Scientific Advisory Board

We have attracted and retained a Scientific Advisory Board comprised of world renowned scientists and clinicians.

Sergio A. Quezada

Dr Sergio A. Quezada

Dr Sergio A. Quezada earned an undergraduate degree in biochemistry from the P. Universidad Católica de Chile and a Ph.D. from Dartmouth Medical School in the US, where his research focused on the mechanisms for the induction of transplantation tolerance. Working with Prof Randy Noelle at Dartmouth, Dr. Quezada developed a model to study anti-CD154 graft tolerance and made several fundamental contributions to the understanding of the immune regulation and mechanisms of transplantation rejection and tolerance.

In 2004, Dr. Quezada joined the laboratory of Dr. James Allison at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, where he has carried out postdoctoral research aimed at understanding the mechanisms governing anti-tumor T-cell immunity and how these mechanisms can be manipulated for the generation of potent anti-tumor immune responses. In November 2011, Dr. Quezada joined the University College London Cancer Institute in the United Kingdom as head of the Immune Regulation and Tumor Immunotherapy group. His research group at UCL focuses in the study of the mechanism of action of anti-CTLA-4, anti-PD-1 and other immune-modulatory antibodies targeting co-inhibitory and co-stimulatory pathways (including ICOS, 4-1BB, OX-40) and used as novel anticancer therapies. In the last years, through a number of clinical collaborations, his team gained significant expertise in the characterisation and interrogation of immune reactivity and function within the microenvironment of different human cancers including melanoma, lung and kidney cancers.

Dr. Quezada was a Cancer Research Institute Fellow from 2005 to 2008 and has been the recipient of Dartmouth’s John W. Strohbern Medal for excellence in biomedical research, the Cancer Research Institute (USA) New Investigator Award and a Cancer Research UK Career Development Fellowship. Most recently he was awarded with a Cancer Research UK Senior Cancer Research Fellowship.

Dr James Larkin

Dr James Larkin

Dr James Larkin is a Consultant Medical Oncologist at the Royal Marsden Hospital specialising in the treatment melanoma and cancers of the kidney. Dr Larkin took a first in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University and undertook clinical training at Oxford University, qualifying in 1996. He underwent general medical training in London and in 2001 won a Medical Research Council Fellowship for a Clinician, carrying out laboratory research at the ICR which led to the award of a PhD. He completed specialist training at The Royal Marsden and was appointed a Consultant in 2008.

His research interests involve trying to understand cancer and its consequences better as well as developing improved treatments, particularly with targeted therapies and immunotherapies. He is a medical advisor to the patient advocacy group Melanoma UK, a trustee of the Kidney Cancer Support Network and the only non-US member of the Board of Directors of the Kidney Cancer Association.

He is a past NIHR National Specialty Lead for Early Phase Oncology Trials as well past Chair of both the NCRI Renal Cancer Clinical Studies Group and The Royal Marsden/ICR Committee for Clinical Research. He is currently Vice Chair of the Cancer Research UK Clinical Research Committee and Lead of the Uncommon Cancers Theme at the Royal Marsden/ICR Biomedical Research Centre for Cancer.

Dr Stuart Farrow

Dr Stuart Farrow

Dr Stuart Farrow joined Cancer Research UK’s Therapeutic Discovery Laboratories (then Cancer Research Technology Discovery Laboratories) as director of biology in April 2015, where he leads the discovery team responsible for oncology target validation and disease positioning.

He has a particular focus on discovery of new therapeutic opportunities in immuno-oncology. Before joining Cancer Research UK’s Therapeutic Discovery Laboratories he spent more than 20 years in drug discovery and leadership roles in the pharmaceutical industry. Most recently he was based at the University of Manchester, where he directed the establishment of the Manchester centre for collaborative research in inflammation and immunology (MCCIR), a £15M initiative funded by GSK, AstraZeneca and the University of Manchester.

He has also served as a translational biology expert on the UK MRC Infection and Immunity Board. Stuart has worked in several therapeutic areas, leading discovery programmes from early discovery through to commercial launch, and has also directed major translational research initiatives. He has an extensive publication record with particular emphasis on immunology and inflammation.

Dr Joern-Peter Halle

Dr Joern-Peter Halle

Dr Joern-Peter Halle is leading the Translational Innovation Platform Immuno-Oncology function in Merck Biopharma. Most recently, he was Head of the President’s Office and of Strategy and Business operations in Merck Healthcare.

Prior to this, he was responsible for the program leaders of the oncology portfolio, part of the cross-functional oncology leadership team, and Head of Early Stage Licensing of Merck Serono. He started his carrier in Merck 10 years ago as a member of the corporate development team and was member of the Serono acquisition and integration team.

Prior to joining Merck, he co-founded a biotech company focusing on R&D in dermatology where he served as a Chief Business Officer. Peter holds a PhD in molecular biology from the University of Konstanz and began his carrier as a postdoc in biochemistry at the Gene Center Munich.

Professor Bart Vanhaesebroeck

Professor Bart Vanhaesebroeck

Professor Bart Vanhaesebroeck is Professor of Cell Signalling at the University College London Cancer Institute. Following a PhD in the Laboratory of Molecular Biology at Ghent University (Belgium), Prof Vanhaesebroeck carried out postdoctoral studies at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, London where he was involved in a systematic effort to isolate the genes encoding PI 3-kinases (PI3Ks). This led to the realisation that PI3Ks form a family of enzymes. Together with his colleagues, Prof Vanhaesebroeck proposed the now universally-accepted classification and nomenclature of PI3K isoforms. Prof Vanhaesebroeck is an elected member of EMBO and of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences.

By building on complementary mechanisms between cancer and fibrosis iOnctura further aims to address high unmet need in fibrotic disease.