas, Austin.

Dr. Spiegel has over 30 years of extensive R&D and operational experience in biopharmaceuticals including Big Pharma, biotech, and academic startups as well as interactions advising venture capital and private equity.

Dr Spiegel was an Assistant Professor and Director of the Developmental Therapeutics Program at NYU Medical Center and then spent over 25 years at Schering-Plough where he joined as the first Director for Oncology Clinical Research. He subsequently held a series of senior executive positions, including Senior Vice President for worldwide Clinical Research and Chief Medical Officer. During his time at Schering-Plough he took numerous drug candidates through clinical development and was involved with over 30 NDA approvals at the FDA. Since 2011 Dr. Spiegel has been a consultant to the biotech industry and has served on the Scientific Advisory Board and Board of Directors of multiple biotech companies.  He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Geron Corp, Cyclacel Therapetics, Ayala Pharmaceuticals, and Athenex. He is currently the president of Spiegel Consulting LLC and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College.  He is also a Senior Advisor to the private equity firm Warburg Pincus and an Advisor to the Israel Biotech Fund.

Dr. Spiegel received his B.A. from Yale University and his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He completed his specialty training at the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Dr. Fischkoff is a Board Certified Medical Oncologist who has been active in the pharmaceutical industry for 29 years. He has proven track record and leadership in developing some of the most innovative therapeutics with responsibility in a broad range of clinical, management, and regulatory activities.

At Medarex, Dr. Fischkoff was responsible for the clinical development of ipilimumab (Yervoy) leading to its US FDA approval in 2011. He led the team who completed the Phase 2 trial of ipilimumab, and designed the Phase 3 trial which demonstrated a significant survival advantage in metastatic melanoma. Ipilimumab was the first ever immune checkpoint inhibitor approved by the FDA and remains the only FDA-approved anti-CTLA-4 product up to date.

At Knoll Pharmaceutics and through the acquisition by Abbott, Dr. Fischkoff served as the clinical lead for the development of adalimumab (Humira®), taking it from first-in-man through submission and approval in the US and the EU. In addition, while at Knoll, he ran clinical trials for a monoclonal antibody to treat sepsis and a number of small molecule oncology compounds. At Lederle Laboratories, he contributed to the development of levoleucovorin (Isovorin®) for colorectal cancer and mitoxantrone for breast and prostatic cancer.

At Palatin Biotechnologies, Dr. Fischkoff led the clinical development of bremelanotide (Vyleesi®) for male and female sexual dysfunction as well as a small molecule compound for heart failure. He spent 8 years at the cell therapy companies Celgene Cellular Therapeutics, Iovance Biotherapeutics (formerly Lion), and WindMIL, pursuing a number of oncology and inflammatory indications including acute myeloid leukemia, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke, lung cancer, melanoma, and sarcoidosis. At Sun Pharma Advanced Research Company, he worked on studies and submissions for a variety of small molecules to treat Parkinson’s disease, chronic myelogenous leukemia, prostate cancer, and skin cancer.

Prior to joining the industry, Dr. Fischkoff spent 15 years in academic positions at the National Cancer Institute and the medical schools of the University of Maryland and the University of Pennsylvania. He holds an MD from the University of Pennsylvania and oncology training at the NCI-Baltimore Cancer Research Center.

A 20-year veteran of the pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Frankel is a hematologist-oncologist with broad academic and industry experience in the research, clinical development, and commercialization of immuno-oncology and cellular therapies. He has internationally recognized clinical expertise and led clinical development programs for multiple US FDA-approved drugs to treat hematologic malignancies including acute lymphoblastic leukemia, multiple myeloma, and lymphoma.

Since 2000, Dr. Frankel has held multiple executive and leadership positions at Merck, Roche, Micromet, Amgen and Genta Therapeutics. He oversaw bispecific antibody development as Vice President, Clinical Development, at Micromet, and, following the Amgen acquisition of Micromet and the bispecific T-cell engager platform, contributed to the approval of blinatumomab (Blincyto®) at Amgen.

Dr. Frankel was Senior Vice President and the head of Cellular Therapy Development at Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS). Prior to the BMS acquisition of Celgene, he was Corporate Vice President and the head of Immuno-Oncology & Cellular Therapy and Clinical Research and Development at Celgene. Dr. Frankel oversaw the durvalumab alliance with Medimmune/AstraZeneca, the tislelizumab alliance with BeiGene, and the initial Celgene clinical development alliance with Juno Therapeutics. He co-chaired the Hematology-Oncology Development Committee and served on the Hematology-Oncology Franchise Leadership Team. Dr. Frankel is Chief Medical Officer of Cytovia Therapeutics and an Independent member of the Board of Directors of Precision Biosciences. He serves on the Scientific Advisory Boards of Sutro Biopharma and Immunai.

Dr. Frankel received his B.A. from Harvard College and his M.D. from Northwestern University. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital and his fellowship in hematology-oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center where he was Chief Fellow. He has prior academic and clinical appointments at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Georgetown University, and the University of Maryland prior to joining Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons as Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology.

In addition to his contributions to the approval of Blincyto® and vorinostat  (Zolinza®), and the 2021 US FDA and Japan PMDA approvals of liso-cel (Breyanzi®) and US FDA approval of ide-cel (Abecma®), Dr. Frankel worked as an academic investigator on the development of eleven other approved oncology drugs including Vesanoid® and Trisenox® for acute promyelocytic leukemia, Rituxan®, Zevalin®, and Bexxar® for CD20 expressing malignancies, as well as Neulasta®, Kepivance®, Mylotarg®, and Gleevec®.

Huan-Xiang Zhou, Ph.D., is a Professor of Chemistry and Physics at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where his group conducts theoretical, computational, and experimental studies on the structure, dynamics, and function of proteins. He holds an LAS Endowed Chair in the Natural Sciences.

Prior to joining UIC, he held faculty appointments at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Drexel University, and Florida State University, where he was a recipient of the PAI Award for Excellence in Teaching and Research. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the American Physical Society and has served on many grant review panels and journal editorial boards.

Prof. Zhou received his Ph.D. from Drexel University, did postdoctoral work at the National Institutes of Health, and received his B.S. from Wuhan University.

Mervyn Turner, Ph.D., accumulated over 25 years of experience at Merck Research Laboratories in pharmaceuticals drug discovery, research and development, licensing and business development, emerging markets analysis, and strategy development and implementation. For 7 years, he was head of world-wide licensing and external research at Merck, during a period of rapid expansion in Merck’s partnering activities. He became Merck’s first Chief Strategy Officer and a member of the senior executive team in 2008, before retiring from the company in 2011.

Dr. Turner currently operates his own consulting business. He is the Chairman of the Board of LUNAC, UK. He served on the Board of Preventice, LLC, Rochester, Minnesota until the merger with eCardio. He also serves on the Board of EnGeneIC, Sydney, Australia.

He was a member of the Steering Committee of the Seeding Drug Discovery Initiative of the Wellcome Trust, UK. He currently serves as an Advisor to Bay City Capital, San Francisco; to Adagene, Suzhou, China; and to Bridge Medicines, NYC. He is a member of the SAB for Spinogenix, San Diego, and Blade Therapeutics, San Francisco. He is also a Senior Advisor to the Lazard Health Care group, New York.

Anthony Tolcher, M.D., is a medical oncologist and co-founder of the NEXT Oncology. He is a graduate of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. He performed his residency in internal medicine at the University of Toronto and his fellowship in oncology at the University of British Columbia. He followed this with a research fellowship at the National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland.

Dr. Tolcher was the director of clinical research at South Texas Accelerated Research Therapeutics in San Antonio from 2007 to 2018, and was the director of clinical research at the Cancer Therapy and Research Center in San Antonio from 2003 to 2007. Prior to that he served as the associate director at the CTRC from 1999 to 2003. He was a Fogarty Fellow at the National Institute of Health, and received the Murray Muirhead Award for humanitarian and academic excellence and the Goel Prize in Medicine for excellence in the Clinical Disciplines. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada; a Diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology; and a member of the American College of Physicians, and the American Society of Clinical Oncologists.

He also serves as a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology Scientific Program Committee and the Cancer Education Committee. He is an Associate Editor of The Journal of New Anticancer Agents; and he is a scientific grant reviewer for the National Cancer Institute of Canada.
Dr. Tolcher has authored numerous publications, including 38 peer reviewed publications, 26 Conference Proceedings, and 5 book chapters. He serves as a reviewer for the following journals: Anti-Cancer Drugs, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Annals of Oncology, Cancer Research, Clinical Cancer Research, Clinical Lung Cancer, Clinical Prostate Cancer, Human Gene Therapy, and the Journal of Cancer.

Feng Shao, Ph.D., is an investigator and deputy director at the National Institute of Biological Sciences (NIBS), Beijing. Dr. Shao’s work has been recognized by numerous awards including the Future Science Prize, Qiu Shi Outstanding Scientist Award, HHMI International Early Career Award and the Protein Society Irving Sigal Young Investigator Award.

Prior to becoming a faculty member at NIBS, Dr. Shao was a Damon Runyon Postdoc Fellow at Harvard Medical School. He is a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, an associate member of EMBO, and a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology.

Dr. Shao’s research lies at the interface between bacterial pathogen and host immunity. He identified most of the known cytosolic pattern recognition receptors for bacterial molecules, including caspase-11/4/5 for LPS and ALPK1 for ADP-heptose (a precursor for LPS biosynthesis). He also identified gasdermin-D (GSDMD) whose cleavage by caspase-1/4/5/11 determines pyroptosis, which is critical for septic shock and other inflammatory diseases. His research further establishes the gasdermin family of pore-forming proteins, therefor re-defining pyroptosis as gasdermin-mediated programmed necrosis. Among the family, GSDME is activated by caspase-3, which occurs mostly in noncancer cells and contributes to the toxicity of chemotherapy drugs. His most recent work demonstrates that pyroptosis is a critical mechanism underlying lymphocyte cytotoxicity and gasdermin activation in cancer cells can stimulate potent antitumor immunity.

Dr. Shao received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan and B.S. in chemistry from Peking University.

Yiqin Gao, Ph.D., is a Professor at the College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, an investigator at the Beijing Innovation Center of Genomics and the Biomedical Pioneering Innovation Center at Peking University and a senior investigator at the Shenzhen Bay Lab.

He is a recipient of the Distinguished Lectureship Award from the Japanese Chemical Society, Promising Scientist Prize from Quantum Systems in Chemistry and Physics (QSCP), Pople Medal from Asia-Pacific Association of Theoretical and Computational Chemistry, CMOA Prize, Searle Scholar, Dreyfus New Faculty Award and the Clauser Prize. Prof. Gao has published over 120 papers.

Prof. Gao and his lab focus on systematic basic theory research. Previously, he was an assistant professor in the chemistry department of Texas A&M University and a postdoctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology and Harvard University.

He is a member of the finance committee of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), the deputy secretary general of the Chinese Chemical Society, the director of the professional committee of Biophysical Chemistry of the Chinese Chemical Society, and a member of the professional committee of Theoretical Chemistry of the Chinese Chemical Society.

Prof. Gao received his Ph.D. from California Institute of Technology, M.S. from Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and B.S. from Sichuan University.