2019

San Diego, CA

 

2018 Speakers

Expand/Collapse

Kazuyuki Kuramori
President & Chief Executive Officer
GAIA BioMedicine Inc.

After starting a career as a government officer at the Ministry of Finance, Kazuyuki served in management consulting, financial advisory and private equity investment through different multinational companies. Later then joined a publicly traded Japanese company  for 6 years as the youngest member of the board of directors; in charge of M&A, corporate planning and business development. Kazuyuki  initially joining GAIA BioMedicine as an advisor and has since been appointed President and CEO as of April 2016.

Day One

Wednesday March 28th, 2018

15.10 | GAIA-102: A Novel Natural Killer Cell Phenotype That Can Eliminate the Solid Tumors

Jessie Ni
Chief Scientific Officer
Irvine Scientific

Dr. Jessie Ni received her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and post-doctoral training in Immunology from University of Minnesota.  She also has a Master of Management of Technology degree from Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota.  Jessie owns expertise and has a track record in developing and commercializing reagents for life science applications. Before joining Irvine Scientific, Jessie spent more than 10 years in R&D Systems directing and managing the development and manufacturing of recombinant proteins, antibodies, and cell culture media, which helped to advance cell therapy research and applications. Since joined Irvine Scientific in 2012, Jessie again led the R&D team to develop improved animal component-free and chemi-cally defined culture media for major primary cells including neural progenitors, mesenchymal stem/stromal cells and T cells.

Day Two

Thursday March 29th, 2018

10.40 | Expansion of NK Cells Under Animal Component-free, Chemically Defined Condition

David Pyrce
SVP Innovation & Chief Commercial Officer
NantKwest, Inc.

Mr. Pyrce joined Nantkwest in 2015 as its Senior Vice President of Innovation & CCO where he leads Investor Relations, drives R&D innovation and translates it into high-impact commercial immunotherapies. Mr. Pyrce brings more than 25 years of biotechnology and healthcare industry operating experience as a founder, CEO, business development, marketing & sales executive with a passion for creating and growing game-changing organizations with laser focus on bringing the promise of 21st century medicine to cancer patients today through the discovery and development of novel, high impact cancer immunotherapies. Prior to joining NantKwest, Mr. Pyrce was the Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at NantHealth focusing on the development and commercial launching of GPS Cancer, the world’s first whole genome, transcriptome and quantitative proteomics molecular diagnostic test. Prior to the joining the NantWorks, LLC., Mr. Pyrce was the founder and CEO of Genomic Principles, a comprehensive, multi-omics molecular diagnostic firm dedicated to applying genomic sequencing data into patient-specific, neoantigen-based cancer vaccines. Mr. Pyrce completed the Advanced Executive Management program at Northwestern, has an MBA from the Stuart School at the Illinois Institute of Technology, and dual Bachelor of Science degrees in Chemistry and Biology from Northern Illinois University.

Day Two

Thursday March 29th, 2018

12.50 | The Natural Killer Cell as a Foundation to Next Generation Cancer Immunotherapies

Lotte Wieten
Assistant Professor
Dept of Transplantation Immunology, Maastricht University Medical Center

I am an immunologist with a specific interest in Transplantation- and tumor immunology and a strong background in HLA/KIR immunogenetics. My research group, investigates how Natural Killer cells are influenced by the tumor microenvironment and we develop combinational strategies to enhance clinical efficacy in haematological and solid tumors. In addition, we perform studies to better understand the functional relevance of classical and non-classical HLA molecules for alloreactive NK cells which contributes to improved selection of NK cell donors. Ultimately, we aim to develop NK cell based immunotherapy with a high clinical efficacy and, preferably, with low toxicity.  

Day One

Wednesday March 28th, 2018

14.40 | Strategies to Optimally Exploit the Anti-Tumor Potential of Alloreactive NK Cells in a Suppressive Tumor Microenvironment

Robert Hariri
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Celularity

Dr. Bob Hariri is a surgeon, biomedical scientist and highly successful serial entrepreneur in two technology sectors: biomedicine and aerospace. The Chairman, Founder and former Chief Executive Officer of one of the world's largest human cellular therapeutics companies, Celgene Cellular Therapeutics, a division of Celgene Corporation, Dr. Hariri has pioneered the use of stem cells to treat a range of life threatening diseases and has made transformative contributions to the field of tissue engineering. His activities and experience includes academic neurosurgeon at Weill Cornell Medical College, businessman, military surgeon, aviator and aerospace innovator. Dr. Hariri has over 150 issued and pending patents, has authored over 150 published chapters, articles and abstracts and is most recognized for his discovery of pluripotent stem cells from the placenta and as a member of the team which discovered the physiological activities of tumor necrosis factor (TNF).

Day One

Wednesday March 28th, 2018

12.10 | Panel Discussion: Evaluate The Challenges Limiting NK Cell Efficacy In Clinical Trials

Day Two

Thursday March 29th, 2018

15.20 | Potent Ex Vivo Expanded, Human CD34+ Cord Blood-derived Natural Killer Cells for Cancer Immunotherapy

Anahid Jewett
Professor & Director of Tumor Immunology Laboratory
UCLA School of Dentistry and Medicine

Dr. Jewett is Professor/Director of tumor immunology laboratory at UCLA School of Dentistry and Medicine. In addition to coining “split anergy” and identifying NK cells as main effectors targeting and differentiating cancer-stem cells/undifferentiated tumors, her new technology of super-charging NK cells is currently in use in clinical trials of cancer patients. She has received many awards, and has served on the editorial boards of many journals, and on NIH study sections. She holds several patents, and has given more than 200 invited lectures and published more than 100 articles in NK field. She has trained more than 150 graduate students.

Day One

Wednesday March 28th, 2018

09.40 | Therapeutic Use of Super-Charged NK Cells Targeting CSCs/Undifferentiated Pancreatic/Oral Tumors in Humanized BLT Mice, and Their Use in Clinical Trials

Robert Igarashi
President
CytoSen Therapeutics

Robert Igarashi, Ph.D. is the president and co-founder of CytoSen Therapeutics. Dr. Igarashi has a diverse background in life sciences and has played an instrumental role in the development of the particle based natural killer (NK) cell stimulating technology. He has brought his biochemical and physico-chemical expertise to combine with immunology for developing and refining the nanoparticle based method for NK cell stimulation that could be used for ex vivo expansion as well as in vivo stimulation of therapeutic NK cells.He has been crucial in understanding the biochemical aspects of the plasma membrane particles interacting with NK cells and how they can be further innovated to add novel therapeutic dimensions for adoptive NK cell therapy. 

Day One

Wednesday March 28th, 2018

12.10 | Panel Discussion: Evaluate The Challenges Limiting NK Cell Efficacy In Clinical Trials

Day Two

Thursday March 29th, 2018

09.10 | Stimulation of NK cells with the mbIL21 Platform: Manufacturing, Therapeutic, and Logistical Benefits

Jak Knowles
Chief Executive Officer
CytoSen Therapeutics

Dr. Knowles has had a career in healthcare spanning over a decade in biotech operations and venture capital. Prior to joining CytoSen Therapeutics as CEO, Dr. Knowles served as Managing Director of CureDuchenne Ventures (CDV) and Vice President of Medical and Scientific Affairs for CureDuchenne. While at CDV, Jak has served on the Board of Directors for the biotech companies Myotherix and RASRx, and for TRiNDS, a neuromuscular focused CRO. In 2017, Jak helped found and launch Exonics Therapeutics, serving as President, and Interim-CEO for a gene-editing company focused on delivering therapies for neuromuscular diseases. Jak started his career as an investment professional in the Boston office of MPM Capital where he focussed on launching early-stage oncology companies with BioVentures Asset Management team. Prior to MPM, Jak worked in New York as a biotechnology equities analyst with JMP Securities, and in the health and life sciences consulting practice of Oliver Wyman. Jak has a medical degree from Stanford University where he graduated with honors in biomedical research, and a B.S. in biology from Binghamton University. Jak has authored over a dozen publications from research performed at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Stanford University, and during a NIH post-doctoral head and neck cancer research fellowship.

Jeffrey Miller
Professor of Medicine
University of Minnesota

Dr. Miller is currently a Professor of Medicine at the University of Minnesota. He is the Deputy Director of the University of Minnesota Masonic Comprehensive Cancer Center. He has more than 20 years of experience studying the biology of NK cells and other immune effector cells and their use in clinical immunotherapy with over 170 peer-reviewed publications. He is a member of numerous societies such as the American Society of Hematology, the American Association of Immunologists, a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation since 1999. He serves on the editorial board for Blood and is a reviewer for a number of journals and NIH grants.

Day One

Wednesday March 28th, 2018

17.10 | Novel Strategies to Activate NK Cells for Cancer Therapy

12.10 | Panel Discussion: Evaluate The Challenges Limiting NK Cell Efficacy In Clinical Trials

Wilfred Germeraad
Chief Scientific Officer, Chief Operating Officer & Co-Founder
Cimaas

Wilfred Germeraad obtained a PhD in Immunology from Kyoto University, Japan in 1994. Later he worked for Crucell in the Netherlands as a teamleader of the Dendritic Cell program. Since 2003, he is in Maastricht where together with Gerard Bos he focuses on Immunotherapy for Cancer. As Associate Professor, he is responsible for the development of dendritic cells vaccines and developing natural killer cells for immune reconstitution after/with bone marrow transplantation. In 2015, they founded CiMaas, a startup company aiming to develop cellular immunotherapy for cancer. The company has moved into a new facility in which it can produce GMP grade immune cells for testing in clinical trials for various types of cancer.

Day Two

Thursday March 29th, 2018

12.20 | Allogeneic Natural Killer cell activity in cancer immunotherapy is enhanced by monoclonal antibodies

Katy Rezvani
Chief, Section of Cellular Therapy at Department of Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapy
MD Anderson Cancer Center

Dr. Katy Rezvani was recruited to MD Anderson in 2012 as Professor of Medicine, Director of Translational Research and Medical Director of the GMP Facility. She was appointed Chief of the Section for Cellular Therapy in the Department of Stem Cell Transplantation in 2017. She is the Principal Investigator on numerous grants and trials. Dr. Rezvani is Specialty Chief Editor for the section of Cancer Immunity and Immunotherapy for Frontiers in Immunology and an Associate Editor for Cytotherapy.  She has over 150 peer-reviewed publications related to Immunotherapy, Cellular Therapy and Hematology/Oncology and hematopoietic transplantation. She is on the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant (CIBMTR) clinical trials advisory committee, a member of the BMT CTN Cell and Gene Therapy and is on the organizing committees of the International Society of Cellular Therapy meeting and the Society for Natural Immunity NK 2018 meeting.

Day One

Wednesday March 28th, 2018

11.10 | Off-the-shelf CAR-engineered cord blood-derived NK cells for the treatment of cancer- the first-in-human trial

Michael Caligiuri
President
City of Hope National Medical Center

Michael A. Caligiuri, MD, is director of The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center (since 2004), CEO of Ohio State’s James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute (since 2008), and holds the Nationwide Enterprise Foundation Chair in Cancer Research. He also is a professor in the Department of Internal Medicine and the Department of Cancer Biology and Genetics in Ohio State’s College of Medicine.  Dr. Caligiuri is a physician – scientist whose clinical work is focused in leukemia and lymphoma.

Day One

Wednesday March 28th, 2018

16.40 | NK Fc Bridged Cellular Cytotoxicity - Applications in Cancer

Bob Valamehr
Vice President, Cancer Immunotherapy and Reprogramming Biology
Fate Therapeutics

Bob Valamehr is the Vice President of Cancer Immunotherapy at Fate Therapeutics, overseeing the company’s immuno-oncology and pluripotent stem cell programs, including efforts to develop novel pluripotent cell strategies to create “off-the-shelf” cell-based cancer immunotherapeutics.  Previously, Dr. Valamehr has played key scientific roles at Amgen and at the Broad Stem Cell Research Center developing ways to modulate stem cell fate and better understand cellular signaling pathways associated with cancer.  He has co-authored studies related to stem cell biology, oncology and materials science.  Dr. Valamehr received his PhD from the Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology at UCLA and his MBA from Pepperdine University.

Day One

Wednesday March 28th, 2018

12.10 | Panel Discussion: Evaluate The Challenges Limiting NK Cell Efficacy In Clinical Trials

Day Two

Thursday March 29th, 2018

11.50 | Development of FT516: Cornerstone Approach for Off-the-Shelf NK Cell Cancer Immunotherapy

Jaikumar Duraiswamy
Biologist, Cell Therapies Branch, Division of Cell and Gene Therapies
Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, US Food and Drug Administration

Dr. Jaikumar Duraiswamy is a product/CMC reviewer in the Cell Therapies Branch (CTB) at Office of Tissues and Advanced Therapies in CBER/FDA. Jaikumar is responsible for regulatory review of immunotherapy- related products. He participates at several scientific and regulatory meetings, and in working groups focused on the advancement and understanding of basic immunology and immunotherapy. He has many years of academic research experience in immunology and immunotherapy for various cancers and infectious diseases. He has several publications and patents, and received several awards.  

Workshop A

Tuesday March 27th, 2018

09.00 | Investigating the Regulatory Checkpoints that Need to be met in NK Cell Therapies

Karl-Johan Malmberg
Professor of Immunology
University of Oslo

Karl-Johan Malmberg is a Hematologist and Professor of Immunology at the University of Oslo, Norway and a Visiting Professor in Cell-Based Cancer Immunotherapy at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden. The Malmberg lab focuses on 1) basic questions concerning NK cell repertoire formation and regulation of effector cell function and 2) translational questions of how NK cells may be function-enabled for anti-cancer activity. The long-term goal of the laboratory is to advance our fundamental understanding of NK cell development and function, and use this progress to design new immunotherapeutic approaches and clinical trials for patients with cancer.

Day One

Wednesday March 28th, 2018

09.10 | How NK cells remember their education - Building functional potential through inhibition

Joachim Koch
Professor of Biochemistry Goethe-University Frankfurt and Research Program Head
Affimed

Prof. Dr. Joachim Koch joined Affimed as Research Program Head in 2016. He is responsible for managing the Company’s joint projects with academic and industrial partners, focusing on the development of novel immune cell engagers and NK cell-based therapeutics. Prior to Affimed, Joachim led the Immunobiology of Natural Killer Cells group, a research group focusing on NK cell tumor immunosurveillance, at the Institute of Tumor Biology and Experimental Therapy (Georg-Speyer-Haus), Frankfurt a. M., and University of Mainz Medical Center. A biologist trained at University of Cologne and Harvard Medical School, Joachim holds a Ph.D. from the University of Heidelberg. Following his Habilitation on viral immune evasion from MHC class I antigen presentation at Goethe-University Frankfurt and at LUMC Leiden, Joachim was granted a Professorship in Biochemistry at Goethe-University Frankfurt.

Day Two

Thursday March 29th, 2018

16.50 | NK Cell-Induced Immunity by Tetravalent Bispecific Immuno-Engagers in Patients Suffering from Hematologic Malignancies

16.20 | Panel Discussion: The Future Potential of NK cells In Combination Therapies

Mark Lowdell
Professor, Cell and Tissue Therapy
University College London

Professor Mark Lowdell PhD FRCPath FRSB is the Professor of Cell & Tissue Therapy at University College London and Director of the Centre for Cell, Gene & Tissue Therapeutics / Honorary Consultant Immunologist at Royal Free Hospital London. He is a qualified diagnostic immunopathologist as well as holding MHRA Qualified Person status for the release of ATMPs for clinical trials and is the current Vice President (Europe & Middle East) of the International Society for Cell Therapy. He has over 20 years’ experience in adoptive immunotherapy of cancer and has focussed on the role of the innate immune responses; especially the role of natural killer (NK) cells.  

Day Two

Thursday March 29th, 2018

14.20 | Priming Human NK cells to Kill NK-Resistant Tumors in The Absence of IL-2

Sang Hoon Paik
General Manager, Head of Process Unit
Cell Therapy Research Center, Green Cross LabCell

Sang Hoon Paik had worked in pharmaceutical company research institute for more than 22 years, currently he is a General Manager of Cell Therapy Research Center in Green Cross LabCell (GCLC) Corp. He got a Ph.D. degree in Biotechnology, and developed therapeutic biologics by cell culture technology against blood borne diseases and genetic disorder. Based on long term experience of cell culture biotechnology, he started to develop in NK cell therapy for cancer treatment. By developing NK cell therapeutics, his research area extends from process development to commercial scale production using bioreactor. He has conducted the world first clinical trial using random donor derived expanded NK cell and few more clinical trials in hepatocellular carcinoma, acute leukemia and neuroblastoma with or without lymphodepletion. Currently this NK cell program goes on phase IIa against HCC.

Day Two

Thursday March 29th, 2018

09.40 | Process Development and Scale Up for NK Cell by Using Bioreactor

Jan Spanholtz
Chief Scientific Officer and Research and Development Manager
Glycostem Therapeutics

Dr. Jan Spanholtz initiated Glycostem's research in the start-up phase in 2007 and is currently Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) of Glycostem. Dr. Jan Spanholtz has more than 15 years of expertise in research on stem cell biology and immunology at universities and within biotech companies. He is author of various peer-reviewed research articles and inventor of Glycostem's proprietary technology platform to generate oNKord® from umbilical cord blood stem cells. For Glycostem, he has set-up and managed several national and international collaborations and spearheaded clinical translational of Glycostem's NK-cell product, oNKord®. He has developed the core IP strategy for Glycostem as inventor of feeder cell free NK-cell culture method from cord blood stem cells, synthetic culture medium for NK-cells and has was also part of several other patent applications in the stem cell field.

Workshop A

Tuesday March 27th, 2018

09.00 | Investigating the Regulatory Checkpoints that Need to be met in NK Cell Therapies

Day Two

Thursday March 29th, 2018

14.50 | oNKord® - Next generation products – From proven safety to established efficacy

Dan Kaufman
Professor of Medicine & Director of Cell Therapy
University of California

Dr. Kaufman moved to UCSD is a Professor in Department of Medicine, Division of Regenerative Medicine and Director of the Cell Therapy program at UCSD. This position includes development of a GMP lab to translate more cell-based therapy into clinical trials. Dr. Kaufman does clinical work in hematology/BMT. His research focuses on use of human pluripotent stem cells to study development of hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells, lymphocytes, and other mesodermal lineages. In particular, his studies have developed efficient means to produce natural killer cells from human ES cells and iPSCs suitable for new clinical applications to treat relapsed/refractory cancers- both hematologic malignancies and solid tumors. Current studies aim to translate use of these cells into clinical therapies and to engineer these NK cells with novel receptors to improve killing of cancer cells.

Day One

Wednesday March 28th, 2018

11.40 | Development of novel NK cell-specific chimeric antigen receptors to improve anti-tumor activity.

Sandip Patel
Assistant Professor,, Medical Oncology/Hematology
UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center

Sandip Patel, MD, is a board-certified medical oncologist who specializes in cancer immunotherapy and early phase clinical trials involving immunotherapy across all types of cancer. Dr. Patel is focused on developing personalized therapies that stimulate a patient’s immune system to attack their specific tumor. He believes in offering these promising immunotherapeutics across all tumor types. As an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine, Dr. Patel instructs medical students, residents and fellows. His research focuses on developing biomarkers for personalized immunotherapy to better determine which combination of therapies works best for each individual.

Day Two

Thursday March 29th, 2018

16.20 | Panel Discussion: The Future Potential of NK cells In Combination Therapies

Robin Parihar
Assistant Professor, Center for Cell and Gene Therapy
Baylor College of Medicine

I am a pediatric oncologist with an interest in caring for children with solid tumors. I have an active research lab interested in stimulating the immune system to fight solid tumors. My lab investigates the role of a specific type of immune cell called the natural killer (NK) cell in the control of cancer. My current research projects aim to enhance NK cell function in order to target the tumor microenvironment, essentially getting rid of the accessory cells that help a tumor resist standard therapies. I am currently working on introducing the enhanced NK cells as therapy for children with advanced cancers. In addition, we are using our established lab models to better understand how the tumor microenvironment suppresses the immune system, in order to develop new approaches to overcome this inhibition and improve immune-based therapies for pediatric cancers.

Workshop B

Tuesday March 27th, 2018

13.00 | An Exploration of the Tumor Microenvironment To Prevent Tumor Escape from NK Cell Cytotoxic Activity

Day One

Wednesday March 28th, 2018

14.10 | The Role of NK Cells Targeting Suppressive Components of the Tumor Immune Microenvironment in the Treatment of Refractory Solid Tumors

Raymond Urbanski
Chief Medical Officer
GT Biopharma

Day Two

Thursday March 29th, 2018

16.20 | Panel Discussion: The Future Potential of NK cells In Combination Therapies

Saul Kivimae
Team Lead, In Vivo Pharmacology Function for Preclinical Drug Development and Target Validation
Nektar Therapeutics

I graduated from Rockefeller University in 2005 with a PhD degree in Biochemistry and Genetics. During my graduate studies I elucidated protein phosphorylation dependent control mechanisms in the daily cycling of circadian transcription in the laboratory of Dr. Michael Yung (Nobel laureate 2017). In my subsequent postdoctoral fellowship at UCSF I studied Wnt signaling regulated polarized vesicular transport and developed mouse models of human birth defects in planar cell polarity signaling. Before joining Nektar Therapeutics I switched fields to applied immunology developing cell therapy concepts for autologous adoptive transfer of genetically modified macrophages from ex vivo engineered progenitors at UCSF. I joined Nektar Therapeutics in 2016 and currently lead the In Vivo Pharmacology function for preclinical drug development and target validation.

Day Two

Thursday March 29th, 2018

10.10 | NK Cell Expansion and Activation through Engineered Cytokines