Scientific Advisory Board

Our executive team and Board of Directors are supported by a Scientific Advisory Board whose members are in the forefront of the fields of oncology, hematology, and immunotherapy.

Jeff S. Weber, MD, PhD (Chair) Deputy Director and Head, Experimental Therapeutics, Co-Director of the Melanoma Research Program, Laura and Isaac Comprehensive Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone Health; Professor of Medicine, NYU Grossman School of Medicine Read More

Kevan Herold, MD C.N.H., Long Professor of Immunobiology and of Medicine (Endocrinology), Yale University; Deputy Director, Yale Center for Clinical Investigation; Co-Director, Yale Diabetes Center Read More

Michelle Krogsgaard, PhD Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology, Co-Leader Tumor Immunology Program, Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Comprehensive Cancer Center at NYU Grossman School of Medicine Read More

Yi Lin, MD, PhD Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology, Department of Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center; Consultant, Division of Experimental Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic; Chair, Cell Therapy Cross-Disciplinary Group, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center Read More

Andreas Mackensen, MD Director, Department of Hematology/Oncology, University Hospital of Erlangen, Erlangen, GermanyRead More

Marcela Maus, MD, PhD Associate Professor of Medicine, Mass General Cancer Center at Harvard Medical School; Director of Cellular Immunotherapy, Mass General Cancer Center; Paula O’Keefe Chair in Oncology, Mass General Cancer CenterRead More

Miguel Perales, MD Chief, Adult Bone Marrow Transplantation Service, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; Associate Professor of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College Read More

Anil K. Rustgi, MD Director, Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at Columbia University Irving Medical Center Read More

Jonathan Schneck, MD, PhD Professor, Department of Pathology, Medicine and Oncology, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Director, The Johns Hopkins Translational ImmunoEngineering Center; Co-founder, NexImmune Read More

David Samuel diCapua Siegel, MD PhD, Chief, Division of Multiple Myeloma John Theurer Cancer Center, Hackensack University Medical Center; Founding Director, Institute for Multiple Myeloma, Center for Discover and Innovation, Hackensack Meridian Health Read More

Juan Varela, MD, PhD Medical Director of Blood and Marrow Transplant Program and Cellular Therapy Facility, Advent Health Cancer Institute Read More

Jeffrey S. Weber, MD, PhD (Chair)

Professor Weber is the deputy director of the Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center (PCC), and works with a multidisciplinary team of medical and surgical oncologists, dermatologists, and pathologists to treat patients with melanomas ranging from the most common to the most complex. He serves as co-director of PCC’s Melanoma Research Program, and is head of Experimental Therapeutics at PCC, overseeing work in experimental therapeutics.

Professor Weber’s clinical and research interests primarily lie in the field of immunotherapy for cancer. He works at the forefront of new ideas in immunotherapy for treating patients with melanoma and managing the side effects of these novel therapies. He has been instrumental in the development of ipilimumab for melanoma, publishing some of the earliest papers showing its efficacy, and has been an early advocate for the use of checkpoint inhibition as adjuvant treatment, culminating in the publication of the New England Journal of Medicine work showing benefit for the PD-1 antibody nivolumab compared to ipilimumab for resected high risk melanoma. He has also been involved in a large variety of clinical trials, including trials for melanoma vaccines, protocols involving adoptive cell therapy, and novel immunotherapy trials for patients with melanoma.

Professor Weber is the principal investigator of a number of ongoing studies funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), including trials in clinical drug development and managing the autoimmune side effects of immunotherapy for melanoma. He has been the chair of the CONC study section of NCI and also serves as the co-principal investigator of NYU’s Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant for skin cancer and melanoma research from the National Cancer Institute. His research has been funded by RO1 grants from the NCI for over 25 years.

Professor Weber has published more than 230 articles in the top peer-reviewed journals in his field. He currently sits on the scientific advisory boards of seven cancer-related biotechnology companies and numerous cancer institutions and foundations.

 

Kevan Herold, MD, C.N.H.

Dr. Herold is Professor of Immunobiology and Internal Medicine at the Yale School of Medicine. He was trained as an Endocrinologist and as an Immunologist at the University of Chicago. His career has been focused on studies of the pathogenesis and treatment of immune diseases. His work began in murine models and has involved studies of human samples from clinical trials. He has been the PI of 6 multicenter clinical trials of teplizumab for treatment and prevention of Type 1 diabetes and has also led other single and multicenter clinical trials. This is the first drug that has been able to prevent or delay Type 1 diabetes in relatives at risk. His work has spanned a number of aspects of the pathogenesis of autoimmune diabetes including the immune mechanisms and the effects of autoimmunity on beta cells, with studies in preclinical and with clinical samples. A large portion of his studies involve understanding how immune therapies modify pathogenic immune responses. His lab identified a subpopulation of beta cells that appear to resist immune attack. He developed an assay to measure β cell death in vivo and described changes in beta cells that occur in response to immunologic stressors which, he postulated may enable their survival. His laboratory has a long standing interest in developing tools to analyze autoantigen specific T cells in patients with Type 1 diabetes and has used Class I MHC tetramers to analyze these cells in clinical trials and more recently developed T cell libraries for this purpose. His group was the first to identify autoimmune diabetes induced with checkpoint inhibitors which has provided insights into the mechanisms of Type 1 diabetes. He is a member of the Immune Tolerance Network Steering committee and the PI of the Yale Trial Net Center. He serves as Deputy Director for Translational Medicine in the Yale CTSA. He has been appointed as the new  Chair of NIDDK TrialNet.

 

Michelle Krogsgaard, PhD

Dr. Krogsgaard completed her PhD in Molecular Biology and Immunology at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark with Drs. Lars Fugger and Engberg where she studied mechanisms of the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis. Her postdoctoral work at Stanford University with Dr. Mark M. Davis focused on mechanisms of T cell activation and contributed to understanding mediators of T cell sensitivity. Currently, Dr. Krogsgaard is an Associate Professor with tenure at the Department of Pathology and the co-leader of the Tumor Immunology Program at the Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Comprehensive Cancer Center at New York University Grossman School of Medicine. She is the graduate advisor for the Inflammation and Immunology Program at Vilcek Institute of Graduate Biomedical Sciences at NYU Langone Health. Her laboratory combines cell biology, biochemistry and biophysics to explore mechanisms of T cell recognition, activation, migration and T-cell effector functions in mouse models of disease and in human tissues and has published extensively in this area. She serves on multiple NIH/NCI study sections and have been continuously funded by the NIH during her independent career. Dr. Krogsgaard was an Alfred Benzon Fellow, a Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences, an American Cancer Society Research Scholar, a Cancer Research Institute Investigator, received the Mark Foundation ASPIRE Award and was selected for the Exceptional, Unconventional, Research Enabling Knowledge Advancement (EUREKA) Innovator Award from the National Institute of Health.

 

Yi Lin, MD, PhD

Dr. Lin is a consultant and associate professor in the Division of Hematology and Experimental Pathology at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota. Her practice is in lymphoma and myeloma. She has an NIH-funded laboratory and clinical research program in tumor immunology, immunotherapy, and biomarkers development, with a cell therapy focus. Her laboratory program focuses on myeloid cells as immunotherapy targets; novel cell-based immunotherapy development; and predictive biomarkers in immunotherapy. She is the PI and co-PI of multiple clinical trials testing novel dendritic cell vaccine combination immunotherapy and CAR-T therapy. As the chair of the Cell Therapy Cross-Disciplinary Group at Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, she also oversees the cancer cell therapy clinical research portfolio and the clinical practice for CAR-T therapy across all three Mayo sites in Minnesota, Arizona, and Florida. Dr. Lin is the co-chair of The Immune Therapy Working Committee with the International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG).

 

Andreas Mackensen, MD

Prof. Mackensen received his approbation as physician and MD degree from the University of Freiburg, Germany in 1988. After an internship (Dept. of Internal Medicine I, University of Freiburg) he was a postdoctoral fellow from the German Research Foundation (DFG) between 1991 and 1993 at the Institute Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, France (Prof. Thierry Hercend). His research focus was on the characterization of tumor-specific immune responses in spontaneously regressive melanoma. Back in Freiburg, he completed his training as a hematologist/oncologist and habilitated in Internal Medicine 1998. From 1999-2007 Andreas Mackensen was Professor (C3) for Hematology/Oncology at the University of Regensburg. He initiated one of the first European Phase I clinical trials with adoptively transferred tumor-reactive T cells in advanced malignant melanoma. In 2007 Andreas Mackensen became full professor for Hematology/Oncology and Director of the Dept. of Internal Medicine 5 – Hematology/Oncology at the University of Erlangen. A. Mackensen is a principal investigator in different investigator-initiated cell-based immunotherapy studies with CAR T-cells for patients with hematologic diseases and solid tumors. Since 2020 Andreas Mackensen is the director of the Bavarian  Center for Cancer Research (BZKF).

 

Marcela Maus, MD, PhD

Dr. Maus is currently an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School, the Paula O’Keefe Chair in Oncology and Director of Cellular Immunotherapy at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Cancer Center, an Attending Physician in the Hematopoietic Cell Transplant and Cell Therapy division of Oncology at MGH. She is an Associate Member of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, and an Associate Member of the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, and Harvard.

Dr. Maus is internationally known for her work as a translational physician-scientist in the field of immunology, particularly as it relates to T-cell immunotherapies and cellular therapies in the treatment of cancer. Her laboratory focuses on the biology of human T cell activation, costimulationm, and memory, and on the application of human T cell therapies to human disease, including forward and reverse translation of engineered T cell therapies in early-phase clinical trials. She has authored over 100 papers indexed in pubmed and holds multiple NIH R01 grants and several Investional New Drug appplications (IND’s).

Dr. Maus holds an undergraduate degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and graduate degrees (MD, PhD) from University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Maus trained in internal medicine at University of Pennsylvania and in hematology and medical oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, is board-certified in these three disciplines, and practices medical oncology. She also serves on several scientific and clinical advisory boards for the biotechnology industry as well as external academic medical centers.

 

Miguel Perales, MD

Dr. Perales is the Chief of the Adult Bone Marrow Transplantation Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, as well as an Associate Professor of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College.  He is an internationally recognized leader in the field of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and cellular therapy, and serves as Chair of the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology Transplantation and Cell Based Therapies Committee, Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of Be The Match (National Marrow Donor Program – NMDP), and Vice-President of the American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy (ASTCT, former ASBMT). He also holds leadership positions and has been extensively involved in activities of the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) and Blood and Marrow Transplantation Clinical Trials Network (BMT CTN). Dr. Perales has over 275 publications including peer-reviewed articles, position papers, guidelines, book chapters, editorials and invited reviews, and has been an invited speaker at numerous national and international meetings over the past twenty years.  Dr. Perales received his MD from the Free University of Brussels, and completed postdoctoral training at the Tufts Medical Center and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

 

Anil K. Rustgi, MD

Dr. Rustgi graduated from Yale College with a BS in molecular biophysics and biochemistry and earned an MD at Duke University. He completed an internal medicine residency at Beth Israel Hospital and a gastroenterology fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), both at Harvard Medical School. He rose to associate professor of medicine at MGH before joining the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) in 1998, where he served as chief of gastroenterology until 2018. In 2019, Dr. Rustgi was recruited to direct the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center as Irving Professor of Medicine.

Dr. Rustgi’s research focuses on tumor initiation, microenvironment, and metastasis in gastrointestinal cancers, including esophagus, pancreas, and colon cancers. His lab translates discoveries to improve molecular diagnostics and find new experimental therapeutics for patients. An AAAS fellow and an American Cancer Society Professor, Dr. Rustgi has been elected to the American Society of Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians, and the National Academy of Medicine. Previously, he was president of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA), editor-in-chief of Gastroenterology, president of the International Society of Gastroenterological Carcinogenesis and President of the American Pancreatic Association.

 

Jonathan Schneck, MD, PhD

Dr. Schneck received his medical degree and training in immunology from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. After completing his degree, Dr. Schneck trained in pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital National Medical Center in Washington DC. He attended the National Institute of Allergy and Immunology at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland for his postdoctoral training at the Laboratory of Immunology. In 1990, he joined the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine faculty and is currently a professor in pathology, medicine, and oncology. He has received several awards including: the Mellon Clinician Scientist Award, Harry Weaver Neuroscience Scholar Award, RJR Research Scholars Award, Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation Scholar’s Award, and a gift from the Susan Wojcicki and Denis Troper Charitable Foundation for his groundbreaking work in cancer immunology. Additionally, he is actively involved in teaching at JHMI and leads the genes to society immunology course. Currently, he is a senior editor at the Journal of Clinical Investigation (JCI).

Dr. Schneck’s work has focused on understanding and manipulating T cells responses. Notably, he has developed, patented, and licensed several products; including soluble multivalent Major Histocompatibility Complexes, MHC, MHC-Ig, sold by Becton Dickenson under the name DimerX, artificial antigen presenting cells (aAPC), and artificial T cell stimulating matrixes (aTM). He is a co-founder of NexImmune, a biotech start-up company that licensed the aAPC. He is also director of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, NIBIB, sponsored Johns-Hopkins Translational ImmunoEngineering (JH-TIE) BioTechnology Resource Center (BTRC) where projects relate to CD8 T cell function, multiscale analysis of immune responses, development of aAPCs, and other novel immunotherapy platform technologies.

 

David Samuel diCapua Siegel, MD, PhD

Dr. Siegel is one of the nation’s foremost authorities on multiple myeloma (a blood cancer) and is founding Director of the Multiple Myeloma Institute. His research focuses on multiple myeloma, Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia, and AL amyloidosis. He has served as the lead investigator of the pivotal Phase IIb study that led to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval of Kyprolis (carfilzomib) for recurrent multiple myeloma. Dr. Siegel helped bring Velcade (bortezomib) to multiple myeloma patients through his clinical trials showing that this medication slows and halts the progression of multiple myeloma. He has been involved in clinical trials that led to the approval of Thalomid (thalidomide), Revlimid (lenalidomide), Pomalyst (pomalidomide), Ninlaro (Ixazomib), Empliciti (elotuzumab), and Farydak (panobinostat). Dr. Siegel has led the John Theurer Cancer Center’s program to offer CAR T-cell therapy to patients with multiple myeloma. Finally, he is a member of the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium Steering Committee, which promotes novel, cutting-edge treatments for patients afflicted by multiple myeloma.

 

Juan Varela, MD, PhD

Dr. Varela is the Medical Director of the Blood and Marrow Transplant Program and Cellular Therapy Facility at Advent Health in Orlando. He obtained his MD/PhD from the Medical University of South Carolina in 2010. He completed his residency training in internal medicine at the Osler Medicine Training Program at The Johns Hopkins   Hospital and his fellowship training in Hematology at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Varela’s clinical interests are the treatment of patients with acute leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. He is also an expert in bone marrow transplantation and cellular therapies. His research interests include novel immune and cellular therapies for hematological malignancies and novel bone marrow transplantation strategies. He is the principal investigator on numerous national clinical trials and has personally developed novel cellular therapy treatments for hematological malignancies that are currently in clinical trials.