Ira Mellman, PhD

Ira Mellman, PhD

Genentech Inc.

Goals for the AACR

Our basic understanding of cancer is increasingly being driven by therapeutic experiments in the clinic. Having had substantial careers in both academia and biopharma, I can help the AACR Board bridge the gap between these two communities, which must become ever more interdependent to ensure continued progress in emerging areas like cancer immunology.

Research Interests

Cancer immunology and immunotherapy, including regulation of T cell function, checkpoint inhibitors, antigen presentation by dendritic cells, neo antigens, vaccines, and cell therapy; cell biology, including membrane traffic and signaling; inflammation; cancer immunogenetics.

Current Affiliations

Vice President of Cancer Immunology, Genentech, South San Francisco, California; Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California; Senior Fellow, Lincoln College, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.

Previous Positions

Vice President of Research Oncology, Genentech (2007-2014), South San Francisco, California; Scientific Director, Yale Cancer Center (2004-2007); Sterling Professor of Cell Biology (2003-2008); Chair (2000-2007), Professor (1991-2008), Associate Professor (with tenure) (1985-1991), and Assistant Professor (1981-1985), Department of Cell Biology, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut; Investigator, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (1999-2008), New York, New York; Newton-Abraham Professor, University of Oxford (1998-1999), Oxford, United Kingdom; Founding Director, Yale Graduate Program in Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Yale University (1997-2000), New Haven, Connecticut; Assistant Professor, Department of Cellular Physiology and Immunology, The Rockefeller University (1980-1981), New York, New York.

Postdoctoral Training

Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Cellular Physiology and Immunology, The Rockefeller University (1978-1980), New York, New York.

Selected AACR Service, Honors, and Awards

Plenary Speaker, Special Conference, “Evolutionary Dynamics in Carcinogenesis and Response to Therapy” (2020); Cochair, Annual Meeting Program Committee (2019-2020, 2014-2015); Co-organizer, AACR Special Conference on Tumor Immunology and Immunotherapy (2018); Speaker, Annual Meeting Educational Session, “Co-stimulation and Co-inhibition in T Cell-Mediated Immunity: PD-L1/PD-1: Mechanism of Action and Rational Combinations” (2018); Member, Special Conferences Committee (2017-2020); Speaker, Annual Meeting Regulatory Science and Policy Symposium (2016); Member, AACR-Cancer Research Institute Lloyd J. Old Award in Cancer Immunology Committee (2015-2017); Speaker, Annual Meeting “Meet the Experts” Session, Oncology Meets Immunology, “Not Just Another ‘Hallmark’: The Mechanistic Basis of Cancer Immunotherapy” (2015); Member, Cancer Immunology Working Group (2012); Panelist, Minorities in Cancer Research Professional Advancement Roundtable (2011).

Selected Non-AACR Service, Honors, and Awards

Recipient, Leadership Award in Cancer Immunology, American Association for Precision Medicine (2019); Recipient, Mayberry Lecture, Northwestern School of Medicine (2019); Recipient, Parker Award Lecture, Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons (2018); Recipient, Director’s Lecture, The National Institutes of Health (2018); Keynote Speaker, Fourth Canadian Cancer Research Conference, Vancouver (2017); Recipient, Marsh Lecture in Molecular Medicine, Feinstein Institute for Medical Research-Northwell Health (2017); Recipient, Ashley Dunn Lecture, Lorne Cancer Conference, Australia (2016); Recipient, Wilbur Lucius Cross Medal, Yale University (2016); Keynote Lecturer, Eighth International Conference on Oncolytic Virus Therapeutics, Oxford, United Kingdom (2014); Recipient, President’s Lecture, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (2014); Member, Board of Directors, Society for the Immunotherapy of Cancer (2013-2016); Distinguished Lecturer, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), Heidelberg (2012); Elected Member, National Academy of Sciences (2011); Elected Member, European Molecular Biology Organization (2005); Elected Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2001).


PhD, Genetics, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut (1978); BS, Biology, Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio (1973).