Learn more about the expert speakers participating in the 2018 ASH Meeting on Lymphoma Biology.
Ash Alizadeh, MD, PhD
Tumor heterogeneity is a hallmark of cancer and a fundamental determinant of patient outcomes, and early detection has proven the most successful strategy to improve cancer outcomes. Ash Alizadeh, MD, PhD, leads a research group that uses genomic approaches for decrypting this heterogeneity and for improving early cancer detection, with a focus on methodological innovation. During his MD-PhD training at Stanford and at the National Cancer Institute with Pat Brown and Lou Staudt, Dr. Alizadeh made early foundational contributions to cancer taxonomy through genome-wide expression profiling, discovering important diffuse large B-cell lymphoma molecular subtypes, based on cell-of-origin. Additionally, during his clinical subspecialty hematology and medical oncology training and postdoctoral studies at Stanford, Dr. Alizadeh developed models for molecular outcome prediction in DLBCL with Ron Levy. He also identified CD47 expression as a therapeutic target of novel monoclonal antibodies that synergize to eradicate tumors in several poor risk non-Hodgkin lymphoma subtypes with Irv Weissman.
Building on this prior work, Dr. Alizadeh’s group is focused on the development and application of methods for detection and profiling of cancer genomic heterogeneity as well as the dynamic immune microenvironment that can support or suppress human tumors. Dr. Alizadeh’s group developed innovative methods for noninvasive detection and monitoring through the profiling of circulating nucleic acids and through the characterization of infiltrating immune cells. Specifically, his group helped develop CAPP-Seq, an ultrasensitive and broadly-applicable method for profiling circulating tumor DNA. His group also developed CIBERSORT, a robust method for enumeration of cell subsets from tissue expression profiles, and enabling a prognostic landscape of genes and infiltrating immune cells across cancers (PRECOG). Separately, Dr. Alizadeh’s group helped define mechanisms driving aggressive large B-cell lymphomas, to decipher the genomes of indolent yet incurable follicular lymphomas, and to develop a comprehensive framework to rapidly define somatic neoantigens in lymphomas. These methods and approaches are increasingly relevant in this exciting era of evolving targeted and immunologically directed cancer therapies.back to top
Reneir Brentjens, MD, PhD
Reneir Brentjens, MD, PhD, obtained an MD-PhD in microbiology from SUNY Buffalo, completed residency in medicine at Yale New Haven Hospital, and did a medical oncology fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC). Currently, Dr. Brentjens is an associate member on the faculty at MSKCC and an attending physician on the leukemia service. As a medical oncology fellow during his training at MSKCC, Dr. Brentjens initiated the initial pre-clinical studies demonstrating the potential clinical application of autologous T cells genetically modified to target the CD19 antigen through the retroviral gene transfer of artificial T cell receptors termed chimeric antigen receptors (CARs). Following completion of his medical oncology training, he became the principal investigator of his own laboratory. As a principal investigator, Dr. Brentjens successfully translated these studies to the clinical setting, treating patients with relapsed CD19+ tumors including chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL).
Ongoing pre-clinical research in his laboratory is focused on the further development of CAR modified T cells designed to overcome the hostile immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment through the generation of “armored CAR T cells” currently being translated to the clinical setting as second-generation CAR modified T cell clinical trials. Additionally, work in Dr. Brentjens’ lab has expanded this CAR technology to target additional tumor antigens expressed on other tumors, including targeting the MUC-16 antigen expressed on ovarian carcinomas as well as the more ubiquitous WT-1 tumor associated antigen. These latter projects are similarly in the process of translation to the clinical setting.back to top
Elias Campo, MD, PhD
Elias Campo, MD, PhD, received his medical degree and PhD from the University of Barcelona Medical School. He completed a post-doctoral research fellowship at the Laboratory of Pathology, National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. Campo is currently a professor of pathology and chief of the Hematopathology Unit at the Barcelona Clinic Hospital of the University of Barcelona. His research is focused on the pathological characterization of lymphoid neoplasms and the study of molecular mechanisms involved in the development and progression of these tumors, with particular interest in the translation of this knowledge into the clinical practice.
Dr. Campo has been member at large of the Executive Committees of the Society of Hematopathology and European Association for Haematopathology, in which he served as president (2012-2014). He is co-director of the Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Genome Project in the International Consortium of the Cancer Genome. Dr. Campo is a member of the Leukemia/Lymphoma Molecular Profiling Project consortium and the European and LRF Mantle Cell consortiums. He is a member co-editor of the WHO classification of hematological neoplasms and hematopathology and has published a number of articles in the field of lymphoid neoplasms.back to top
Stefano Casola, MD, PhD
Stefano Casola, MD, PhD, received his MD and PhD degrees from the University Federico II of Naples, Italy. In 1997, he joined the group of Dr. Klaus Rajewsky as post-doctoral fellow at the Institute of Genetics, University of Cologne in Germany. There, he designed and established the first Cre transgenic mouse strain allowing conditional gene targeting in germinal center (GC) B cells. Nowadays, the latter strain is widely used to study GC B cell physiology and to create mouse models of GC B cell lymphomas. Dr. Casola also developed conditional mouse mutants to study of the role of Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) oncoproteins LMP1 and LMP2A in B cell differentiation and lymphomagenesis.
In 2001, Dr. Casola became a junior investigator at the CBR Institute for Biomedical Research and an instructor in the Department of Pathology at Harvard Medical School. There, he continued to study the effects in vivo of EBV LMP1 and LMP2A proteins on B cell physiology and initiated a long-lasting interest in the study of the role of the B cell antigen receptor (BCR) in malignant B cell lymphomas. In 2006, Dr. Casola received the Giovanni Armenise/Harvard Career Development Award and became group leader at the FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology (IFOM) in Milan, Italy. Since then, he has developed a comprehensive research program aiming to dissect the role of the BCR signalling complex in B cell malignancies. In this context, Dr. Casola’s research has recently provided first-time evidence for a role of the BCR in the control of lymphoma cell fitness, studying both pre-clinical mouse lymphoma models and human lymphomas. Another major goal of his research is to reveal the mechanism of action of epigenetic determinants of the Polycomb axis in the control of B cell maturation, GC B cell biology, and malignant B cell lymphomas.
Applying advanced genetic engineering, Dr. Casola’s long-term goal is to reconstruct the genetic and epigenetic networks controlling normal B cell differentiation and immunity, and to unravel crucial fitness determinants for the maintenance and progression of malignant B cell lymphomas and those responsible for their resistance to therapy.back to top
Roberto Chiarle, MD
Roberto Chiarle, MD, received his medical degree from the University of Torino Medical School in Italy. He completed training in pathology between Italy and the New York University Medical School, and he studied the biology of ALK lymphoma with Dr. Giorgio Inghirami as a research fellow at NYU. Between 2008 and 2010, Dr. Chiarle was a visiting professor in the group of Dr. Fred Alt in Boston where he studied the molecular mechanisms of chromosomal translocations in B lymphocytes.
In 2012, Dr. Chiarle was appointed as associate professor of pathology at the Harvard Medical School where he is on the medical faculty with his research group at the Boston Children’s Hospital. His group’s interests range from the biology of ALK-driven tumors to the mechanisms of chromosomal translocations in hematopoietic and solid tumors. Dr. Chiarle’s lab is also actively focused on the development of novel immunotherapies for ALK-positive tumors, such as an ALK cancer vaccine and ALK-directed CAR T cells.back to top
Suzanne Cory, PhD
Suzanne Cory, PhD, is one of Australia's most distinguished molecular biologists. After graduating in biochemistry from The University of Melbourne, she undertook her PhD in Cambridge and postdoctoral studies in Geneva. In 1971, she returned to Melbourne to a research position at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, where she is currently Honorary Distinguished Professorial Fellow in the Division of Molecular Genetics of Cancer.
Dr. Cory was director of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute and a professor of medical biology of the University of Melbourne from 1996 to 2009. She was president of the Australian Academy of Science from 2010 to 2014.
Dr. Cory's research has had a major impact in the fields of immunology and cancer, and her scientific achievements have attracted numerous honors and awards. She is an elected fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and the Royal Society. She is also a Foreign Member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the French Academy of Sciences, and the Japan Academy. In 1999, Dr. Cory was appointed Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia, and in 2009 was awarded the French decoration of Chevalier de I'Ordre de Ia Légion d'Honneur.back to top
Jason Cyster, PhD
Jason Cyster, PhD, is a professor at the University of California – San Francisco and an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Dr. Cyster is an immunologist recognized for his work on the cues guiding immune cell movements and for defining the mechanism of lymphocyte egress from tissues. He is known for his use of 2-photon microscopy to study cell migration dynamics during immune responses. Dr. Cyster’s group defined an S1PR2-Ga13 signaling pathway mediating germinal center B cell confinement and growth regulation that is disrupted in diffuse large B cell lymphoma.
Dr. Cyster was born in Australia. After completing a BSc at the University of Western Australia, he performed his DPhil with Alan Williams at the University of Oxford. Dr. Cyster was a postdoctoral fellow with Christopher Goodnow at Stanford, and he joined the UCSF faculty in 1995. He was the recipient of the 2005 AAI-BD Biosciences Investigator Award and was elected as a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 2014.back to top
Riccardo Dalla-Favera, MD
Riccardo Dalla-Favera, MD, was born in Legnano, Italy, in 1951. He obtained his medical degree from the University of Milan, and following his residency in hematology, Dr. Dalla-Favera moved to the United States. In 1978, he joined the Laboratory of Tumor Cell Biology, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health as a Fogarty Fellow. In 1983, Dr. Dalla-Favera became an assistant professor of pathology at New York University, and in 1989 he moved to Columbia University, where he is currently a professor of pathology and cell biology, genetics and development, and microbiology and immunology, as well as the founding director of the Institute for Cancer Genetics. From 2005 to 2011, Dr. Dalla-Favera also served as director of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Dr. Dalla-Favera is a leader in the field of molecular oncology and has made fundamental contributions to the field of cancer, especially in the study of the molecular genetics of B cell malignancies. He and his research team have contributed significantly to the understanding of the pathogenesis of cell malignancies, including Burkitt lymphoma, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. His work is making a direct impact on the diagnostic and therapeutic targeting of these diseases.
Dr. Dalla-Favera has received numerous national and international prizes and awards, including the 2006 William Dameshek Prize from the American Society of Hematology, the 2017 American Association for Cancer Research GHA Clowes Memorial Award, and the 2017 Léopold Griffuel Award in Basic Research from the Association pur la Reserche sur le Cancer in France. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences.back to top
Laurence de Leval, MD, PhD
Laurence de Leval, MD, PhD, is a professor of pathology and director of the Institute of Pathology at the Lausanne University Hospital in Switzerland. She obtained her medical degree at the University of Liège in Belgium, where she trained in pathology and obtained a PhD degree in experimental pathology. Dr. de Leval completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in hematopathology at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School in Boston. She assumed a faculty position as a senior researcher of the Belgian National Fund for Scientific research and as a staff pathologist at Liège University Hospital from 2000 to 2009.
Dr. de Leval is a member of the executive board and of the pathology group of the Lymphoma Study Association (LYSA) in France. She was elected member of the International Lymphoma Study Group in 2011 and of the scientific board of the International Workshop on non-Hodgkin lymphomas in 2015. In 2008, Dr. de Leval received the Benjamin Castleman Award, presented by the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology, for her discovery of the follicular helper T-cell (TFH) derivation of angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma. She was awarded the Prize for Clinical Research of the Inbev-Baillet Latour Fund (Belgium) in 2009 in recognition of her contributions to the molecular and clinico-pathological studies on non-Hodgkin lymphomas.
Dr. de Leval has authored more than 200 scientific publications and many chapters for reference textbooks in pathology and hemato-oncology. She is also a member of the International Thymic Malignancy Group (ITMIG). Dr. de Leval’s diagnostic activities are mainly in hematopathology and molecular pathology. Her research is focused the characterization of the pathological spectrum of lymphomas derived from TFH cells, and deciphering the molecular pathogenesis of NK/T-cell malignancies. Other interests include implementing and optimizing tools for the molecular diagnosis of hematological malignancies and other cancers.back to top
Kojo Elenitoba-Johnson, MD
Kojo S. J. Elenitoba-Johnson, MD, is the Peter C. Nowell, MD, Professor at the Perelman School of Medicine at University of Pennsylvania and Founding Director of Penn Medicine’s Center for Personalized Diagnostics. Dr. Elenitoba-Johnson is a hematopathologist and molecular pathologist who leverages high dimensional approaches, such as integrative genomics and mass spectrometry-driven proteomics, to interrogate molecular processes underlying the pathogenesis of lymphoid malignancies. He has authored or co-authored more than 150 peer-reviewed research publications and has contributed more than 40 chapters to professional textbooks in pathology.
Dr. Elenitoba-Johnson is a member of the Board of Scientific Counselors for Clinical Sciences and Epidemiology for the National Cancer Institute as well as a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Lymphoma Research Foundation. He is the incoming president of the Association for Molecular Pathology (2017-2018).back to top
Francesco Forconi, MD, DM, PhD
Francesco Forconi, MD, DM, PhD, is a Cancer Research UK associate professor in hematology/oncology and a consultant in hematology at the University of Southampton. He graduated in medicine summa cum laude and completed his specialist training in hematology at the University of Siena in Italy. After a fellowship at the University of Eastern Piedmont in Italy, Dr. Forconi moved to the Tenovus Laboratories at the University of Southampton, where he obtained a DM in immunology. While there, he developed an interest in tumor B-cell immunology and subsequently completed his PhD. In 2004, Dr. Forconi was appointed as an assistant professor and consultant in hematology at the University of Siena Hospital Trust, before moving back to Southampton in 2011.
Dr. Forconi is leader of the Academic Haematological Oncology Research Group. His focus is to gain insight into the behavior of mature B-cell neoplasms through analysis of the characteristics and functions of the tumor B-cell receptor (BCR). Dr Forconi’s most recent interests also include investigating the mechanisms of immune disfunction mediated by the tumor cells and by novel BCR-associated kinase inhibitors in mature B-cell neoplasms, while engaging with a broader academic group of principal investigators in Southampton investigating environmental, cell signaling, epigenetic, and genetic components and therapeutics affecting tumor B-cell behavior. He has authored more than 130 publications (h-index 41, i10-index: 106).
Dr. Forconi’s clinical activity is primarily dedicated to the care of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and B-cell lymphomas, for whom he leads the lymphoid clinic service and runs several clinical trials using novel therapeutic agents as principal investigator at the Southampton University Hospital Trust.
Dr. Forconi is a member of the UK NCRI Haematological Oncology Clinical Studies Group and regularly engages actively with the UK NCRI CLL subgroup. He has served the UK National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) for several technology appraisals for novel agents in clinical practice. Dr. Forconi is an active core member of the Hairy Cell Leukemia Foundation and leads Southampton as a “Center of Excellence” for hairy cell leukemia. He regularly contributes as a reviewer for major journals hematology journals, including Blood, has chaired sessions at major international conferences, including the ASH annual meeting, and has provided educational contributions at major hematology/oncology meetings.back to top
Ronald N. Germain, MD, PhD
Ronald N. Germain received his MD and PhD from Harvard University in 1976. Since then, he has investigated basic immunobiology – first, on the faculty of Harvard Medical School; since 1982, as the chief of the Lymphocyte Biology Section in the Laboratory of Immunology; and now, as chief of the Laboratory of Systems Biology at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Germain and his colleagues have made key contributions to our understanding of MHC class II molecule structure–function relationships, the cell biology of antigen processing, and the molecular basis of T cell recognition. More recently, his laboratory has explored the relationship between immune tissue organization and control of immunity studied using dynamic and static in situ microscopic methods that his laboratory helped pioneer.
Dr. Germain has published more than 300 scholarly research papers and reviews. Among numerous honors, he was elected as an Associate (foreign) member of EMBO (2008), elected to the National Academy of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences USA (2013), received the Meritorious Career Award from the American Association of Immunologists (2015), selected as NIAID Outstanding Mentor (2016), elected to the National Academy of Sciences (2016), and has been designated an NIH Distinguished Investigator. Dr. Germain has trained more than 70 postdoctoral fellows, many of whom hold senior academic and administrative positions at leading universities and medical schools.back to top
Ralf Küppers, PhD
Ralf Küppers, PhD, studied biology at the University of Cologne in Germany, where he also did his PhD studies in the group of Klaus Rajewsky. In 1995, he set up his own research group at the University of Cologne, and in 1999 he became a lecturer. Between 2000 and 2001, Dr. Küppers took a six-month sabbatical to work at Columbia University with Riccardo Dalla-Favera. Since 2004, he has been a professor of molecular genetics at the Institute of Cell Biology (Cancer Research) as well as medical faculty at the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany. The main research interests of Dr. Küppers’ group are the pathogenesis of human B-cell lymphomas, in particular Hodgkin lymphoma and CLL, the differentiation and function of normal B-cells in humans, and the role of viruses in B cell transformation.back to top
Anthony Letai, MD, PhD
Anthony Letai, MD, PhD, received his MD and PhD at The University of Chicago. His PhD was done under the supervision of Elaine Fuchs, and his thesis examined the role of point mutations in keratin proteins in heritable blistering diseases. Dr. Letai completed clinical training in internal medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital. He then did a fellowship in hematology and oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Dr. Letai was introduced to apoptosis and BCL-2 family proteins as a post-doctoral researcher in the laboratory of the late Stanley Korsmeyer.
In 2004, Dr. Letai became an independent investigator at Harvard Medical School and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute where he is now an associate professor in medicine. His laboratory studies how apoptosis can be evaded, particularly in cancer cells, and how this evasion may be detected and targeted. Key to these studies is a novel assay, BH3 profiling. BH3 profiling can detect the blocks that cancer cells use to evade apoptosis and profiling detect cells, which are dependent on BCL-2. Dr. Letai has led efforts to translate BCL-2, BCL-XL, and MCL-1 inhibitors into the clinic. These include venetoclax, a BCL-2 inhibitor made by AbbVie, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for CLL, and currently being tested across nearly all blood cancers. Moreover, BH3 profiling can be used as a summary measure of how close a cell is to the threshold of apoptosis. Dr. Letai’s lab has found that proximity to this threshold correlates with better response to chemotherapy in the clinic. The laboratory will be testing whether BH3 profiling can be used as a predictive biomarker in clinical cancer therapy.back to top
Ronald Levy, MD
Ronald Levy, MD, is the Robert K. Summy and Helen K. Summy Professor of Medicine and Director of the Lymphoma Program at Stanford University School of Medicine. He is also the associate director of translational science for the Stanford Cancer Institute. For more than 25 years, Dr. Levy’s research has focused on monoclonal antibodies and the study of malignant lymphoma, currently using the tools of immunology and molecular biology to develop a better understanding of the initiation and progression of the malignant process. He was the first to successfully treat cancer with a monoclonal antibody and went on to help develop rituximab (Rituxan®) for the treatment of patients’ lymphomas. Dr. Levy’s research concentrates on using lymphocyte receptors as targets for new therapies for lymphoma, and he is currently conducting clinical trials of lymphoma vaccines. He has published more than 300 articles in the fields of oncology and immunology.
In 1982, Dr. Levy shared the first Armand Hammer Award for Cancer Research. His other awards include the Ciba-Geigy/Drew Award in Biomedical Research, the American Society of Clinical Oncology Karnofsky Award, the General Motors Charles Kettering Prize, the Key to the Cure Award by the Cure for Lymphoma Foundation, the American Cancer Society Medal of Honor, the Evelyn Hoffman Memorial Award by the Lymphoma Research Foundation of America, and the American Society of Hematology William Dameshek Prize. In 2009, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, and he won the King Faisal International Prize in Medicine.back to top
Megan Lim, MD, PhD
Megan Lim, MD, PhD, is a professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the director of the Joint Division of Hematopathology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia as well as the director of the Lymphoma Biology Program and co-leader for the Lymphoma Translational Center for Excellence at the Abramson Cancer Center.
Dr. Lim received an MD from the University of Calgary and a PhD in molecular oncology from the University of Calgary and National Cancer Institute Lab of Pathology, jointly. She obtained her hematopathology fellowship training at the National Cancer Institute and is a diplomate of the American Board of Pathology with a subspecialty in hematopathology and molecular genetic pathology. Dr. Lim assumed a faculty position at the University of Toronto (1998-2000) and then at the University of Utah (2000-2006). At the University of Michigan (2006-2015), she was the director of hematopathology and of the hematopathology fellowship program. Dr. Lim has held numerous leadership positions and served on training and education committees for the Association of Molecular Pathology and the United States Academy of Pathology. She is the vice-chair of the Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Disease Committee of the Children’s Oncology Group.
Dr. Lim’s research has garnered extramural support from the National Institutes of Health and foundations. Her research utilizes large-scale mass spectrometry-based proteomic profiling and genomic analysis to characterize novel pathogenetic mechanisms in lymphomas, with a focus on lymphoid neoplasms in the pediatric, adolescent, and young adult population. Dr. Lim has authored more than 150 peer-reviewed articles and is co-editor of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology’s “Tumors of the Lymph Nodes and Spleen: Electronic Fascicle.”back to top
Ari Melnick, MD
Ari Melnick, MD, focuses on transcriptional and epigenetic mechanisms of lymphoid and myeloid neoplasms using a broad range wet bench and dry bench methodologies. He is known for his work describing the mechanism of action of the BCL6 transcriptional repressor, results that led his developing the first example of a rationally designed transcription factor inhibitor. Dr. Melnick has gone on to define the epigenetic and biological mechanisms through which somatic mutations in histone modifying proteins such as EZH2, CREBBP, EP300, and KMT2D drive lymphomagenesis. This line of research has informed a novel paradigm whereby founder somatic mutations in lymphoma maintain the germinal center phenotype by disrupting epigenetic programs required for germinal center exit signals to trigger terminal differentiation.
Dr. Melnick is also a pioneer in the epigenomics field. He performed the first large scale epigenomics profiling studies in human cancer specime. These studies led to important mechanistic findings detailing for example how mutations in IDH1 and IDH2 disrupt the epigenome, how oncogenes cooperate to drive transformation through aberrant cytosine methylation patterning, and the discovery that epigenetic heterogeneity is an independent risk factor for adverse outcome and that clonal selection is not uniquely driven by genetic mutations. Over the past several years, Dr. Melnick has developed an interest in chromatin architecture as a driver of the epigenetic and transcriptional programs that enable the humoral immune response and lymphomagenesis.back to top
Bertrand Nadel, PhD
Bertrand Nadel, PhD, is the research director at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM). He trained with Professor Pierre-André Cazenave at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, France, for his PhD, and performed his postdoc in the lab of Professor AJ Feeney at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. Dr. Nadel was lab head between 1998 and 2002 in the Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Hematology at the University of Vienna in Austria, before establishing his current lab at the Centre d’Immunologie de Marseille-Luminy (CIML) in France.
In 2017, Dr. Nadel was appointed director of the CALYM Carnot Institute on lymphoma, a nation-wide consortium regrouping French researchers and clinician experts on lymphoma, and the LYSA(RC) (lymphoma study association, coordinating clinical research and trials on lymphoma), aimed at fostering innovation, research and development between academia and industry. As director of the Cancéropôle PACA, one of the seven regional federative structures appointed by the French National Cancer Institute (INCa), Dr. Nadel is also in charge, since 2015, of coordinating forces, actions, and joint initiatives on cancer, through federating a community of 12 research institutes, hospitals, cancer research centers, and local structures of excellence of the PACA French south-east region. Dr. Nadel is also a committee member of French research institutions, including INSERM, HCERES, and LNCC.
His research focuses on the (epi)genetic mechanisms of oncogenesis in human lymphoma/leukemia, and aims to identify pertinent bio-markers and innovative therapeutic approaches. Dr. Nadel’s research program includes three main steps: 1) in the short-term, further understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying oncogenic initiation, progression, transformation, addiction and tumor reemergence in human lymphoid neoplasia, using fine cellular, molecular and genomic analysis of clinical specimens combined with the development of ex vivo functional experimental systems and in vivo models of genetically modified mice; 2) in the middle-term, exploit the established tools to identify and validate new therapeutic targets; 3) in the long-term, and in close collaboration with clinicians and industrial partners, the implementation of findings into translational programs of clinical significance. Dr. Nadel’s lab has recently developed integrated single-cell analysis and bioinformatic pipelines to provide a fresh viewpoint on lymphoma stratification, and allow to identify (so far hidden) tumor cell subsets of major diagnostic, prognostic, and theranostic significance.back to top
Garry Nolan, PhD
Garry Nolan, PhD, is the Rachford and Carlota A. Harris Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Stanford University School of Medicine. He trained with Leonard Herzenberg for his PhD and with Nobelist David Baltimore for postdoctoral work for the first cloning/characterization of NF-kB p65/RelA and the development of 293T rapid retroviral production systems. Dr. Nolan has published more than 180 research papers, is the holder of 17 U.S. patents, and has been honored as one of the top 25 inventors at Stanford University.
Dr. Nolan’s areas of research include hematopoiesis, cancer and leukemia, autoimmunity and inflammation, and computational approaches for network and systems immunology. A recent innovation from the Nolan lab is termed molecular ion beam imaging (MIBI), a system that also uses mass tags that will enable sub-light imaging (50 nm resolution) of tissue sections with 50 or more parameters per image. A second imaging platform, termed CODEX, allows for nearly any inverted scope to be enabled to be a 50-parameter imager using DNA tagged antibodies. Prior contributions to single cell analysis were a development of CyTOF (a mass spectrometry-flow cytometry hybrid device) that led to a significant increase in the number of assayable proteins per cell. The approach uses an advanced ion plasma source to determine the levels of tagged reagents bound to cells.
Another focus of Dr. Nolan’s lab is the development and utilization of machine learning algorithms to interpret the large high-dimensional datasets being produced by CyTOF, MIBI, and CODEX. Dr. Nolan’s efforts are to enable a deeper understanding of normal immune function, infection, and other inflammatory events, including detailed substructures of leukemias and solid cancers in tissue context, in order to facilitate better management of disease and clinical outcomes. back to top
Teresa Palomero, PhD
Teresa Palomero, PhD, is a researcher in the field of leukemia and lymphoma genomics. She obtained her bachelor and PhD degrees in Molecular Biology at the University of Oviedo in Spain and completed postdoctoral training at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard Medical School in Boston under the supervision of Dr. Thomas Look. During Dr. Palomero’s postdoctoral period, she adapted the use of the ChIP-on-chip platform in collaboration with Dr. Rick Young’s lab at the Whitehead/Broad Institute in Cambridge for the characterization of the transcriptional regulatory networks downstream of the TAL1 oncogene in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). After joining Columbia University in New York in 2005, she worked with Dr. Adolfo Ferrando developing a cutting-edge research program implementing the integrative use of gene expression profiling, ChIP-on-chip and ChIP-seq analysis for the dissection of the oncogenic programs responsible for the transformation of T-cell progenitors in T-cell ALL.
As former director for the Genomics Core at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center Dr. Palomero pioneered the use of next generation sequencing approaches to identify novel mutations associated with T-cell malignancies, including those in the PHF6 gene, the NT5C2 mutations associated with chemotherapy resistance, and RHOA G17V and FYN mutations in peripheral T-cell lymphomas. Her senior contribution to these projects is reflected in co-corresponding senior author papers in Nature Genetics (Palomero et al. Nat Genet 2014), Nature Medicine (Tzoneva et al., Nature Med 2013) and PNAS (Oshima et al., PNAS 2016).
Dr. Palomero is currently an associate professor of pathology and cell biology at Columbia University Medical Center and a member of the Institute for Cancer Genetics at Columbia University in New York. During the past three years she has developed her own research program as an independent investigator in the field of lymphoma biology, supported by grant funding from the NIH and LLS, which has resulted in senior author papers in Nature Genetics (da Silva Almeida et al., Nat Genet 2015) and PNAS (Abate et al., PNAS 2017). Her focus is on the genomic analysis and characterization of peripheral T-cell lymphomas, a group of mature T-cell malignancies, with special emphasis on determining the functional role of RHOA G17V mutation in the pathogenesis of angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphomas and on developing new cellular and animal models to exploit therapeutic approaches to treat this disease.back to top
Laura Pasqualucci, MD
Laura Pasqualucci, MD, is a professor of pathology and cell biology at the Institute for Cancer Genetics at Columbia University. She received her medical degree from the University of Perugia Medical School, where she completed her residency in hematology before moving to the United States for a post-doctoral fellowship on the molecular genetics of lymphoma at Columbia University. She was promoted to a faculty position in 2001.
Over the last 20 years, Dr. Pasqualucci’s research has focused on the identification and functional characterization of genetic lesions that are associated with the pathogenesis of B-cell lymphomas, including their in vivo modeling, with the ultimate goal of identifying better biomarkers and more effective treatment options for these diseases. Her work has provided significant contributions to the current understanding of the most common forms of lymphoid malignancies – follicular lymphoma (FL) and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) – by discovering multiple lymphoma-driving genetic lesions and by demonstrating their role in the malignant transformation process.
More recently, Dr. Pasqualucci’s laboratory has focused on elucidating the mechanisms by which highly recurrent inactivating mutations of histone/chromatin modifiers, including the methyltransferase KMT2D and the acetyltransferases CREBBP/EP300, perturb the epigenetic landscape of GC B cells to facilitate their clonal expansion. Dr. Pasqualucci’s studies established a role for these genes as bona-fide tumor suppressors in GC-derived lymphoma, which are disrupted as early events during the history of tumor clonal evolution. This information is currently being exploited for the development of targeted therapeutic approaches for these diseases.back to top
Klaus Rajewsky, MD
Klaus Rajewsky, MD, obtained his medical degree at the University of Frankfurt. After postdoctoral
work at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, he built an immunology department at the Institute for Genetics at the University of Cologne, where he stayed for 38 years. Dr. Rajewsky was the founding program coordinator of the EMBL Mouse Biology Program at Monterotondo near Rome, worked he for 10 years, and at Harvard Medical School in Boston. Since 2012, he has been a senior group leader at the Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular Medicine in Berlin, Germany. Dr. Rajewsky has won numerous scientific awards and is a member of several learned societies, including the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Together with collaborators, Dr. Rajewsky developed a general method of targeted mutagenesis in mouse embryonic stem cells by introducing bacteriophage- and yeast-derived recombination systems, which opened the way for conditional gene targeting. Using this and other methods in their immunological work, they developed, together with N. A. Mitchison and N. K. Jerne, the antigen-bridge model of T-B cell cooperation, identified germinal centers as the sites of antibody somatic hypermutation, the B cell antigen receptor as a survival determinant of B cells, and the germinal center as a major site of human B cell lymphomagenesis, including Hodgkin lymphoma. In recent years, Dr. Rajewsky’s group’s work has focused on mechanisms of microRNA control and the development of mouse models of human B cell lymphomas.back to top
Michael Reth, PhD
Michael Reth, PhD, received a degree in Biology and PhD in Genetic in the laboratory of Professor Klaus Rajewsky at the University of Cologne, Germany. After completing a post-doctoral stay in the laboratory of Dr. F. Alt in the biochemistry department of Columbia University in New York, he joined the Cologne Institute of Genetics as a junior group leader in 1985. Dr. Reth is currently a professor of molecular immunology at the University of Freiburg and director of the excellence cluster for the Centre for Biological Signaling Studies (BIOSS). He has more than 200 peer-reviewed publications.
Dr. Reth discovered the signaling subunits (CD79a and CD79b) of the B cell antigen receptor (BCR) and the immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motif (ITAM). Currently, he is studying the nanoscale organization of the plasma membrane of normal B and B tumor cells. He is a member of numerous societies such as EMBO, the Leopoldina, and an honorary member of the American Association of Immunologists. Dr. Reth serves on the editorial board for International Immunology and Annual Review of Immunology. He was awarded an advanced ERC grant in 2013 and the Paul Ehrlich Prize in 2014.back to top
Davide Rossi, MD, PhD
Davide Rossi, MD, PhD, is a senior consultant in the Division of Hematology at the Oncology Institute of Southern Switzerland and head of the Laboratory of Experimental Hematology at the Institute of Oncology Research in Bellinzona, Switzerland.
Dr. Rossi obtained his MD magna cum laude from Amedeo Avogadro University of Eastern Piedmont (2000), where he also trained in internal medicine. He obtained a PhD in clinical and experimental medicine in 2009. From 2008 to 2015, Dr. Rossi worked as assistant professor of hematology at the Amedeo Avogadro University of Eastern Piedmont, where he coordinated an independent clinical and research unit dedicated to lymphoproliferative disorders. His research topic is on the molecular pathogenesis and diagnosis of B-cell tumors and translation of biological information into markers for disease diagnosis and prognostication.
Dr. Rossi has authored 255 peer-reviewed publications (total IF: 1624; total non-self-citations: 11060; h-index: 58). He was awarded the 2011 young investigator prize for research in the field of lymphomas and leukemias by the Italian National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Rossi has chaired sessions at the European Hematology Association (EHA) Congress and the American Society of Hematology (ASH) annual meeting, and he has provided educational contributions at EHA, ASH, and ICML meetings. He has also served as a reviewer for many leading journals and scientific institutions.back to top
Margaret Shipp, MD
Margaret A. Shipp, MD, is chief of the Division of Hematologic Neoplasia at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, director of the Lymphoma and Myeloma Program of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, and a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Shipp’s clinical and laboratory research focuses on the clinical and molecular heterogeneity of the large B-cell lymphomas (LBCLs) and Hodgkin lymphomas and the identification of unique lymphoma subtypes amenable to more targeted therapy. Dr. Shipp coordinated the development of the International Prognostic Index which is used worldwide to individualize treatment approaches to LBCLs and many other lymphoid malignancies. More recently, she has led efforts to develop molecular signatures of LBCLs and Hodgkin lymphomas, identify biologically distinct subsets of these diseases, and credential associated rational treatment targets including modulators of the host anti-tumor immune response. These studies are leading to more specific and more effective treatment approaches in these diseases.
Dr. Shipp is the recipient of numerous awards, including the American Cancer Society Junior Faculty Award, the Leukemia Society of America Scholar Award, the Dana-Farber Morse Research Award, designation as a Stohlman Scholar of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of America, and the Doris Duke Distinguished Clinical Scientist. She is a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation, Association of American Physicians, and the Institute of Medicine (National Academy of Medicine).
Dr. Shipp received her medical degree from Washington University School of Medicine and completed an internal medicine internship and residency at Barnes Hospital/Washington University. Thereafter, she completed a fellowship in medical oncology at Dana-Farber and joined the faculty.back to top
Louis Staudt, MD, PhD
Louis Staudt, MD, PhD, graduated from Harvard College and earned his MD-PhD at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Following internal medicine training, he joined Nobel Laureate David Baltimore's laboratory as a postdoctoral fellow. Dr. Staudt’s NCI laboratory focuses on the molecular basis for human lymphoid malignancies and the development of targeted therapies for these cancers. He is chief of the Lymphoid Malignancies Branch and director of the Center for Cancer Genomics, which directs large-scale programs studying genomic aberrations in cancer. Dr. Staudt’s numerous awards include election to the National Academy of Sciences.back to top
Andreas Strasser, PhD
Andreas Strasser, PhD, is joint head of the Molecular Genetics of Cancer division at The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne, Australia. He completed his master’s and PhD at the Basel Institute for Immunology and University of Basel in Switzerland before joining The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute as a postdoctoral fellow in 1989. Dr. Strasser studies programmed cell death and how defects in apoptosis cause cancer or autoimmune disease and impair the response of tumor cells to anti-cancer therapy. He and his colleagues were the first to discover that abnormalities in cell death can cause cancer and autoimmune disease, including the discovery that BCL-2 collaborates with the MYC oncogene in tumorigenesis. Their studies have determined which pro-survival BCL-2 family member are essential for the sustained growth of which cancers. They also found that BCL-2 and death receptors regulate distinct pathways to apoptosis and have studied how the individual and overlapping roles of these two apoptotic pathways function in the immune system. Dr. Strasser discovered BIM and BMF, and was the first to show that BH3-only proteins are essential for the initiation of programmed cell death and stress-induced apoptosis. A collaboration between The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (including the Strasser group), Genentech, and AbbVie led to the development of the BCL-2 inhibitor Venetoclax, which is approved for treatment of refractory chronic lymphocytic leukemia. A similar collaboration with Servier yielded the first potent and selective inhibitor of the cell-death inhibitor MCL-1, currently in clinical trials.back to top
Freda Stevenson, DPhil
Freda Stevenson, DPhil, obtained a DPhil degree from the University of Oxford. She is currently a professor of immunology at the University of Southampton and a fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, which includes the leaders in medical science in the United Kingdom.
Dr. Stevenson’s main research area is in the immunobiology of B-cell associated diseases, with a focus on the immunoglobulin (Ig) molecule. She designed genetic fusion vaccines first to target Ig and then to attack other defined tumor antigens. These are in current trials for a range of tumors. Immunogenetic expertise then facilitated investigation of the pattern of Ig genes in B-cell tumors, providing insight into the pathogenesis and progression of lymphomas and leukemias. In 1999, Dr. Stevenson published a paper in Blood, which describes how the Ig gene status in cases of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) acts as a major prognostic factor; it has been cited more than 1,500 times. Since then, she has published widely on B-cell receptor signalling in CLL, revealing pathways which are now targets for new drugs. In 2015, Dr. Stevenson was awarded the Rai-Binet Medal by the International Workshop on Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia.
Another of Dr. Stevenson’s major findings was that the Ig variable regions of follicular lymphoma cells carry unusual truncated glycans in the antigen-binding sites able to interact with environmental lectins, again demonstrating the multiple functions of surface Ig. Her current research is focused on investigating novel and potentially targetable tumor-specific interactions between the glycan and receptors on microenvironmental macrophages.
Dr. Stevenson is an associate editor of Blood. In 2014, she won the European Hematology Association Jean Bernard Lifetime Achievement Award for contributions to the advancement of hematology.back to top
Karin Tarte, PhD
Karin Tarte, PharmD, PhD, is a professor of immunology at Rennes Medical School in France, chief of the Immunology and Immunomonitoring Department in Rennes University Hospital, and director of the research unit Microenvironment, Cell Differentiation, Immunology, and Cancer (U1236, MICMAC, Rennes). During her PhD, under the supervision of Bernard Klein in Montpellier, she made seminal contributions to the understanding of human plasma cell differentiation and identified deregulated pathways and potential therapeutic targets in multiple myeloma.
Dr. Tarte's research lab focuses on the characterization of B-cell lymphoma microenvironment. In particular, she shed new light on the complex interplay between follicular lymphoma B cells and their supportive cell niche, including follicular helper T cells, lymphoid stromal cells, and macrophages. In addition, Dr. Tarte’s group provides some evidence that malignant B cell genetic alterations could play a role in their capacity to interact with and modify their microenvironment. As the head of a National and European clinical immunomonitoring platform, she also contributes to the evaluation of new therapeutic strategies in B-cell lymphomas.
Dr. Tarte is the recipient of the 2015 EFIS/EJI Ita Askonas Award, has co-authored about 100 publications, and has provided educational contributions at American Society of Hematology, European Hematology Association, and ICML meetings.back to top
Hans-Guido Wendel, MD
Hans-Guido Wendel, MD, trained as a physician at the medical schools of Aachen (Germany) and Edinburgh (U.K.). For his scientific training, he went to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and then joined the faculty of Memorial Sloan Kettering in 2007.
Dr. Wendel’s lab is active in disease-centered and basic discovery research. His lab’s disease focus is on lymphoma biology and genetics, and his group develops new mouse models and uses these to interpret the most frequent genetic lesions in lymphoma. Dr. Wendel’s lab further seeks out innovative and genotype-specific therapies. The basic discovery work explores abnormal mRNA translation programs in cancer. Dr. Wendel first reported that specific translation factors are highly expressed in human cancers and able to drive malignancies in animal models. He develops strategies to image abnormal translation for cancer detection and explores small molecule inhibitors of oncogenic translation factors. The most advanced are selective inhibitors of the RNA helicase eIF4A. The Wendel lab discovered that eIF4A drives the translation of MYC and other G-quadruplex containing mRNAs. Inhibition of eIF4A completely abrogates MYC production and causes striking therapeutic effects in vivo at safe dose levels. Dr. Wendel is currently partnering with drug makers to bring eIF4A inhibitors to the clinic. The overarching theme of his work is to translate basic discoveries into highly innovative therapies.back to top
Catherine Wu, MD
Catherine J. Wu, MD, is an associate professor in medicine at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. She received her medical degree from Stanford University School of Medicine and completed her clinical training in internal medicine and hematology-oncology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. Dr. Wu joined the staff at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in 2000. At the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, she has initiated an integrated program of research and clinical activities that focuses on dissecting the underlying mechanisms of pathobiology of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) as a means to more rationally generate effective therapies, including immune-based treatments, for this common adult leukemia. Through large-scale genome analysis of CLL, Dr. Wu’s laboratory has discovered key mutated genes and pathways involved in CLL. Ongoing studies in her laboratory focus on systematically analyzing tumor genotype – phenotype relationships, understanding CLL tumor heterogeneity and clonal evolution, and mechanistically dissecting the impact of novel CLL driver genes.
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