SCIENTIFIC ADVISORS

Tom Boone

Antibody Discovery and Development Advisor

Tom Boone Consulting

Tom Boone has more than 37 years of accomplishments in the discovery and development of protein therapeutics. Tom worked at Amgen for 28 years and served in positions of increasing responsibility in growing Amgen Protein Sciences to an organization of over 300 researchers across five different sites while maintaining a long tradition of industry excellence. His career at Amgen began in 1981 as a bench scientist with the isolation and cDNA cloning of novel cytokines and growth factors including G-CSF. He was also responsible for purifying many of Amgen’s recombinant proteins. Tom’s responsibilities grew from Scientist to Director and he developed proprietary processes used to produce recombinant G-CSF and other therapeutic candidates for clinical applications. His continuing success led to leadership of all research protein technologies, and the evolution of Protein Sciences as an independent organization. Tom was the first Vice President of Amgen Protein Science and his teams were responsible for the majority of the current Amgen product portfolio and late stage clinical programs. Tom was the lead scientist in the development of Nplate®, a treatment of thrombocytopenia. His critical role in the discovery and process development of G-CSF (Neupogen) is widely recognized. Tom has recently helped start several companies and has helped them license in clinical stage molecules. He is also currently a consultant or scientific advisor for more than 25 companies.

Prof. Tracy Handel, PhD

Pharmacology Advisor

Professor of Pharmacy, UC San Diego Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Department of Pharmacology

Dr. Handel received her PhD in Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology in 1989 and did post-doctoral work in protein design/biophysics at E. I. Du Pont de Nemours with William DeGrado from 1989-1992. When Du Pont de Nemours became Du Pont Merck Pharmaceuticals, she was hired as a Principal Investigator and led an inflammatory disease group targeting the chemokine receptor CCR2, and initiated structural studies of its ligand MCP-1 (CCL2). In 1994 she joined the faculty of the Molecular and Cell Biology Department at the University of California Berkeley, where she continued to work on chemokines, particularly from a structural perspective focused on the ligands. After receiving tenure in 2000, Dr. Handel began pursuing structural studies of chemokine receptors, which was a daunting endeavor at the time. In 2005, she moved to the University of California San Diego (Skaggs School of Pharmacy and the Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine) and began collaborating with the GPCR Network on structural studies of chemokine receptors. Dr. Handel’s laboratory contributed to the first chemokine receptor structure to be determined: CXCR4 in complex with a small molecule inhibitor and a cyclic peptide antagonist. In 2015 her laboratory solved the first structure of a chemokine receptor in complex with a chemokine. Dr. Handel continues to pursue other complexes of chemokine receptors with both small molecules and natural ligands to support drug discovery efforts. Her laboratory is also conducting single molecule fluorescence studies of chemokine receptor dynamics, and cell biology, signaling and molecular modeling to leverage further information from our structural studies, and to better understand the complex behavior of these proteins in heath and in disease.

Prof. Thomas James Kipps, MD, PhD

Oncology Advisor

Professor at UCSD Medical Center

Dr. Kipps is Professor of Medicine, Evelyn and Edwin Tasch Chair in Cancer Research, and Deputy Director of Research Operations at the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center. Dr. Kipps is internationally recognized for translational research on immunologic approaches for the treatment of cancer and for basic research exploring biological mechanisms that contribute to cancer, in particular chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Dr. Kipps received his MD and PhD in Immunology from Harvard University and completed residency and fellowship training in Internal Medicine, Hematology, and Genetics at Stanford University.

Fred Ramsdell, PhD

Immunology Advisor

Scientific Program Head at The Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy

Dr. Ramsdell received his Ph.D. from UCLA and did post-doctoral work at the National Institutes of Health, then joined Immunex Research Corporation to characterize T cell activation and tolerance, including the cloning and characterization of a variety of TNFR family members and their respective ligands. In 1995, he joined Darwin Molecular Inc. (later acquired by Celltech R&D, Inc.) to establish and lead its immunology program. At Darwin Molecular, Dr. Ramsdell developed programs in immunology and genetics that led to the discovery of Foxp3 and determined this to be the defining gene for regulatory T cells, the absence of which leads to the fatal human autoimmune syndrome, IPEX. After moving to ZymoGenetics, Inc. in 2004, Dr. Ramsdell identified and characterized several novel proteins with regulatory activity in lymphoid cells. In 2008, he moved to Novo Nordisk to establish the Inflammation Research Center in Seattle, where he led the Discovery Immunology group. In 2014, he joined aTyr Pharma as VP of Immunology and in 2016 joined The Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy (PICI).

Laura Solforosi, PhD

Antibodies & Vaccines Advisor

Senior Scientist at Janssen Infectious Disease and Vaccine

Dr. Solforosi is currently a Senior Scientist at Janssen Infectious Disease Vaccine in Leiden, The Netherlands. She has extensive experiences in academic as well as industry research. Her background is in microbiology, molecular biology and immunology including antibody generation and vaccine development. She has led and contributed to projects for the development and characterization of pathogens’ tumor specific antibodies and characterization of B cell response following vaccination. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Padova, Italy, and performed her postdoctoral work in Dr. Burton laboratory at the Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), in La Jolla California, recognized as the leading laboratory for anti-HIV antibodies generation and HIV vaccine development. Dr. Solforosi continued her work at TSRI as an Assistant Professor and also worked as senior scientist at the Tyrolean Cancer Research Institute, Innsbruck, Austria, and at the University Vita-Salute San Raffaele, Milan, Italy.
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