Jeno Gyuris, Ph.D. (Chair)
Chief Scientific Officer, Trieza Therapeutics, Inc.
Jeno Gyuris Ph.D. is acting Chief Scientific Officer and Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Gyuris brings 25 years of scientific leadership experience in the biopharmaceutical industry and a deep understanding of basic cancer research and translational biology as well as oncology drug discovery and development. A veteran of the Cambridge biotech cluster, Dr. Gyuris currently serves as the Chief Scientific Officer of Trieza Therapeutics and has held a number of scientific leadership positions including Chief Scientific Officer of Aveo Pharmaceuticals and Executive VP, Research and Development and Chief Scientific Officer for Quiet Therapeutics. Dr. Gyuris received his Ph.D. from the University of Szeged, Hungary, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital.
James P. Allison, Ph.D.
Chairman, Department of Immunology, MD Anderson Cancer Center
Jim Allison has spent a distinguished career studying the regulation of T cell responses and pioneering new strategies for cancer immunotherapy. Among his most notable discoveries are the determination of the T cell receptor structure and that CD28 is the major costimulatory molecule that allows full activation of naïve T cells and prevents anergy in T cell clones. His lab resolved a major controversy by demonstrating that CTLA-4 inhibits T-cell activation by opposing CD28-mediated costimulation and that blockade of CTLA-4 could enhance T cell responses, leading to tumor rejection in animal models. He proposed that blockade of immune checkpoints such as CTLA-4 might be a powerful strategy for therapy of many cancer types, and conducted preclinical experiments showing its potential. These seminal findings established the field of immune checkpoint blockade therapy for cancer. Work in his lab led to the development of ipilimumab, an antibody to human CTLA-4 and the first immune checkpoint blockade therapy approved by the FDA. Since that time ipilimumab has been approved as part of the therapeutic regimen for metastatic melanoma, renal cell carcinoma, and lung cancer. His current work seeks to improve immune checkpoint blockade therapies currently used by our clinicians and identify new targets to unleash the immune system in order to eradicate cancer. Among many honors, he is a member of the National Academies of Sciences and Medicine. His more recent awards include the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences in 2014, Lasker-Debakey Clinical Medical Research award in 2015, the Balzan Prize in 2017, and the Kovalenko Medal from the National Academy of Sciences, the King Faisal Prize in Medicine, the BBVA Foundations of Knowledge Prize, and the Dr. Paul Janssen Award so far in 2018.
Keith T. Flaherty, M.D
Professor, Medicine, Harvard Medical School & Director of Developmental Therapeutics, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center
Dr. Flaherty is director, since 2012, of the Henri and Belinda Termeer Center for Targeted Therapy and, since 2014, director of Clinical Research at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. As described in the more than 250 peer reviewed primary research reports he has authored or co-authored, Dr. Flaherty and colleagues made several seminal observations recently that have defined the treatment of melanoma when they established the efficacy of BRAF, MEK and combined BRAF/MEK inhibition in patients with metastatic melanoma in a series of New England Journal of Medicine articles for which Dr. Flaherty was the first author. Dr. Flaherty also has been a leader in assessing and identifying mechanisms of de novo and acquired resistance to BRAF inhibitor therapy and clinically evaluating next generation inhibitors, work that has had implications for resistance to targeted therapy regimens used to treat other malignant diseases. Dr. Flaherty has received extensive NCI funding support with K12, K23, SPORE, RO1, U54 and PO1 grants. He serves as editor-in-chief of Clinical Cancer Research. He is the principal investigator of the NCI MATCH trial, the first NCI-sponsored trial assigning patients to targeted therapy independent of tumor type on the basis of DNA sequencing detection of oncogenes. He has made major commitments to ECOG as chair of the Developmental Therapeutics Committee and in 2013 was appointed as ECOG Deputy Chair for Biomarker Science.
Ravi I. Thadhani, M.D., MPH
Vice Dean for Research and Graduate Research Education, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Ravi Thadhani MD, MPH is the Vice Dean for Research and Graduate Research Education at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. Formerly he was Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Chief of Nephrology at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Executive Director of the Clinical Trials Office at Partners Healthcare in Boston. Dr. Thadhani has two major areas of interest: medical complications of pregnancy (preeclampsia and gestational diabetes) and vitamin D metabolism. He is also an expert in the science and management of cachexia in medical conditions such as chronic kidney disease (CKD). His goals are to translate biological discoveries into novel diagnostics and therapies for humans. In the area of preeclampsia, his collaborations with basic scientists have led to novel diagnostic tests now available in Europe and are being tested in the U.S., and of late, first-in-human clinical trials to prolong pregnancy in women with severe preterm preeclampsia. In the area of vitamin D metabolism, he has performed observational studies, collaborated with basic scientists in animal experimental studies, and translated these findings to multinational randomized trials to test several hypotheses in humans. More recently, he and collaborators put forward another paradigm-changing concept related to bioavailable vitamin D, potentially changing our view of who truly is vitamin D deficient. Dr. Thadhani has mentored several fellows and junior faculty members, all of who have had a strong track record of publications and grant support, and many of who are on faculty at leading institutions around the country. Dr. Thadhani has served as a reviewer for and has published in several journals including New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of American Medical Association, Lancet, Proc National Academy of Science, Circulation, Journal of America Society of Nephrology, and Kidney International. He is an inducted member into the American Society of Clinical Investigation, the American Epidemiology Society and the Association of American Physicians. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors including the Alumni Award of Merit from the Harvard School of Public Health and the Harold Amos Faculty Diversity Award, Harvard Medical School.
David J. Tweardy, M.D.
Co-Founder and President of Tvardi
Division Head, Internal Medicine, MD Anderson Cancer Center
David Tweardy, M.D. is Head of the Division of Internal Medicine at MD Anderson Cancer Center and a physician-scientist recognized for his contributions to our understanding of the biochemistry and molecular and cellular biology of signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) 3, as well as its contribution to inflammation, fibrosis, and oncogenesis. His group claims several firsts in the STAT3 field, including the identification, molecularly cloning, and full characterization of the β isoform of human STAT3, identifying the contribution of STAT3 to human oncogenesis, and discovering competitive small-molecule inhibitors of STAT3 through targeting its Src homology (SH) 2 domain. Since his founding of StemMed, Ltd., the parent of Tvardi Therapeutics, Inc. in 2009, he obtained $15M in non-diluted funding to support development of small-molecule STAT3 inhibitors from concept to Phase I testing. He is the major inventor of all patents licensed to or owned by Tvardi.
Ronald A. DePinho, M.D.
Past President and Professor, MD Anderson Cancer Center
Ronald A. DePinho, M.D. is past president and distinguished university professor of MD Anderson Cancer Center. He studied biology at Fordham University, where he graduated class salutatorian, received his M.D. degree with distinction from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and performed his residency and postdoctoral training at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center. His research career began at Einstein as the Feinberg Senior Faculty Scholar in Cancer Research and an ACS Research Professor. He then joined the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School where he was the founding Director of the Belfer Institute for Applied Cancer Science. During his 6-year tenure as MD Anderson’s president, Dr. DePinho conceived and launched the Cancer Moon Shots Program, maintained MD Anderson’s top ranking, dramatically enhanced its research and training excellence, recruited many world class faculty, and expanded its global network to reach one-third of the human population. His research program has made fundamental contributions to our understanding of cancer, aging and degenerative disorders, and the translation of such knowledge has led to clinical advances. He is a member of the National Academies of Science and Medicine and recipient of honorary degrees and many awards including the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and knighthood from Portugal. He is the founder of several private and publicly traded biotechnology companies and served as an advisor or director for AACR, NIH, Vatican as well as several large biopharma companies focused on oncology.