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Adrian Bot
Vice President of Translational Medicine
Kite, a Gilead Company

Adrian Bot, M.D., Ph.D. is the Vice President of Translational Medicine at Kite, a Gilead Company, developing genetically engineered cell products for oncology indications. Dr. Bot obtained his M.D. in Romania in 1993 and his Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York in 1998.  Subsequently, he was a Guest Scientist at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla. Prior to his appointment as Chief Scientific Officer at Kite Pharma in 2011 and then Vice President of Translational Medicine, Dr. Bot served in various senior R&D management positions at MannKind Corp and Alliance Pharmaceutical Corp.

Alessandra Cesano
Chief Medical Officer
ESSA

Alessandra Cesano, MD, PhD has recently joined ESSA as Chief Medical Officer. Previously she has been the Chief Medical Officer of NanoString Inc from July 2015 until June 2019 where she focused in the development of translational and diagnostic multi-plexed assays for the characterization and measurement of mechanisms of immune response/resistance. Prior to joining NanoString, Dr. Cesano was Chief Medical Officer at Cleave Biosciences, Inc. and before then she served as Chief Medical Officer and Chief Operations Officer at Nodality, Inc., where she built and led the R and D group, while providing the overall clinical vision for the organization. Between 1998 and 2008, Dr. Cesano held various management positions at Amgen, Biogen Idec and SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals, where she helped to advance various oncology drugs through late stage development and FDA approvals. Early in her professional career Dr. Cesano spent 12 years conducting research in tumor immunology, including nine years at the Wistar Institute, an NCI Basic Cancer Center connected with the University of Pennsylvania. She also holds membership in several professional and scientific societies including ASCO, ESMO, ASH, EHA, AACR and SITC. In the latter she serves as co-chair in the SITC Industry Committee, Associate Editor for the Biomarker section of JITC and is an active member of the SITC Biomarker Working Group. Over her careers she has been an author on over 100 publications. Dr. Cesano received an MD summa cum laude, a Board Certification in Oncology and a PhD in Tumor Immunology from the University of Turin.

Ali Mohamad
Vice President, CMC
Immatics

Ali Mohamed, PhD, Vice President, CMC, Immatics US Inc. Formerly the senior director of manufacturing operations/ manufacturing development at Caladrius PCT (Now Hitachi Chemical Advanced Therapeutics Solutions). Dr. Mohamed has nearly 20 years of experience in process development and GMP manufacturing of regenerative medicine, cell and gene therapy products at various CMOs and clinical stage companies including Lonza, Osiris Therapeutics, and AlloCure. The speaker holds a PhD in Molecular Pharmacology from Medical College of Ohio and postdoctoral fellowship in neuroscience and neurobiology from the Georgetown University.

Alice Brown
Vice President of Research
GammaDelta Therapeutics

Alice Brown is Vice President of Research at GammaDelta Therapeutics leading a team developing Vd1 gd T cells as a novel cell therapy approach for tackling solid tumours and hematologic malignancies. Prior to GammaDelta, Alice spent 7 years with PsiOxus Therapeutics as Director of Biology. Alice has a PhD in Biochemistry and carried out her post-doctoral research in Prof. Dan Davis’ Lab at Imperial College London studying the basic biology and interactions of human NK cells

Annie Hubert
Senior Director, Section & Public Policy
Alliance for Regenerative Medicine

Blake Aftab
Vice President and Head of Preclinical Science and Translational Medicine
Atara Biotherapeutics

Blake T. Aftab, PhD is Vice President and Head of Preclinical Science and Translational Medicine at Atara Biotherapeutics. Dr. Aftab leads cell therapy discovery, research, and translational evaluation for off-the-shelf cell therapies covering oncology, infectious disease, and autoimmune conditions. He has over 15 years experience in academic, biotech and pharmaceutical industries developing multiple therapeutic modalities including small molecule, biologics, antibody-drug conjugates and cell therapies. He conducted his doctoral training in Pharmacology and Drug Development at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and received his Bachelors in Pharmacology and Drug Discovery from The University of California, Santa Barbara.

Cedrik Britten
VP & Head of Oncology Cell Therapy Research Unit
GlaxoSmithKline

Cedrik is a physician and immunologist working in the field of Immuno-Oncology since 1998. From 2001 to 2008 he worked in haematology and blood transfusion departments and conducted translational research on tumour-specific T cells and anti-cancer vaccines trials. Cedrik joined BioNTech AG in 2008 where he drove the company’s growth to a mid-sized enterprise of 250 FTE. As Vice President R&D his translational team was the first to test highly personalized mutanome vaccines in melanoma patients. Cedrik joined GSK in 2015 and is heading the Oncology Cell Therapy Research Unit (OCT RU). The current R&D activities cover the non-clinical and clinical development of TCR-T & CAR-T cells, technologies to enhance patient benefit of engineered lymphocytes in solid cancer, innovative ways to supply autologous cell products, and the discovery of new targets for CAR-T cell approaches.

Cheng Liu
Founder and CEO
Eureka

Dr. Cheng Liu is our founder and CEO. Prior to founding Eureka, Dr. Liu was a Principal Scientist in antibody drug discovery at Chiron (now Novartis), where he championed anti-CSF1 antibody program for treatment of bone metastasis to human clinical trials. He is the inventor of multiple issued US patents in drug discovery. In 2007, he was awarded Special US Congressional Recognition for his contributions to improving human health. Dr. Liu received his B.S. in Cell Biology and Genetics from Beijing University and a PhD in Molecular Cell Biology from the University of California, Berkeley.

David Gilham
VP, Research and Development
Celyad

Dr. David Gilham first joined Celyad in April 2016 as member of the Scientific Advisory Board. As from September 1st, 2016, David became Vice-President R&D, heading the implementation of our Research and Development strategy for our programs in immuno-oncology. Dr. Gilham received his Ph.D in Molecular Pharmacology at the University of Dundee prior to moving to Bristol University in 1996 to work on CAR T cells with Professor Robert Hawkins. The group moved to Manchester in 1998 where his research activity has focused on engineering T-cells for cancer therapy and developing the necessary pre-clinical studies to support translation of this therapy into phase I/II clinical trials in Manchester. Prior to joining Celyad, David was a Reader in the Institute of Cancer Sciences, University of Manchester, UK and led the Clinical and Experimental Immunotherapy Group based within the Manchester Cancer Research Centre.

Deborah Morrison
Principal Scientific Advisor
National Institute for Health & Clinical Excellence

Delfi Krishna
Director, Strategy, Portfolio, Operations, Cell & Gene Therapy Platform
GlaxoSmithKline

Dolores Schendel
CEO & CSO
Medigene

Since the 1970s, Prof. Dr. Dolores Schendel has been researching T cells and their abilities in immunotherapy and has accompanied the scientific and therapeutic turn of era in this field. Prof Schendel served as a University Professor for Immunology at the Ludwig-Maximilian-University, is the author of more than 200 scientific publications, has spent several decades as a scientific review board member in various research organizations such as the German Research Foundation, German Cancer Aid and the European Research Council among others. She is a recipient of the German Federal Order of Merit and the Bavarian Order of Merit and received the 'Deutsche Krebshilfe Preis', the award of the German Cancer Aid. From 1998 - 2013, Prof Schendel was Director of the Institute of Molecular Immunology of the German Research Center for Environmental Health at the Helmholtz Center in Munich. Following this, she founded the Trianta Immunotherapies GmbH (today "Medigene Immunotherapies GmbH). With the acquisition by Medigene in 2014, Dolores Schendel became Chief Scientific Officer and, in 2016, also the CEO of the company.

Francesco Marincola
Chief Scientific Officer
Refuge Biotechnologies

Dr. Marincola is Chief Scientific Officer at Refuge Biotechnologies, Menlo Park, California. He was previously Distinguished Research Fellow at AbbVie Corporation; Chief Research Officer at Sidra Research, Qatar; Tenured Investigator at the National Institutes of Health, Maryland. Dr. Marincola founded in 2003 the Journal of Translational Medicine and is the Editor-in-Chief. He is also Editor-in-Chief of Translational Medicine Communications and Clinical and Translational Medicine. He is past-president of the Society for the Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) and the International Society for Translational Medicine. He edited several books including the SITC-affiliated Cancer Immunotherapy Principles and Practice Textbook. Dr. Marincola is an award winning author of The Wise Men of Pizzo and Cat Behind the Window.

Helen Tayton-Martin
Chief Business Officer
Adaptimmune

Dr. Helen Tayton-Martin has served as our Chief Business Officer since March 2017, having formerly served as our Chief Operating Officer since 2008, a role in which she oversaw the transition of all operations in the company from five to 300 staff, through transatlantic growth, multiple clinical, academic and commercial collaborations and private and public financing through to its Nasdaq IPO. As our CBO, Dr. Tayton-Martin is responsible for optimizing the strategic and commercial opportunity for Adaptimmune’s assets, leading on business development and commercial activities. Her role encompasses all aspects of pipeline and technology assessment, strategic portfolio analysis, integrated program management and commercial planning and partnerships, including the company’s strategic partnership with GlaxoSmithKline (LSE/NYSE: GSK) (“GSK”).

Hong Ma
SVP, Clinical Development
CARsgen Therapeutics

Dr. Hong MA is a clinical oncologist with 20 years of cancer immunotherapy and orphan drug development experience, including over 15 years of pharmaceutical industry experience. He has in-depth experience in cellular therapy programs in the U.S. and EMA region with 8 IND & CTA approvals. Before joining in CARsgen, he served as the senior medical director & senior director of clinical development at Immatics Biotechnologies GmbH. Prior to this role, he was the director of clinical development at Bellicum Pharmaceutical, Inc. and was the director of clinical operation at Endocyte Pharmaceutical (now the part of Novartis Oncology).

Jacquelyn Awigena-Cook
Associate Director, Regulatory Policy and Intelligence
Celgene

Jacquelyn is currently Associate Director, Regulatory Policy and Intelligence at Celgene. She has over 12 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry managing projects, designing processes and leading initiatives aimed at driving regulatory policy advocacy activities that support development of innovative medicines and assessing the impact of regulatory changes on strategy, operations and compliance. Her current area of focus is on regulatory policies impacting Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMPs) and delivering key regulatory intelligence insights to support project teams in the Hematology – Oncology disease area. She also spent several years’ focusing on the global pharmacovigilance regulatory environment.

Jens-Peter Marschner
CMO
Zelluna Immunotherapy

Jens-Peter Marschner joined Zelluna Immunotherapy in June 2019. Jens-Peter has almost 25 years of experience in Clinical Development and Medical Affairs. He has a track record of senior leadership in early and late stage development in both, big pharma and small biotech. Jens-Peter spent many years at Merck KGaA. As Clinical Team Lead he contributed significantly to the development and successful launch of cetuximab and served later as VP in different medical and clinical leadership positions in immune oncology and other therapeutic areas of oncology. Jens-Peter worked as CMO for Affimed, a biotech company developing bi-specific antibodies. He supported significantly Affimed’s shift from a technical platform company to a clinical development company and oversaw all clinical activities from strategy over implementation to analysis. In addition, he was heavily involved in the IPO process with successful listing in NASDAQ. Recently, Jens-Peter was Head of Oncology, Western Europe and Canada at Abbvie.

John Johnston
Clinical Assessor
MHRA

John Maher
Immunology Consultant, King’s College London / CSO
Leucid Bio

Dr John Maher is a clinical immunologist and immunopathologist who leads the "CAR Mechanics" research group within King's College London. His research group is focused on the development of adoptive immunotherapy using CAR engineered and gamma delta T-cells. He is also chief scientific officer of a spin-out company named Leucid Bio. In addition, he is a consultant immunologist within King's Health Partners and the Royal Free NHS Foundation Trust, at Barnet Hospital.

Kai Pinkernell
CMO & CDO
Medigene

Dr. Kai Pinkernell is responsible for the clinical advancement of Medigene's immunotherapy platforms since February 2016. In April 2018, he was appointed to the Executive Management Board of the Company as Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and Chief Development Officer (CDO). Dr. Pinkernell has acquired long-term expertise in worldwide clinical development, clinical marketing and clinical sales as well as automation and GMP production of cellular therapies. Prior to joining Medigene, he held leading positions at Miltenyi Biotech GmbH, Bergisch Gladbach, Germany, most recently as Global Head of Clinical Business and Head of Clinical Development. Previously, Dr. Pinkernell was with Cytori Therapeutics Inc., San Diego, USA, as Senior Director of Regenerative Cell Technology.

Klaus Tressl
VP Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs
Medigene

Licensed Pharmacist (M.Sc.) and Qualified Person (QP) for Biological Medicinal Products according to German Drug Law. Klaus has started his pharmaceutical career as Head of  Antibody GMP Manufacturing at Baxter in 1991, having developped over 15 biological medicinal products (MABs, vaccines, biosimilars etc.), small molecules (e.g. tyrosine-kinase inhibitors) but also medical devices from clinical to commercial with a focus on US and EU regulatory approval (FDA; EMA). Klaus has worked within oncology and infectious disease indications in various biopharmaceutical companies. Currently, Klaus is responsible for regulatory and quality compliant development of ATMPs for adapted T-cell therapy and dendritic cell (DC) vaccines at Medigene AG.

Lothar Germeroth
SVP, MD
Juno Therapeutics

Lothar Germeroth is Senior Vice President at Juno Therapeutics Inc., a Celgene Company and Managing Director at Juno Therapeutics GmbH, and joined Juno through the acquisition of Stage Cell Therapeutics in May 2015. Dr. Germeroth has over 25 years of management experience in biotechnology. Dr. Germeroth served as the CEO at IBA GmbH and the COO at Stage Cell Therapeutics GmbH, and served eight years as CEO in three different German Biotech companies (Jerini BioTools GmbH, Chemotopix GmbH, Cytos Proteome Therapeutics GmbH) and as Chief Business Officer at Cytos Biotechnology AG in Switzerland. Dr. Germeroth studied chemistry in Frankfurt/Main and obtained his PhD in Biochemistry in the department of Nobel Prize Laureate Professor Hartmut Michel at the Max-Planck Institute of Biophysics in Frankfurt.

Michael Koslowski
CMO
GammaDelta Therapeutics

Michael joined GammaDelta in 2018 from Mission Therapeutics where he was EVP Research & Development and Chief Medical Officer, responsible for developing Mission’s pipeline of deubiquitinating enzyme inhibitors. Prior to joining Mission Therapeutics Michael was VP Clinical Sciences & Early Development at Glenmark Pharmaceuticals where he led all clinical activities to progress Glenmark’s innovative drug portfolio. Before, Michael formed and managed a new group of Translational Medicine Experts at Boehringer Ingelheim to support and drive early drug development activities across all therapeutic areas at BI. Michael was Group Leader New Targets & Antibody Development at Ganymed Pharmaceuticals and a Principal Scientist in Experimental & Translational Oncology at the University of Mainz with focus on cancer drug target identification and development of novel immunotherapeutics.

Day One

Thursday 13th December 2018

8:30 am | Industry Leader's Fireside Chat

Michael Leek
CEO
TCBiopharm

Chief Executive at TC BioPharm, Michael has 28 years’ experience in regenerative medicine, during which he progressed 9 different cell-based products from laboratory into clinic. As co-founder, he was jointly responsible for moving Intercytex from a pre-clinical research company, to an AIM-listed biotech with several cell therapy products in the clinic. He has extensive GMP manufacture, clinical, regulatory and logistic expertise, he has directly raised over £50m in equity and grant funding.

Michael Lehmicke
Director, Science & Industry Affairs
Alliance for Regenerative Medicine

Michael Lehmicke,  ARM's Director of Science and Industry Affairs, is responsible for shaping and leading science and manufacturing initiatives at ARM, as well as leading ARM’s science and technology-related member committees and task forces. Michael has more than 20 years of R&D experience in biomaterials, medical devices and regenerative medicine. He has led product development teams for class II devices, human cell and tissue-based products, and drug/device combination products. He is a creator and an inventor with multiple U.S. patents to his name. Michael has a MSc in Biomedical Engineering, with a focus on tissue engineering, from Drexel University.

Mythili Koneru
SVP, Clinical Development
Marker Therapeutics

Mythili Koneru, M.D., Ph.D. is Senior Vice President of Clinical Development at Marker Therapeutics, a clinical-stage company specializing in the development of T cell-based immunotherapies for treatment of hematological malignancies and solid tumors. In this role, she is responsible for clinical development strategy, clinical study design, and medical oversight of the Company's therapeutic product candidates. Dr. Koneru joins Marker Therapeutics from Eli Lilly and Company, where she served most recently as Associate Vice President of Immuno-Oncology. In her previous role, Dr. Koneru designed early-stage clinical trials for hematologic and solid tumor malignancies and was instrumental in developing clinical trial protocols, serving as medical lead for trial conduct. Prior to Eli Lilly, Dr. Koneru completed her oncology fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Renier Brentjens at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, where she developed adoptive T cell therapies in both leukemia and solid tumor malignancies in early phase clinical trials.

Namir Hassan
CSO
Zelluna Therapy

Namir Hassan joined Zelluna Immunotherapy in August 2018 to serve as Chief Scientific Officer. He has 15 years of biotech and pharma industry experience spanning from target validation through to early phase clinical trials. Over his professional career, Namir has developed extensive experience in growing scientific businesses to thrive and deliver high value. Prior to joining Zelluna, Namir was a VP at Immunocore, responsible for creating and growing the infectious disease unit as well as helping to secure up to $40M of funding for the organisation. During his tenure with the company, Namir was also responsible for overseeing and strategically expanding biology, preclinical, biomarkers and development for the Oncology portfolio as well as successfully leading to completion, the first in human study treating metastatic melanoma patients.

Peggy Sotiropoulou
Director, Research & Development
Celyad

Peggy Sotiropoulou joined Celyad in 2017. As Director of the R&D department, she leads a broad-ranging internal research program that aims to develop new strategies in CAR T cell design to target haematological and solid malignancies. Prior to Celyad, Peggy spent 17 years in Academic research in oncology and immunooncology. Before moving to industry, Peggy was associate Professor in the Université Libre de Bruxelles, in Brussels, Belgium, leading research in fundamental oncology and published landmark papers in top tier scientific journals. The aim of Peggy in Celyad is to translate cutting-edge research and innovation into actual treatments for patients.

Andrew Sewell
Research Director of the Institute of Infection and Immunity
Cardiff University

My research is focused on T-cell antigens and the receptors that recognise them. This subject takes us in many directions and my laboratory incorporates projects on infection, transplant tolerance, vaccination, cancer immunotherapy and autoimmune disease.

Qasim Rafiq
Associate Professor, Cell & Gene Therapy Bioprocessing
University College London

Dr Qasim Rafiq is an Associate Professor at University College London in Cell and Gene Therapy Bioprocessing. He is a multidisciplinary engineer and currently leads a research portfolio of >£3M focusing on the bioprocessing, automation and biomanufacture of ATMPs. . He has specific interest in addressing the large-scale manufacturing challenges and enhancing process and product understanding to enable successful translation from the laboratory to the clinic. He is both a Chartered Engineer (CEng) and Chartered Scientist (CSci) and sits on multiple scientific and engineering committees including the BIA’s Cell and Gene Therapy Advisory Committee and the BSI’s Biotechnology Standards Group.

Reuben Benjamin
Consultant Haematologist
Kings College Hospital NHS

Lead lawyer and member of the management-team of Novartis Pharma Services AG:

  • legal entity which exports the Rx-drugs of Novartis´ Innovative Medicines Division (Pharmaceuticals and Oncology) out of Switzerland into more than 80 countries worldwide by export-sales to 3rd party distributors. Furthermore this entity operates app. 35 Representative Offices.
  • main geographic areas: Eastern Europe (incl. small EU-countries), Middle East, Africa and Asia
  • started supporting this export-entity in 2012 as dedicated Senior Legal Counsel without direct reports, gradually built up a new operational legal department for this entity with currently 5 lawyers and a paralegal as direct reports
  • general-counsel-like scope of activities, including all major commercial contracts, country-setup analyses, investigations, market access topics, launch of Novartis` gene therapies in EU-countries (e.g. Kymriah CAR-T therapy and Luxturna) etc.
  • very close interactions and teamwork with a network of regional and cluster lawyers for the geographies Eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia.

Stefanos Theoharis
SVP, Corporate Development & Partnering
Cell Medica

Stefanos joined Cell Medica to lead our partnering activities, bringing a combination of academic, business development, project management and finance skills. Following his PhD, Stefanos worked as a post-doctoral researcher at Imperial College, whilst also worksing for six years in parellel as a paid consultant to the London Technology Network, a government-funded organization bridging the gap between industry and academia. Subsequently, Stefanos joined Lazard, the investment bank, as a member of the Life science M&A team and then Roche Partnering, as Director of Emerging Technologies, where he participated in multiple licensing deals, with a focus on novel innovative technologies. He then joined Antisense Pharma as Head of BD. Prior to joining Cell Medica, Stefanos was CBO for apceth in Munich, where he was responsible for business development on the company’s first-in-man engineered cell therapy platform and its GMP manufacturing business, as well as project management, and communications.

Therese Solstad Saunders
Senior Adviser
Norwegian Medicines Agency

I’m a Senior Scientific Advisor at the Norwegian Medicines Agency (NoMA), Head of Team for Quality Assessment of Biological Medicinal Products , Member of the CHMPs Biologicals Working Party (European Medicines Agency) and Group 6- (Biological Medicines, EDQM, Strasbourg ) specialized in ATMP's, biological medicinal products and vaccines. Additionally I am a team leader for vaccine batch release quality control analysis (Official member state Control Laboratory; OMCL). Before joining Norwegian Medicines Agency, I worked as a post doc at the University of Bergen, Norway and at the Biotechnology center in Oslo. I also held a research associate position at the Medical Research Council in London UK, in the lab of prof. Charles Weissmann

Tol Trimborn
COO
Gadeta

Experienced Venture Partner with a demonstrated history of working in the venture capital and private equity industry. Strong information technology professional skilled in Business Development, Cell Biology, Biotechnology, Business Strategy, and Biochemistry.

William Cao
CEO
Gracell

Dr. Wei (William) Cao is the founder, chairman and CEO of Gracell Biotechnologies Group. Through external partnership and in-house R&D effort, Gracell has been rapidly progressing with novel CAR-T programs and regenet stove medicine programs. Dr. Cao has over 30 years of professional experience in scientific research, products development and startups. He was the co-founder and CEO of a Nasdaq listed cellular therapy company. Prior to his ventures, Dr Cao served as Technical Manager for Bayer Asia Pacific, and China General Manager of Affymetrix, a world leader in genetic analysis. Dr. Cao earned a Bachelor’s degree in Medicine from Fudan University and a PhD degree in Immuno-Pharmacology from Medical College of Virginia. He has extensive research experience in immune-pharmacology field at Harvard Medical School and Stanford University Medical Center. He is the inventor of more than 70 patents in the field of stem cell and CAR-T technologies.

Yannick Bulliard
Director, Translational Development
Immatics

In 2016, Yannick Bulliard joined Immatics US, Inc. as Director Product Science, where he established the Department’s core activities in process development, development of immunoassays and quality control. Since 2017, Dr. Bulliard is leading the translational development of ACTallo®, Immatics’ allogeneic cellular therapy platform based on γδ T cells. Prior to Immatics, Dr. Bulliard was a project lead for several preclinical assets in Immuno-Oncology at Amgen, CA. He obtained his Ph.D. from the EPFL, Switzerland and went on to pursue a postdoctoral fellowship at Novartis in Cambridge, MA.

Aura Mackenzie
Senior Director, AVES, Market Access
bluebird bio

After over a decade in global pricing and market access consulting for biotech and big pharma, Aura shifted industry-side after realizing that nothing fired her up more in drug development than the promise of cell and gene therapy. Aura’s role at bluebird is early evidence and access strategy planning for the oncology and severe genetic disease portfolio.  Fun fact: Aura is a dab hand at ultimate frisbee and plays nearly every weekend, rain, snow, or shine. While she’s not as competitive as she once was, her vacations are still planned around frisbee tournaments more often than they’re not!

Agnes Schubert
Global Program Safety Lead
Novartis

Sixteen years of global experience in big and medium size pharma with a reputation for authenticity, unsophistication, honesty, straightforwardness and integrity; proven track record of creating significant value for successful submissions, post-marketing surveillance, and strategically profiling of small molecules, mAB and gene therapy assets. DMC and HA experienced. A true global medical leader, driving evaluation and interpretation with digital tools, signal detection and new analytics. Strong scientific and medical background, combined business development and medical affairs experience in neurological and rare therapeutic areas have shaped ability to quickly understand and envision new opportunities.

Peter Olagunju
VP, Global Patient Operations
bluebird bio

Valeria Judkowski
Senior Director, Quality Assurance, Site Qualification
Kite, a Gilead Company

Valeria Judkowski is the Senior Director, Quality Assurance, Site Qualification at Kite, a Gilead Company. In this role, she oversees the European regional team responsible of qualifying clinical centers to work with Yescarta®, one of the first CAR T therapies to be developed, manufactured and commercialized. Prior to Kite, Valeria oversaw the areas of technology transfer, GMP manufacturing and quality control for a phase III autologous dendritic cell based therapy as part of the Immunocellular Therapeutics Ltd pipeline. In previous years, Valeria was an Assistant Professor in Immunology at The Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies, La Jolla, California. She focused most of her scientific career on the field of Antigen Discovery, working mainly on the regulation of the T cell immune response for the development and evaluation of active immunotherapies in Oncology and Autoimmunity. Valeria studied at the University of Sciences of Buenos Aires, Argentina, from which she received a Master Degree in Molecular Biology and a PhD in Immunology.

Therese Choquette
Analytical Project Leader & Senior Fellow
Novartis

Jo Tomlins
Clinical Services Manager/ Nurse Clinician
The Christie NHS Foundation Trust

Jo works as a Nurse Clinician (Advanced Nurse Practitioner) at The Christie where she has worked with patients with haematological malignancies for over 15 years. She has worked in accident and emergency departments in the UK and overseas, in addition to a specialist haematology-oncology unit in London. In 2015 Jo became the Clinical Services Manager for the haematology, teenage and young adults (TYA) and endocrinology directorate and has had a pivotal role in setting up the Christie CAR T service. Jo has an in depth knowledge of haematological malignancies and uses advanced clinical skills in the management of patients. Jo is the clinical lead on the Principles of Haematology Oncology Module at the University of Manchester. She has a clinical interest in acute leukaemias, TYA and CART.