CONFERENCE SPEAKERS

Speakers
Anthony Cheung
Anthony Cheung
Research Associate,
King’s College London

Research interests on establishing novel therapeutic targets in TNBC and interrogating the tumour-infiltrating lymphocyte compartment, especially how immunotherapies or ADCs may play a role in breast cancer treatment.


Allan Stensballe
Allan Stensballe
Associate Professor,
Aalborg University

Allan is an Associate Professor with a strong background in research, specializing in Omics, Protein Science, and Bioinformatics for Omics-driven precision medicine. His research is centered on gaining insights into disease pathology in autoimmune conditions like arthritis, IBD, and neuroinflammation, as well as low-grade inflammation processes. His expertise extends to Omics technologies, biomarker investigations, and protein array technologies for companion diagnostics, reflecting his dedication to advancing precision medicine and improving healthcare outcomes through cutting-edge research.


Faith Howard
Faith Howard
Co-Founder,
NANOncolytics

Faith is a versatile scientist with diverse experience spanning oncology, nephrology, infectious diseases, and immunology, both in academia and industry. With over 15 years in in vivo research, her current focus is on using nanoparticles to deliver cancer-killing viruses, a groundbreaking approach recognized with the Roger Griffin Prize for Cancer Discovery in June 2022. Faith's journey includes roles as a project manager, senior scientist, mentor, and co-founder of NanOncolytics. Trained as a biologist, she excels in cell culture, flow cytometry, microscopy, protein assays, and immunological techniques. Her adaptability extends to nanoparticle characterization and biochemistry. Faith is a problem solver, team motivator, and expert at managing multiple projects and collaborations. She's actively exploring new opportunities for NanOncolytics, open to connections and messages to discuss potential collaborations and ventures in this innovative field.


Louis Boon
Louis Boon
CSO ,
JJP Biologics

Louis is the CSO and Management Board Member of JJP Biologics, an innovative new Polish Company backed by the Starak family. JJP Biologics develops the next generation of novel therapeutic biologics around personalized medicine and companion diagnostics (JJP Biologics: Overview | LinkedIn). Louis obtained his Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the University of Amsterdam. He was the founder of various companies focused on the generation and development of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies, primarily in the field of cancer and inflammation.  Louis is an author of over 360 publications in international scientific journals in the field of medical immunology/biotechnology and an inventor at more than 20 patent applications.


James Jin
James Jin
Vice President ,
Biocytogen

Dr. James Jin received his Ph.D. in virology at Wuhan University in 1997. He received postdoctoral training at Colorado State University and worked as a research assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago from 2005 to 2010. In 2010, he was recruited to Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. as a senior scientist. Dr. Jin joined Biocytogen as the Director of Technology in 2011 and was promoted to Vice President in 2012. His research experience spans the fields of virology, immunology, proteomics, protein structure, human stem cells, and genetic targeting of animal models.


Michele Mishto
Michele Mishto
Reader,
King’s College London

CD8 T cells specific for noncanonical epitopes (e.g. either post-translationally modified or cryptic peptides) can be used for treatment of solid cancers, although the Identification  (and even more the prediction) of these noncanonical epitopes presented by HLA class I complexes is challenging. Mass spectrometry is commonly used to identify cancer-specific epitope candidates and several methods for the identification of the noncanonical origins of many of them have been developed in the last years, thereby helping in defining the mechanism of their generation, their immunological relevance and, potentially, also opening the door for their use as biomarkers. At what stop of this long journey are we, and what are the short- and long-term prospectives for their use in translational applications?


David Pejoski
David Pejoski
CEO,
Adoram Therapeutics

Activating the immune system in cancer patients is critical to improve the chance of survival.  Current drugs that target the key immune system switch, the adenosine 2A receptor, have not yet succeeded and are confronted with many developmental hurdles related to their conventional molecular mode of action which cannot modulate A2AR signaling in immunosuppressive solid tumor microenvironments without safety concerns.

Using proprietary allosteric drug discovery know-how established at the University of Geneva, we are developing orally bioavailable, non-brain penetrant, small molecule A2AR antagonizing immunotherapies that effectively & safely shield immune cells from A2AR-mediated suppressive signals. These drug candidates would make an ideal and flexible addition to combination cancer therapies for a wide range of adenosine-rich solid tumors.

Startup Background: Adoram Therapeutics, a spin-off from the University of Geneva, is a discovery-to-early-clinic biotech company discovering small molecule therapies with a disruptive ‘allosteric’ mode of action, that provides both improved efficacy and safety compared to conventional drugs. Our primary asset is an A2AR-targeting cancer immunotherapy to treat high-adenosine solid cancers.

Additional novel chemical series for CNS & inflammatory indications are in the hit-to-lead phase. To further expand our pipeline, sensitive screening assays that outperform industry standard methods are used to identify allosteric drug hits that modulate ‘GPCRs’, the largest class of human receptors. We are currently securing funding to move towards the clinic with our lead cancer immunotherapy asset and to complete preclinical proof-of-concept studies for the secondary assets – innovative allosteric drugs to treat inflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases.


Bill Eldridge
Bill Eldridge
CEO, CSO,
Isogenica

Bill has over twenty years’ experience in antibody, scaffold protein and peptide discovery and development. He started his post-doc career at Pfizer before moving on to be an early member at Cambridge Antibody Technology (now Astra Zeneca) where he was a senior scientist in antibody discovery. After four years at CAT, he joined Isogenica where he co-invented and developed the company’s CIS Display Technology. More recently he was CSO at Cyclogenix, developing Cysteine knot micro-proteins for Oncology, Blood Brain Barrier and Oral Delivery of biotherapeutics. He has recently returned to Isogenica as CEO.


Pier Francesco Ferrucci
Pier Francesco Ferrucci
NIBIT President, Oncology Department Director,
Multimedica Group

Pier Francesco Ferrucci obtained his medical degree from the University of Pisa and his Board Certification in Oncology at the University of Perugia, in Italy. He went on to serve consecutive positions at the European Institute of Oncology in Milan, Italy, as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Experimental Oncology directed by Prof. PG Pelicci and then as a clinician within the Hematoncology Department and finally as the Director of the Melanoma and Cutaneous Tumors Unit at the Oncology Department directed by Prof. A. Goldhirsch.

Dr. Ferrucci is currently Director of the Biotherapy of Tumors Unit at that same institution and President of the Italian Network for Bio- Immunotherapy of Tumors (NIBIT). Moreover, dr. Ferrucci is the Founding Member and Scientific Director of the Grazia Focacci Foundation for funding basic and clinical research on cancer and sustaining patients and their families.

He serves as an active Scientific Reviewer and Editorial Board Member for several international journals and maintains active memberships in several international medical societies. As a result of his experience and expertise, he has been a valued invited speaker at more than 80 national and international meetings. He has presided as Principal Investigator on over 50 clinical trials and he is the author of more than 120 publications in peer-reviewed journals, including The New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet Oncology, Nature Medicine, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Journal of Immunotherapy of Cancer, among others.

Primarily, his major interests have included research in immunotherapy and vaccination treatments of solid tumors, combination strategies with I-O, genetics, and proteomics of melanoma, assessment of new molecular markers for tumor progression, biochemical and immunological monitoring.


Illip Burmester
Illip Burmester
Technical and Applications Manager,
Proteome Sciences

Illip Burmester Technical and Applications Manager, Proteome Sciences, UK Illip Burmester is a Technical and Applications Manager at Proteome Sciences and has 20 years’ experience working in the biomarker sector in academia and industry. Since joining Proteome Sciences in 2019 he is involved in technical, scientific, and business development functions and has been working with customers focusing on the identification of optimally tailored solutions.


Fabienne Charrier Savournin
Fabienne Charrier Savournin
Life Sciences Technology Platform High Content Reagents Leader,
Revvity Inc

With a PhD from the University of Montpellier in France, Fabienne has a strong background in cellular and molecular biology. In 2006, she started her career in R&D at the French biotech company Cisbio, where she led the development of HTRF kits for oncology, immuno-oncology and inflammation research. Since 2018, Fabienne has been part of the product management team at PerkinElmer. In her current role at Revvity (formerly associated with PerkinElmer), she is responsible for cellular imaging reagents as well as reagents related to targeted protein degradation.


Philip Beer
Philip Beer
Chief Scientific Officer,
Step Pharma

Philip is CSO at Step Pharma, a French therapeutic biotech focused on novel targeted approaches for the treatment of cancer. Prior to joining Step Pharma, Philip held senior leadership roles in biotech and biopharma companies, overseeing oncology drug development and biomarker discovery programmes. He is also a board-certified haematologist with over 16 years of frontline healthcare experience. Philip is a cofounder of Gabriel Precision Oncology, a clinical software company focussed on improving outcomes for those living with cancer. He also chairs the Genomics Working group at BIVDA, The British In Vitro Diagnostic Association.


Ariel Marcotegui
Ariel Marcotegui
Medical Science Liaison – Oncology,
Amgen


Vaios Karanikas
Vaios Karanikas
Biomarker Experimental Medicine Leader, Oncology,
Roche

Today, there is a huge effort to develop cancer immunotherapeutics capable of combating cancer cells as well as the biological environment in which they can grow, adapt, and survive. For such treatments to benefit more patients there is a great need to dissect the complex interplays between tumor cells and the host’s immune system. Identifying both the appropriate patient population and Pharmacodynamic Biomarkers related to drug biology, can offer a deeper understanding of cancer immune responsivene to immuno-oncology treatments and optimize future drug designs.


Rick Kamps
Rick Kamps
Head Research Engineer in the Department of Toxicogenomics,
Maastricht University

Currently, Dr. Rick Kamps is working as a Laboratory Manager in the Department of Toxicogenomics and as a teacher supervising many Bachelor students in the concept of Problem Based Learning (PBL) in the Faculty of Health, Medicine, and Life Sciences since 2010. Furthermore, he has more than 25 years of research experience in the diagnostics and biotechnology sector (e.g., Academic Hospitals in Aachen (Germany) and Maastricht (the Netherlands), and Philips Research Eindhoven (the Netherlands).  He is more than a decade skilled in Next-generation sequencing in multiple applications (e.g., RNA/DNA sequencing). At the end of 2020, he gained a Ph.D. in Resolving the Role of Genetic Defects and the Mitochondrial DNA Copy Number in Mitochondrial Disease and Embryonic Development.


Andrew Bottomley
Andrew Bottomley
Independent Outcomes Research Consultant,
Bottomley Consulting Group

Dr. Bottomley is a seasoned Researcher with over three decades of experience in cancer clinical trials. He served as the former Assistant Director of the European Organisation for Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) and led its Quality of Life (QOL) Department for 25 years. He's a key figure in patient-reported outcomes (PRO) research and clinical trials, having designed EORTC's measurement tools and overseen 200+ cancer trials. Dr. Bottomley's expertise is valued by regulatory bodies like the EMA, FDA, and HTA, where he advises on PRO research and author several joint publications. In 2023, he founded the Bottomley Consulting Group, which is specialised in providing independent QOL advice for all aspects of trial design, analysis and presentations for biotech and pharma companies. With 250 papers, six books, and 37 book chapters, he's a prolific author and active peer reviewer.


Valerie Balme
Valerie Balme
Associate Director, Business Development,
Biopharma

Valerie Balme is Associate Director, Pharma Business Development at Veracyte. She has over 10 years of experience working in the diagnostics and biotechnology industries. First at Ipsogen, then at Qiagen and HalioDx and now with Veracyte, she has held several roles covering customer service, manufacturing and operations management and is currently focused on business development in Veracyte’s Biopharma Business Unit offering partners a flexible and high-quality service.


Ahuva Nissim
Ahuva Nissim
Professor, Antibody and Therapeutic Engineering,
Queen Mary University of London

Ahuva Nissim graduated in Molecular Immunology in 1992 from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and was trained as a postdoctoral fellow at the MRC Centre for Protein Engineering in Cambridge until 1995. During this period, she developed phage display semisynthetic human antibody library, the so call ‘Nissim’ library which has been used worldwide. In November 2000 she was appointed as a Senior Lecturer at Queen Mary University. Her studies are interdisciplinary and involve translational research at the William Harvey Research Institute and with intensive worldwide collaborations. Her studies have been mostly focused on the mechanisms that lead to the formation of disease tissue-specific pathogenic proteins and the exploitation of identified pathogenic proteins to develop platform technologies for novel disease - and tissue-specific, diagnosis and targeted treatment.