American Association for Cancer Research

SU2C-CRI Joint Scientific Advisory Committee

The Joint Scientific Advisory Committee for the SU2C-CRI Cancer Immunology Translational Research Dream Team Grant is dedicated to seeking out the most innovative and promising cancer immunology research projects. The committee is comprised of highly accomplished senior laboratory researchers and physician-scientists, as well as advocates. The scientific oversight provided by the Joint Scientific Advisory Committee is critical to achieve Stand Up To Cancer's mission to translate the most promising cancer research into real advances in cancer diagnosis, treatment and prevention as quickly as possible.

Joint Scientific Advisory Committee Biographies

Phillip A. Sharp, Chairperson Tak W. Mak
Carl H. June, Vice-chairperson      Suzanne Ostrand-Rosenberg
Giorgio Trinchieri, Vice-chairperson Ellen Puré
J. Carl Barrett  Robert D. Schreiber
James L. Gulley Peter L. Bloom
Helen Heslop Karl Schwartz
Hyam I. Levitsky  



Phillip A. Sharp, Ph.D., Chairperson
Institute Professor
David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA

A world leader of research in molecular biology and biochemistry, Dr. Phillip A. Sharp is institute professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research. Dr. Sharp earned a B.A. degree from Union College, KY, in 1966, and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana in 1969. He did his postdoctoral training at the California Institute of Technology, where he studied the molecular biology of plasmids, and then studied gene expression in human cells at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory under James Watson. Much of Dr. Sharp's scientific work has been conducted at MIT's Center for Cancer Research, which he joined in 1974.

Dr. Sharp's research interests have centered on the molecular biology of gene expression relevant to cancer and the mechanisms of RNA splicing. His landmark achievement was the discovery of RNA splicing in 1977. The discovery that genes contain nonsense segments that are edited out by cells in the course of utilizing genetic information is important in understanding the genetic causes of cancer and other diseases. For this work he received the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. His lab has now turned its attention to understanding how RNA molecules act as switches to turn genes on and off (RNA interference). These newly discovered processes have revolutionized cell biology and could potentially generate a new class of therapeutics.

Dr. Sharp has received numerous awards and honorary degrees, and has served on many advisory boards for the government, academic institutions, scientific societies and companies. In addition to the Nobel Prize, his awards include the Gairdner Foundation International Award, the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award, the National Medal of Science for Biological Sciences and the inaugural Double Helix Medal from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. Dr. Sharp co-founded Biogen (now Biogen Idec), Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, an early-stage therapeutics company and Magen Biosciences Inc., a biotechnology company developing agents to promote the health of human skin.

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Carl H. June, M.D., Vice-chairperson
Director, Translational Research Program
Abramson Cancer Center
Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Perelman School of Medicine
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA

Dr. Carl June is currently director of translational research at the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania, and is an investigator of the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute. He is a graduate of the Naval Academy in Annapolis, and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, 1979. He had graduate training in immunology and malaria with Dr. Paul-Henri Lambert at the World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland, from 1978-79, and postdoctoral training in transplantation biology with Dr. E. Donnell Thomas and Dr. John Hansen at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle from 1983 - 1986. He is board certified in internal medicine and medical oncology. He founded the Immune Cell Biology Program and was head of the department of immunology at the Naval Medical Research Institute from 1990 to 1995. He rose to professor in the departments of medicine and cell and molecular biology at the Uniformed Services University for the Health Sciences in Bethesda, MD, before assuming his current position as a tenured professor at the University of Pennsylvania in 1999. He maintains a research laboratory that studies various mechanisms of lymphocyte activation that relate to immune tolerance and adoptive immunotherapy.

Dr. June’s research interests have focused on lymphocyte biology, with a major translational focus on ex vivo T cell engineering for cancer and HIV cell based therapies. His current research involves applying principles of the cellular immune system to develop novel therapies for cancer and chronic infection. His laboratory has been dedicated to develop new forms of T cell based therapies for nearly two decades. His studies discovered several principles of lymphocyte costimulation. Using these basic findings, the laboratory developed a cell culture system that was tested for the first-in-human evaluation of chimeric antigen receptors (CAR) using T cells modified with gamma retroviruses and for immune regeneration in AIDs patients. His team conducted the first clinical evaluations of lentiviruses and zinc finger nucleases as tools to modify T cells, initially in HIV and then in cancer patients with advanced leukemia.

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Giorgio Trinchieri, M.D., Vice-chairperson
Laboratory of Experimental Immunology
National Cancer Institute
Frederick, MD

Giorgio Trinchieri received his M.D. from the University of Torino, Italy, in 1973. He was a member of the Basel Institute for Immunology (Basel, Switzerland) and an investigator at the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (Epalanges sur Lausanne, Switzerland). From 1979 to 1999 he was at Wistar Institute in Philadelphia and became Hilary Koprowski professor and chairman of the Immunology Program. He was then director of the Schering Plough Laboratory for Immunological Research in Dardilly, France, and an NIH Fogarty Scholar at the Laboratory for Parasitic Diseases, NIAID, before becoming director of the Cancer and Inflammation Program (CIP) and chief of the Laboratory of Experimental Immunology at NCI in August 2006.

As CIP director, he oversees the operations of two major intramural laboratories that constitute the major immunologic component of the NCI inflammation and cancer initiative that seeks to partner NCI’s expertise in inflammation and immunology with its cutting-edge cancer etiology and carcinogenesis program. He has been interested for many years in the interplay between inflammation/innate resistance and adaptive immunity, and in the role of pro-inflammatory cytokines and interferons in the regulation of hematopoiesis, innate resistance and immunity. In 1989, his group at the Wistar Institute discovered Interleukin-12 and its role in tumor immunity, infections and autoimmunity. His main focus of research is now the role of inflammation, innate resistance and immunity in carcinogenesis, cancer progression and prevention or destruction of cancer.

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J. Carl Barrett, Ph.D.
Vice-president, Translational Science
Oncology Innovative Medicine
AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP
Waltham, MA

Dr. J. Carl Barrett is vice-president of translational science in the Oncology Innovative Medicines Division at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals. His responsibility is to develop and execute biomarker strategy and translational sciences efforts to support compound development from research through early and full development in oncology. Dr. Barrett’s longstanding research interests focus on the discovery of the critical genetic and epigenetic changes in the cancer cell, in particular the discovery of genes involved in breast cancer (BRCA1) and in the processes of cellular senescence and cancer metastasis. He has made significant contributions to the identification of molecular defects in cancers and the role of the biosystem in the carcinogenesis process.

From 2005-2011, Dr. Barrett was the global head of Oncology Biomarkers and Imaging in Novartis Oncology Translational Medicine. Prior to joining Novartis, Dr. Barrett was the founding director of the NCI Center for Cancer Research (CCR), which is the NCI intramural center for translation medicine and novel technologies. Prior to joining NCI, Dr. Barrett was the scientific director at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences where his efforts focused on integrating new approaches to toxicology by utilization of molecular approaches of toxicogenomics, molecular toxicology and the Environmental Genome Project. Trained as a chemist at the College of William and Mary, Dr Barrett received his Ph.D. degree in biophysical chemistry from Johns Hopkins University. He has published over 600 research articles and reviews in leading scientific journals and books. He is a member of the Johns Hopkins University Society of Scholars, an elected member of the Ramazini Foundation, an honorary member of the Japanese Cancer Association and a recipient of multiple NIH awards and Keynote lectures.

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James L. Gulley, M.D., Ph.D.
Director, Clinical Trials Group
National Cancer Institute
Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology
Bethesda, MD

Dr. James Gulley is an internationally recognized expert in immunotherapy for cancer. He graduated from Loma Linda University in California with a Ph.D. in microbiology in 1994 and an M.D. in 1995. As part of this eight-year M.D./Ph.D. Medical Scientist Training Program he completed a dissertation on tumor immunology. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Emory University in 1998, followed by a medical oncology fellowship at the NCI. Since 1999 he has authored and run a variety of clinical trials at the NCI, serving as principal investigator or an associate investigator on approximately 50 trials.

Dr. Gulley is especially interested in immunotherapy for prostate cancer. As director of the Clinical Trials Group of the Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology, he takes promising laboratory findings and uses them to design and conduct clinical trials. These innovative investigator initiated studies involve the use of cancer vaccines and other immunostimulatory agents to modulate the immune response in cancer patients, and the addition of other strategies to enhance vaccine-mediated killing. In particular, he played a pivotal role in the clinical development of a prostate cancer vaccine, created in the National Cancer Institute, and serves as the principal investigator on a global Phase III randomized clinical trial (Prospect) of this vaccine.

He is also a senior investigator within the Medical Oncology Branch at the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Gulley has received numerous awards including the 2010 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest award bestowed by the US government on outstanding scientists early in their careers. He serves on many boards and committees. He has authored approximately 160 scientific papers and book chapters, edited three books and has made numerous invited presentations at national and international meetings.

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Helen Heslop, M.D.
Dan L. Duncan Chair, Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics
Center for Cell and Gene Therapy
Baylor College of Medicine, The Methodist Hospital and Texas Children’s Hospital
Houston, TX,

Helen Heslop is professor of medicine and pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine, and also directs the Adult Stem Cell Transplant Program at The Methodist Hospital. She is also associate director for clinical research at the Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center.

Dr. Heslop is a physician scientist engaged in translational research focusing on adoptive immunotherapy with gene-modified effector cells, to improve hemopoietic stem cell transplantation and cancer therapy. Her initial studies were the first to demonstrate that antigen-specific cytotoxic T cells could eradicate an established malignancy and because the cells were genetically marked, she and her collaborators obtained definitive evidence of cell expansion, trafficking to tumor sites and decade-long persistence. Subsequent protocols have extended this approach to Hodgkin’s Disease, NHL and nasopharyngeal cancer. An additional focus in reconstituting antiviral immunity post-transplant and she has led an NHLBI-funded multicenter trial of allogeneic multivirus specific T cells. She, therefore, has extensive experience in developing and conducting transplant studies and cell and gene therapy studies and currently holds 10 INDs and has also obtained orphan drug designation for her initial study.

Dr. Heslop is a Doris Duke distinguished clinical research scientist and serves as principal investigator on several peer-reviewed research programs, including an NCI-funded program project grant (Enhancing T-Cell Therapy of Cancer) a Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Specialized Center of Research (SCOR) award (Immunotherapy of Lymphoma) and a SPORE in lymphoma from the NCI. She is also the principal investigator on an NHLBI-funded training grant in Cell and Gene Therapy. She is the current president of the Foundation for Accreditation of Cell Therapy (FACT).

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Hyam I. Levitsky, M.D.
Head, Cancer Immunology Experimental Medicine
Hoffman-La Roche, Inc.
Nutley, NJ


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Tak W. Mak, Ph.D.
Chief Scientific Officer, Campbell Family Institute
University of Toronto
Toronto, ON

Dr. Tak W. Mak is the director of the Campbell Family Institute for Breast Cancer Research at the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto. He received a bachelor's of science in biochemistry in 1967 and a master of science in biophysics in 1968 from the University of Wisconsin. He earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Alberta in 1971. He is also senior scientist in the division of Stem Cell and Developmental Biology, Ontario Cancer Institute. Since 1984, he has been a professor in the departments of medical biophysics and immunology at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Mak co-discovered the t-cell receptor, a key component of the immune system. His research is concentrated on gaining fundamental knowledge of the biology of cells in normal and disease settings, and in particular on the mechanisms underlying immune responses and tumorigenesis. His lab has initiated several complementary programs, many of which have evolved from the production and analysis of genetically engineered mouse strains.

Dr. Mak has received several awards and honors for his work. He is a member of the Order of Ontario and was elected as a foreign associate to the National Academy of Sciences in the discipline of immunology in 2002. Dr. Mak has received the King Faisal Prize for Medicine, the Gairdner Foundation International Award, the Paul Ehrlich Prize, the Novartis Prize in Immunology, the Killam Prize by the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Sloan Prize of the General Motors Cancer Foundation, and the Robert L. Noble Prize by the National Cancer Institute of Canada.

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Suzanne Ostrand-Rosenberg, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Biological Sciences
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Baltimore, MD

Dr. Suzanne Ostrand-Rosenberg holds the Robert and Jane Meyerhoff professorship of biochemistry and is professor of biological sciences at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), and is a member of the Tumor Immunology Program at the Greenebaum Cancer Center at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. She received an A.B. degree in biological sciences from Barnard College in 1970, completed her Ph.D. in immunology at The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) from 1970-1975, and was a postdoctoral fellow at The Johns Hopkins University from 1974-1977. 

Her tumor immunology research program has focused on understanding the role of the immune system in responding to malignancies, with the goal of manipulating an individual's immune response to reject cancer cells. In the 1990's her laboratory was instrumental in demonstrating that a subpopulation of lymphocytes (so-called CD4+ T helper lymphoyctes) is essential for immune-mediated tumor rejection. In the early 2000s Dr. Ostrand-Rosenberg's laboratory extended their work to studying how inflammation induces immune suppression and facilitates the development and progression of primary and metastatic cancer. These studies have demonstrated that inflammation is a major regulator of a population of myeloid cells that are universally present in cancer patients and are a significant obstacle to cancer immunotherapies. Her lab is also developing vaccines for the prevention and treatment of metastatic cancers. 

Dr. Ostrand-Rosenberg is the recipient of numerous awards, including an American Cancer Society Faculty Research Award, membership in The Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars, University System of Maryland Regent’s Award for Excellence in Research, and UMBC Presidential Research Award. She is a member of the State of Maryland Stem Cell Commission and serves on the NCI Board of Scientific Counselors. She has over 20 years of service on peer-review committees for national and international research grant agencies, serves as an editor for several professional immunology and cancer journals, and is a frequently invited speaker at academic institutions and national and international conferences. Her laboratory has published more than 100 research articles and she holds four patents focused on cancer vaccines.

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Ellen Puré, Ph.D.
Professor and Associate Vice-president of Academic Affairs
Tumor Microenvironment Metastasis Program
The Wistar Institute
Philadelphia, PA


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Robert D. Schreiber, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Pathology and Immunology
Washington University School of Medicine
St. Louis, MO


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Peter L. Bloom
Advisory Director
General Atlantic LLC
Greenwich, CT

Peter Bloom is currently an advisory director at General Atlantic, a global growth equity firm, where he worked as a managing director for 15 years before retiring at the end of 2009. Since he joined the firm in 1995, Peter led global technology due diligence on prospective investments, provided technology and risk management assistance to CEOs and senior management teams of portfolio companies as well as guidance on emerging technology trends for GA, its stakeholders, and several private and public entities. Peter is also a member of the Risk Management Committee of Gavilon, one of the world's largest agricultural trading firms; a technology and board advisor to GETCO, a leading electronic market maker; and serves as a director of Passur Aerospace, which provides specialized analytical services and business intelligence to major airlines and airports.  Prior to joining General Atlantic, Mr. Bloom spent 13 years at Salomon Brothers in a variety of roles in both technology and fixed income sales and trading. While at Salomon Brothers, he received the Carnegie Mellon/AMS Achievement Award in Managing Information Technology. Mr. Bloom graduated from Northwestern University in 1978 with a B.A. in computer studies and economics.

He has served as a member of the New York Electronic Crimes Task Force, a judge for the Lemelson-MIT Invention Awards, and the Legatum Fortune Technology Prize. He was a founding member of the BP Digital and Communications Technology Advisory Board and the New School for Social Research Technology Advisory Board. He is a frequent speaker to private, educational and public sector organizations on technology related issues and has served on several public, private and non-profit boards. He is the chairman of, which was named the most innovative charity in America by Stanford Business School and Amazon. He is a board member of The Food Bank for New York City, the Cancer Research Institute and an associate founder of Singularity University.

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Karl Schwartz
President and Co-founder
Patients Against Lymphoma
Riegelsville, PA 

Karl Schwartz is a caregiver to his wife, a 15-year lymphoma survivor, and president of Patients Against Lymphoma, a nonprofit group he co-founded in 2004. He is the lead author of, which provides online support and evidence-based information on lymphoma and its treatments, with a focus on advancing the routine and informed consideration of clinical trials.  

As a patient advocate, Mr. Schwartz has been invited to participate in a variety of events including the NCI Progress Review Group for Blood Cancers in 2001, NCI Biospecimen Best Practices workshops, and the NCI Technical Evaluation Panel: “Development of a Common Biospecimen Coordination System … for NCI Prostate SPORE.” He has served as a faculty member in a workshop sponsored by FDA, NCI, ASCO and Duke University “Accelerating Anticancer Agent Development and Validation Workshop” and most recently in two workshops sponsored by AACR/ASCO, “Methods in Clinical Cancer Research." Mr. Schwartz has provided patient perspectives on clinical research topics to various stakeholder as an invited speaker, such as “Harmonizing Research and Treatment Goals,” Boston Cancer Vaccine Conference; “The Demand for Innovation vs. Safety”, Leigh Thompson Renaissance Conference; “Announcing The Cancer Genome Atlas Project,” National Press Club; and “Evaluating Online Medical and Support Information,” sponsored by the Lance Armstrong Foundation, and Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. 

Mr. Schwartz’s study on “Interest, Attitudes and Participation in Clinical Trials among Patients with Lymphoma” was published by ASCO in 2009. Mr. Schwartz is an active member of the patient representative and consultant program at the Food and Drug Administration and has taken part in four FDA advisory committee deliberations. He also serves on the Lymphoma Committee as a patient advocate on the Alliance Cooperative Group (formerly CALGB).

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