2019 Confirmed Speakers

Carl June

University of Pennsylvania

short bio

Carl June is the Director of the Center for Cellular Immunotherapies at the Perelman School of Medicine, and Director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at the University of Pennsylvania. He maintains a research laboratory that studies various mechanisms of lymphocyte activation that relate to immune tolerance and adoptive immunotherapy for cancer and chronic infection. In 2011, his research team published findings detailing a new therapy in which patients with refractory and relapsed chronic lymphocytic leukemia were treated with genetically engineered versions of their own T cells. The treatment has also now also been used with promising results to treat children with refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and adults with refractory lymphoma. CTL019, the CAR T cell developed in the June laboratory was the first gene therapy to be approved by the US FDA in August 2017.
June has published more than 400 manuscripts and is the recipient of numerous prizes and honors, including election to the Institute of Medicine in 2012 and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2014, the Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize (shared w J. Allison), the Novartis Prize in Immunology (shared w Z. Eshhar and S. Rosenberg), the Karl Landsteiner Memorial award, the Karnofsky Prize from the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the Albany Medical Prize and a lifetime achievement award from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Robert Schreiber

Washington University School of Medicine

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Robert D. Schreiber, Ph.D. is the Andrew M. and Jane M. Bursky Distinguished Professor in the Department of Pathology and Immunology and Professor of Molecular Microbiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. His research efforts focuses on two areas: elucidating the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying nautral and therapeutically induced immune responses to developing and established cancers and interferon biology and IFN receptor signaling. Recently, Schreiber pioneered the use of genomics approaches to define the antigenic targets of cancer immunoediting and elucidate the mechanisms that underlie the process. This latter work supports ongoing efforts to develop individualized cancer immunotherapies.

Dr Schreiber is co-leader of the Tumor Immunology Program of Washington University’s Siteman Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the Founding Director of the Andrew M. and Jane M. Bursky Center for Human Immunology and Immunotherapy Programs. Schreiber is an Extramural Member Researcher of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, an Associate Director of the Scientific Advisory Board to the Cancer Research Institute, and a member of the Board of Scientific Advisors to the National Cancer Institute. Schreiber is a co-founder of three biotech companies: Igenica Biotherapeutics, Inc. (Burlingame CA), a biotech company focused on novel monoclonal antibody cancer therapeutics, Jounce Therapeutics (Boston MA), a biotech company focused on development of novel immunotherapeutics capable of unleashing the anti-cancer activities of the immune system and Neon Therapeutics, Inc (Cambridge, MA). a biotech company focused on targeting mutant proteins in tumors (neoantigens) to develop cancer specific immunotherapeutics. He is also a member of Scientific Advisory Boards for BioLegend, Meryx and NGM Biopharmaceuticals.

Robert Schreiber has authored more than 300 peer reviewed and invited publications and has received many honors including the William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Basic and Tumor Immunology from the Cancer Research Institute, the Charles Rodolphe Brupbacher Prize for Cancer Research, the Lloyd J. Old Prize in Cancer Immunology awarded jointly by the American Association for Cancer Research and the Cancer Research Institute and the Balzan Prize (Shared with James Allison): Immunological Approaches in Cancer Therapy. Schreiber is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

Rafi Ahmed

Emory Vaccine Center

Mark Davis

Stanford University

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Dr. Mark M. Davis is the Director of the Stanford Institute for Immunology, Transplantation and Infection (ITI), a Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. He received a B.A. from Johns Hopkins University and a Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology. He later was a postdoctoral fellow and staff fellow at the Laboratory of Immunology at NIH and later became a faculty member in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Stanford University School of Medicine, where he remains today. Dr. Davis is well known for identifying many of the T-cell receptor genes, which are responsible for the ability of these cells to recognize a diverse repertoire of antigens. His current research interests involve understanding the molecular interactions that underlie T cell recognition and the challenges of human immunology, specifically a “systems level” understanding of an immune response to vaccination or infection.

Karin de Visser

Netherlands Cancer Institute

Ignacio Melero

University of Navarra

Sergio Quezada

University College London

Michael Hudecek

University Medical Center Würzburg

Christian Ottensmeier

University of Southampton

George Coukos

Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research

Dolores Schendel


Hyam Levitsky

Juno Therapeutics

Josef Penninger

Institute of Molecular Biotechnology IMBA

Ugur Sahin

TRON-Translational Oncology Mainz

Dirk Jäger

National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT)

Pablo Umaña

Roche Glycart AG

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Pablo Umaña is Head of Oncology Discovery, Cancer Immunotherapies at Roche Pharma Research and Early Development (pRED), Roche, and Head of Research at the Roche Innovation Center Zurich.
He led the team that discovered and initially developed GAZYVA, a novel Type II CD20 antibody for the treatment of B-cell malignancies. GAZYVA was approved on Nov 1, 2013 by FDA for 1L CLL and is the first ever medicine approved by the FDA under the Breakthrough Therapy regime.
In 2001 Pablo co-founded GlycArt Biotechnology AG, and headed its research since the company’s foundation. Pablo, who holds a Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology, joined Roche when the company acquired GlycArt in 2005. Throughout this time, he has been leading research in the fields of cancer immunotherapy and protein engineering. He has co-invented and led the research group
that has generated Roche-pRED’s tumor targeted-T-cell bispecific antibody, -immunocytokine and -immunomodulator platforms and respective drug candidate pipeline in the field of Cancer Immunotherapy.

Evan Newell

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Cassian Yee

MD Anderson Cancer Center

Wolfgang Wick

Heidelberg University Hospital

Ali Afghan


Thorbald van Hall

Leiden University Medical Center

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Thorbald van Hall (PhD) is faculty member of the Medical Oncology Department at the Leiden University Medical Center, the Netherlands. He received his PhD in 2000 from Leiden University on tumorimmunology and was visiting scientist at the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm in 2005. His main research interest centers around immune escape mechanisms of cancers with the aim to counter these for improved efficacy of immunotherapy. His group identified a new category of cancer antigens: TEIPP. These CD8 T-cell antigens are of non-mutated self-origin and emerge on tumors with deficiencies in their antigen processing machinery. We are currently in the process to bring these novel targets forward for clinical testing. Furthermore, his research group studies the role of HLA-E (a non-classical MHC) in cancer immune escape and recently reported that its observed upregulation in cancers might constitute a barrier for CD8 T cell immunity via NKG2A. This inhibitory receptor is expressed on NK cells and CD8 T cells and might represent the new kid on the block of checkpoint therapy for cancer.

Nicholas McGranahan

University College London

Klaus Cichutek