Saeed Tavazoie, Ph.D. (Chairman of SAB)
Saeed is a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at Columbia University. Prior to that, he was a Professor in the Department of Molecular Biology and the Institute for Integrative Genomics at Princeton. He received his graduate training at Harvard Medical School where he developed the very first computational methods for discovering regulatory networks from large scale genomic data. He has made fundamental contributions to the field of systems biology, including methods for discovering and validating regulatory perturbations in cancer. A major focus of his laboratory is to reveal how transcription factors, microRNAs, and RNA-binding proteins orchestrate precise patterns of gene expression sub-serving pathological states. Saeed is a recipient of the NSF Career Award, the NIH Director's Pioneer Award, and numerous other scientific awards and grants.
Sohail Tavazoie, M.D., Ph.D.
Sohail is the Director of the Elizabeth and Vincent Meyer Laboratory of Systems Cancer Biology and Leon Hess Associate Professor at The Rockefeller University as well as senior attending medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC). He received his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley, his Ph.D. from Harvard University and his M.D. from Harvard Medical School (HMS) and the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences & Technology. Following a residency and internship in internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and HMS, he joined MSKCC as a clinical fellow and then as a research fellow in medical oncology. Sohail is the recipient of the The American Society of Clinical Oncology and American Association for Cancer Research Young Investigator Award, the NIH New Innovator Award, and numerous other awards and grants.
Rich Heyman, Ph.D.
Richard A. Heyman, Ph.D., was the Chief Executive Officer and President at Seragon Pharmaceuticals Inc, which he co-founded in 2013 and sold to Genentech (Roche) in 2014. Previously, Dr. Heyman co-founded Aragon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in 2009 and served as its Chief Executive Officer, President, and Head of Research and Development until its sale to Johnson & Johnson. He co-founded X-Ceptor Therapeutics Inc. in 1999 and served as its Chief Scientific Officer and Senior Vice President of Research through its acquisition by Exelixis in 2004. Before that, Dr. Heyman served in positions of increasing responsibility with Ligand Pharmaceuticals including Vice President of Research, where he was responsible for multiple drug discovery programs, including the successful discovery and development of Panretin (alitretinoin) and Targretin (bexarotene), retinoids approved for the treatment of cancer. Dr. Heyman has more than a dozen issued patents and has co-authored over 100 scientific publications. He was trained as an NIH postdoctoral fellow and staff scientist at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. Dr. Heyman holds a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from University of Minnesota and a B.S. in Chemistry from University of Connecticut.
David Mangelsdorf, Ph.D.
David J. Mangelsdorf is currently the Chair of Pharmacology at UT Southwestern. He received his BS in Biology and Chemistry from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff (1981) and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Arizona in Tucson (1987). He did his postdoctoral studies at The Salk Institute for Biological Studies. Since 1993, he has been at UT Southwestern where he currently is Professor and Chair of the Department of Pharmacology and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He holds the Raymond and Ellen Willie Distinguished Chair in Molecular Neuropharmacology, in Honor of Harold B. Crasilneck, PhD, and he is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.
Antoni Ribas, M.D., Ph.D.
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) and the Chair of the Melanoma Committee at SWOG. Trained at the University of Barcelona, with postdoctoral research and clinical fellowships at UCLA. He is a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation (ASCI). Dr Ribas is a physician-scientist who conducts laboratory and clinical research in malignant melanoma, focusing on gene engineered adoptive cell transfer (ACT) therapies, anti-CTLA4 antibodies, anti-PD-1 antibodies, BRAF and MEK inhibitors and nanoparticle-siRNA, which have been published in major journals such as The New England Journal of Medicine, Nature, Nature Medicine and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. His NIH, State of California and private foundation-supported research laboratory develops models of disease to test new therapeutic options and studies mechanism of action of treatments in patients. He has been instrumental in the clinical development of several new agents approved by the FDA, including pembrolizumab (Keytruda), vemurafenib (Zelboraf), dabrafenib (Tafinlar) and trametinib (Mekinist).
Nancy Chang, Ph.D.
Nancy T. Chang is a renowned biochemist who cofounded Tanox in 1986 to address medical needs in the areas of allergy, asthma, inflammation and diseases affecting the human immune system. Tanox took an innovative approach in developing an asthma drug (Xolair) that focused on the allergy-related basis of asthma. In June 2003, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Xolair, the first biotech product cleared for treating those with asthma related to allergies. Tanox was also active in the development of TNX-355, an antibody for the treatment of HIV/AIDS. In 2007, Tanox was sold to Genentech for $919 million. Dr. Chang grew Tanox from an idea to a substantial publicly traded company pioneering innovative science. Following her success with Tanox, Dr. Chang became an angel investor in healthcare companies and performs philanthropic work in community health-education projects.
Siavash K. Kurdistani, M.D.
Siavash is Associate Professor of Biological Chemistry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He received his B.S. in Biochemistry from UCLA and M.D. from Harvard Medical School as an HHMI Medical Student Fellow. After residency training in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and an HHMI postdoctoral fellowship, he joined the faculty in the UCLA Department of Biological Chemistry in 2004. His laboratory investigates how chromatin and the epigenome are integrated into the cellular metabolic network and how alterations of chromatin structure and function contribute to cancer development and progression.
Tarun Kapoor, Ph.D.
Tarun is the Pels Family Professor and Head of Laboratory of Chemistry and Cell Biology at the Rockefeller University. Dr. Kapoor earned bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and biology from the California Institute of Technology, and master’s and Ph.D. degrees in chemistry from Harvard University. During this period, Tarun developed and validated new drug discovery strategies. His post-doctoral work at the Harvard Medical School led to the first anti-mitotic agent that did not target tubulin, the only target of all clinically used anti-mitotic agents. This work catalyzed the development of new anti-cancer drugs that have entered clinical trials. His laboratory’s translational research has led to new drug candidates that target proteins whose dysfunction has been linked to cancer. His basic research program focuses on revealing molecular and physical mechanisms underlying cell division. He has served as a Consultant or Scientific Advisory Board member for several pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms developing anti-cancer drugs. His work has been recognized by many awards, including the Pew Scholar and Leukemia Lymphoma Scholar Awards.