CONFERENCE SPEAKERS

Speakers
Mikael Barmore
Mikael Barmore
VP Biopharma Business Development,
Veracyte


Arvind Rao
Arvind Rao
Associate Professor of Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics, Department of Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics,
University of Michigan Ann Arbor

Dr. Rao works at the intersection of genomics  and  image informatics, across biological scale (cells, tissue and organ). He is interested in developing multi-modal decision algorithms that link and integrate various measurements (imaging, genomics etc) to characterize disease. His algorithms for phenotypic measurements encompass data from 2D/3D microscopy, radiology and histopathology. He is also interested in methodological aspects of genomic analysis and image assessment. In the context of these investigations, Dr. Rao collaborates with clinicians, biologists, engineers and data scientists.


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.


 Paul Kassner
Paul Kassner
Senior Vice President, Quantitative & Computational Biology ,
RAPT Therapeutics

Paul joined RAPT Therapeutics in 2016, bringing years of experience building and leading high-performance technical groups in various biopharmaceutical organizations. At RAPT, Paul oversees the teams building and executing assays to guide the chemistry team in developing structure-activity relationships. Additionally, Paul leads the team developing biomarker plans and assays and executing computational analyses to support clinical programs. Paul was Director of Research and Head of the Genome Analysis Unit at Amgen, Inc. During his eleven years at Amgen, he developed and implemented multiple high-throughput platforms for drug discovery and target identification across a broad spectrum of therapeutic areas. Prior to Amgen, Paul held scientific and leadership positions in several smaller companies, which enabled him to exercise his passion for creating novel technology platforms to enable drug discovery.  Paul received his B.S. in Genetics and Development from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana before performing graduate research at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and earning his Ph.D. in Immunology from Harvard University. He also completed postdoctoral work in Neuroscience at the University of California, San Diego.


Ken Bloom
Ken Bloom
Head of Pathology,
Nucleai

Dr. Bloom is an internationally recognized pathologist with expertise in breast disease, digital pathology, immunohistochemistry and molecular pathology. He started his career at Rush University where he served several roles, including Director of Laboratory Operation and the Chief Information Officer for the Rush Cancer Institute.   Dr. Bloom was instrumental in bringing digital pathology and image analysis tools to the clinic.  Other positions include Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of Clarient. CMO for In-vitro Diagnostics at GE Healthcare, President and head of oncology and immunotherapy at Human Longevity and the CMO at RealmDx.  Currently, he heads Pathology for Nucleai.


Mark Eccleston
Mark Eccleston
Chief Technology Officer,
Volition

Mark is an enthusiastic and passionate biotechnology entrepreneur with over 25 years experience in the sector. He holds a PhD in Polymer Chemistry for biomedical applications a degree in chemistry.

He was one of the first BBSRC funded scientists to complete the Royal Society of Edinburgh Enterprise Fellowship Schemes run by Scottish Enterprise and was awarded an MBA (entrepreneurship) from the University of Dundee in 2008.

Mark is a scientific founder and Chief Technology Officer at Volition. He is an inventor on several Volition patents, including those related to enrichment of tumour derived cell free circulating nucleosomes and COVID-19 prognosis and both diagnostic and therapeutic patents related to NETosis.

Volition is a multinational epigenetics company, powered by Nu.Q®, our proprietary nucleosome quantification platform. Nu.Q® Discover enables drug developers and researchers access to a range of state-of-the-art assays for rapid epigenetic profiling in disease model development, preclinical testing, and clinical trials.


Ian Pike
Ian Pike
Chief Scientific Officer,
Proteome Sciences PLC

Ian Pike is the Chief Scientific Officer at Proteome Sciences and has over 30 years’ experience working in the diagnostics and biotechnology sectors. Since joining Proteome Sciences in 2002 he has held a number of roles covering intellectual property management, business development, operational management and is now focused on leading the Company’s scientific strategy to offer clients a flexible, high-quality service.


A. C. Matin
A. C. Matin
Professor of Microbiology & Immunology, Emeritus ,
Stanford University School of Medicine

Dr. Matin's laboratory studies improvment in prodrug cancer chemotherapy; genetic and protein engineering to improve biological processes, such as bioremediation; microbial biofilms; cellular resistance to antimicrobial agents; and microbial stress response.


Matt Giacalone
Matt Giacalone
CEO,
Vaxiion Therapeutics

Dr. Giacalone is Chief Executive Officer of Vaxiion Therapeutics where he has led the development of the company’s novel bacterial minicell-based oncolytic agent, VAX014, from concept to the clinic. Dr. Giacalone’s has a diverse scientific background, is inventor on over 30 issued patents, and has authored numerous scientific publications in the field of immunology and cancer immunotherapy.  Dr. Giacalone received his Ph.D. from University of California, San Diego and an MBA from San Diego State University through their joint Ph.D./MBA program.


Rob Fraser
Rob Fraser
Chief Scientific Officer,
Molecular You

Backed by his expertise in molecular diagnostics, molecularly targeted drug discovery and development, biochemistry and regulatory compliance, Rob Fraser drives the innovation behind Molecular You's multi-omic AI-powered analytics platform. Under his direction, Molecular You has established an affordable, comprehensive method of measuring hundreds of biomarkers from a single blood sample, and a LLM and ML model to incorporate the world's leading scientific literature and collected data to accurately predict individual and population health risks.

Previously, as the Chief Operating Officer of the Personalized Medicine Initiative, Rob supported the establishment of six new companies including Molecular You. Rob has also been involved in leading drug discovery and development projects at Sanofi, Xenon, Neuromed and CDRD.


Wyatt McDonnell
Wyatt McDonnell
Co-Founder, CEO, and Chairman of the Board of Directors,
Infinimmune

Dr. Wyatt McDonnell is Co-Founder, CEO, and Chairman of the Board of Directors at Infinimmune, a preclinical antibody biotechnology company treating human disease with truly human antibody therapeutics. Previously, Wyatt developed 10x Genomics’ first therapeutic antibodies and core immunology intellectual property behind three commercial products to interrogate the immune repertoire. He has co-authored 31 peer-reviewed papers in journals including Nature, Cell, and Nature Medicine, and 19 published patents in relation to immunobiology, genomics, and disease. He has been invited to speak at conferences including PEGS, the Keystone Symposia, the World Vaccine Congress, LEAP, and PMWC.


Dan Georgess
Dan Georgess
Chief Scientific Officer,
TransCure bioServices,

Dan is an innovative scientist with extensive international experience in, research strategy, interdisciplinary collaboration and team leadership. He is dedicated to promoting cross-functional efforts to address complex challenges in therapeutics development. Dan has 13 years of experience in developing in vivo and ex vivo approaches for hematopoiesis, autoimmunity, and cancer research, and has co-authored 15 peer-reviewed publications. Since joining TransCure, Dan's consistent focus has been to drive successful preclinical development of cell therapies and biologics for TransCure’s clients.


Jack Chen
Jack Chen
Scientific Director, Immuno-Oncology, Precision Medicine,
AbbVie

Jack is currently Scientific Director within Precision Medicine Organization at AbbVie, where he leads a group of PhD scientists at Bay Area and North Chicago sites to develop translational research strategy for IO programs at preclinical and clinical stages including PD markers, combination, and biomarkers of sensitivity/resistance to inform dose selection and patient selection. Prior to this, he was a discovery team leader in Cancer Immunology Discovery group at Pfizer, where he drove IO target identification to IND filing for FIH. Previously he worked at OncoMed and Eli Lilly for translational research. He obtained his PhD from Johns Hopkins University.

Bruno Larvol
Bruno Larvol
Founder & CEO,
LARVOL

Bruno Larvol is the founder and CEO of LARVOL, a company providing innovative SaaS solutions to the pharmaceutical and biotech industry that support the oncology sector since 2004.

 Embracing a VR-first and remote-always philosophy, Bruno cemented his reputation as a pioneer in the field, showcasing his commitment to innovation by managing LARVOL for an entire year exclusively via VR/AR technology.

 Recently, Bruno has also delved into the realm of generative AI – pushing the envelope in how AI can be leveraged in healthcare solutions. His leadership at LARVOL reflects a deep commitment to advancing oncology with cutting-edge technology.


Eric Ariazi
Eric Ariazi
Distinguished Translational Medicine Scientist,
Volition

Eric A. Ariazi, Ph.D., is a distinguished Translational Medicine Scientist with 25+ years of experience spanning academia and industry. Presently, he lends his deep expertise in biomarkers for epigenetic compounds as a consultant for Volition. Dr. Ariazi’s interest in epigenetics began at Fox Chase Cancer Center where he discovered a novel DNA methylation modulation role for the master transcriptional regulator estrogen receptor-α. Transitioning to industry, Dr. Ariazi played a pivotal role at Freenome, spearheading the development of innovative high-depth cfDNA methylation sequencing assays, now a key intellectual property of the company. His tenure at ORIC Pharmaceuticals as a Senior Principal Scientist was marked by pioneering clinical biomarker strategies, notably for a PRC2 inhibitor utilizing Volition’s innovative Nu.Q™ nucleosome assays. Dr. Ariazi is an author on 29 publications in scientific journals, including reviews and a book chapter, as well as an inventor on 4 issued patents, including 2 on cancer biomarkers.


Adil Daud
Adil Daud
Director, Melanoma Program,
UCSF Medical Center

I have extensive experience in translational research and clinical trial design, especially in melanoma. My post-doctoral fellowships were at Cleveland Clinic and Indiana University respectively working in basic science labs on fundamental biologic processes. At Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, I trained with Drs David Spriggs, Carol Aghajanian and Paul Chapman gaining a broad understanding of experimental therapeutics. Over the next 7 years, at the Moffitt Cancer Center, A collaboration with Dr Heller has resulted in intratumoral IL12 as a treatment for melanoma. At UCSF, I lead the melanoma program and several early phase and melanoma specific clinical trials as well as collaborating with my colleagues Michael Rosenblum, Max Krummel and Jeff Bluestone at UCSF and with Meromot Singer and Arlene Sharpe at Harvard to analyse scRNA from melanoma patients. Im excited to collaborate with Susana Ortiz on her projects targeting nanoparticles for drug delivery in melanoma and novel kinase dependencies to Treat Metastatic NRAS Tumors


Jay Zhang
Jay Zhang
Sr. Business Development Manager,
Biocytogen

Dr. Jingyao (Jay) Zhang received his PhD in Biological Engineering at the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2018. In his postdoc and early years in the industry, he worked as a scientist focusing on small molecule drug discoveries for ion-channel-related diseases. Jay joined Biocytogen in 2022 as a Business Development Manager. Jay and his team are located in the Bay Area, supporting collaborations with clients in Northern California.