Speakers

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Angeliki Malliri
Senior Group Leader & Professor of Cell Biology, Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute
The University of Manchester

Dr. Angeliki Malliri completed my bachelors degree in Biology in the University of Patras, Greece and obtained her PhD from the University of Crete, Greece. She worked as a postdoctoral scientist in the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research, Glasgow, UK and the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam. She established my independent research group in 2004 in Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute, UK. The focus of their current research is the role of the small GTPase RAC and its regulators in lung tumour formation and progression, including lung tumourigenesis initiated by mutant KRAS. They have also recently instigated a program of research addressing KRAS-mutant isoform selective functions in lung cancer development.

Day Two

Thursday 13th December 2018

12:30 pm | The Role of the Activator of the Small GTPase RAC, TIAM1, in Mutant KRAS Driven Lung Adenocarcinomas

Bert Klebl
Managing Director & Chief Scientific Officer
Lead Discovery Center

Bert M. Klebl has gathered 20 years of professional experience in the life sciences industry. He has worked in different positions in drug discovery and early development. Since its inception in 2008, he is the managing director and chief scientific officer of the Lead Discovery Center GmbH (LDC), Dortmund/Germany, a drug discovery incubator, which has been established by the Max-Planck Society in order to transform basic research results into assets for commercialization. LDC successfully connects basic research from different sources to pharmaceutical industry, bridging the famous “valley of death” in drug discovery by collaborating with a broad academic network and partnering to the industry (biotech, pharma, venture capital). Due to the LDC success story, Bert and his LDC colleagues recently raised the KHAN-I fund, supporting early drug discovery assets. Previously, Bert has worked in various research and management positions at GPC Biotech AG, Axxima Pharmaceuticals AG and Hoechst Marion Roussel/Aventis. He earned his PhD in biochemistry at the University of Konstanz, Germany, and did postdoctoral work at the NRC Biotechnology Research Institute in Montréal, Canada. He published more than 50 articles in peer-reviewed journals and is a co-inventor of more than 30 patents and patent applications.

Day One

Thursday 13th December 2018

5:00 pm | Rush or Crash – “High” Ways or Dead Ends to Tackle RAS

Colin Lindsay
Clinical Senior Lecturer, The University of Manchester; Medical Oncology Consultant
The Christie NHS Foundation Trust

Dr. Colin Lindsay is a Clinical Senior Lecturer in medical oncology, dividing his time 50/50 between research and the clinic. Originally he trained at the CRUK Beatson Institute and Cancer Centre in Glasgow, where he completed a PhD studying genetically-modified mouse models of RAS- and RAF-driven melanoma. Following that he shifted focus to lung cancer through involvement with the CRUK Stratified Medicine Programme, as well as a two year ESMO translational fellowship at the Gustave Roussy Institute in Villejuif, France. His main interests are 1) the implementation of effective treatment strategies for cancers driven by the MAPK pathway, and 2) successful and efficient translation of genomic results for optimal clinical gain.

Day Two

Thursday 13th December 2018

10:00 am | RAS Mutation: Being Precise in Precision Medicine

Daniel Abankwa
Professor of Cellular Tumour Biology
University of Luxembourg

Since 2017 Daniel Abankwa is Professor for Cancer Cell Biology at the University of Luxembourg. He studied chemistry in Göttingen (Germany), and completed his PhD in molecular neurobiology in Düsseldorf (Germany). In 2002, he moved as a postdoc to the EPFL in Switzerland, before he started working on the oncogene RAS with Prof. John Hancock at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience of the University of Queensland (Australia) in 2006. He then became junior group leader with Prof. Kirill Alexandrov at the same institute, before he moved as adjunct professor to the Turku Centre for Biotechnology (Finland) in 2010.  Daniel focuses on isoform diversity and isoform-specific drug targeting of Ras. He provided pioneering Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET)-data supporting that Ras undergoes biologically significant conformational transitions in the plasma membrane. His group employs quantitative fluorescence imaging, flow cytometry, biochemical and cellular assays and molecular cell biology. They developed several FRET-biosensors for detection of functional membrane anchorage of Ras, Rho, Rab and Src-family proteins. This led to several industry collaborations in recent years (Merck KGaA, Lead Discovery Center GmbH, Galecto Biotech AB). The group currently focuses on nanoclustering-associated vulnerabilities to drug-target the KRAS- and HRAS-driven cancer cell stemness.

Day Two

Thursday 13th December 2018

3:30 pm | Chair’s Closing Remarks & Close of RAS- Targeted Drug Discovery Summit Europe

12:00 pm | Drug Development Against KRAS Surrogate Targets

Darryl McConnell
Senior Vice President & Research Site Head Austria
Boehringer Ingelheim

Darryl McConnell is currently Senior Vice President and Research Site Head at Boehringer-Ingelheim Regional Centre Vienna, Austria. His goal is to discover new chemical therapeutics for cancer’s so-called undruggable targets together with the team at BI.  Darryl’s interests lie in drugging protein-protein interactions, kinases and pushing the frontiers of PROTACs for cancer patients. Fragment screening, protein crystallography, protein NMR, drug resistance, agile methods in drug discovery and natural product inspired medicinal chemistry are some of his areas of scientific interest. Darryl commenced his career with Boehringer-Ingelheim in 2002 as a Research Laboratory Head and is in his current role since 2015. Prior to this Darryl has worked for Intervet in Vienna from 2001, for Biota Holdings Ltd in Melbourne, Australia from 1999 in the area of respiratory viruses and Chiron Technologies in Melbourne from 1997.  Darryl McConnell received his Bachelor of Science with First Class Honours in 1991 with Professor John Elix at the Australian National University in Canberra. He performed his PhD at the University of New South Wales in Sydney with Professor David Black for which he was awarded the Cornforth Medal for the best chemistry PhD thesis in Australia for that year. Following this he performed a 2 year Postdoctoral study at the University of Sydney with Professor Leslie Field in organometallic chemistry.

Day One

Thursday 13th December 2018

10:00 am | Drugging the Other KRAS Mutants

Dwight Nissley
Director, Cancer Research Technology Program; NCI RAS Initiative
Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research

Dr. Nissley is the Director of the Cancer Research Technology Program (CRTP) Directorate at Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research (FNLCR). In this role, he is responsible for the efforts of 180 scientists working in a broad range of technology and basic/translational research including; genomics, proteomics, optical microscopy, SEM and TEM microscopy, cryo-EM, nanotechnology, oncology research and drug discovery as well as the newly established National cryo-EM Facility (https://www.cancer.gov/research/resources/cryoem ) . He is also responsible for guiding the NCI RAS Initiative (https://www.cancer.gov/research/key-initiatives/ras ), an NCI-funded program that aims to find therapeutic interventions against oncogenic RAS which is a driver in up to a third of all cancers. In addition he is part of the NCI-DOE Joint Design for Advanced Computing Solutions for Cancer (JDACS4C) collaboration serving as NCI-lead on the Molecular Level Pilot for RAS Structure and Dynamics in Cellular Membranes and a member of the Joint Research Committee for the Accelerating Therapeutics for Opportunities in Medicine (ATOM) consortium which is a public-private partnership with the mission of transforming drug discovery by accelerating the development of more effective therapies for patients.

Day One

Thursday 13th December 2018

9:30 am | Targeting KRAS-Driven Oncogenic Signaling

Erik Wiklund
Chief Business Officer
Targovax

Erik trained as a scientist specializing in cancer epigenetics research, and holds a PhD in molecular biology. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship, he transitioned to management consulting and joined the Pharma and Healthcare practice of McKinsey & Company. For the past 5 years he has held several positions in Norwegian biotech companies, including at Alegta, which developed and launched Xofigo in 2014. He joined Targovax as CFO in 2017, and transitioned into the CBO position in 2018.

Day Two

Thursday 13th December 2018

9:30 am | Vaccinating Against Mutant RAS – Results from TG01 Phase I/II Trial

Grahame Mckenzie
Chief Scientific Officer
PhoreMost

Grahame is a biologist with 15 years of experience in academic and industrial drug discovery. After completing his PhD at the MRC LMB, Grahame worked in big pharma for Novartis and then GlaxoWellcome, and then for Lorantis, a start-up biotech. After 7 years working with Ashok Venkitaraman at the MRC Cancer Unit in Cambridge, Grahame co-founded PhoreMost with Torrance and Venkitaraman, and joined the company full-time at Babraham in 2015.

Day One

Thursday 13th December 2018

2:30 pm | Revealing New RAS Vulnerabilities with Protein Interference (PROTEINi)

Juan Perez
Chief Scientific Officer
Allinky Biopharma

Juan Jesus Perez received a B.Sc. and M. Sc. in Chemistry from the University of Barcelona, Spain in 1977 and Ph. D. from the same Institution in 1982 by a thesis on computational chemistry. He carried out postdoctoral stays in the University of Manchester, UK and Max-Plack Institut fur Physik in Garching bei Muchen, Germany during 1983. He later served as visiting Scientist at the IBM Laboratories in Kingston, New York, between 1987 and 1988 and as Senior Researcher in Molecular Research Institute of Palo Alto, California, between 1991 and 1994. Full Professor of Physical Chemistry at the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya (UPC) since 1999 and CSO at Allinky since 2009. In regard to research activities he is author of more than 180 articles in specialized journals. His research interests focus on design in molecular engineering. Coauthor of four patents and cofounder of Allinky Biopharma, a start-up devoted to the design of allosteric modulators.

Day One

Thursday 13th December 2018

3:00 pm | Design of Small Molecule Allosteric Inhibitors of KRAS

Julian Downward
Associate Research Director
Francis Crick Institute

Julian Downward is an Associate Research Director at the Francis Crick Institute. He leads the Oncogene Biology Group, which investigates how cells grow and multiply and how this process can go wrong and lead to cancer. The team’s research is leading us towards future anti-cancer therapies designed to specifically target tumours while leaving healthy cells unharmed. Julian obtained his bachelor's degree in natural sciences from Cambridge University and then completed his PhD in biochemistry in the laboratory of Michael Waterfield at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund laboratories in London. In the early 1980s, Julian’s work uncovered the importance of EGFR in the development of cancer, thanks to its ability to control cell division. The discovery overturned widely held ideas on the causes of cancer and inspired the development of a new genre of targeted cancer therapies, including the breast cancer treatment Herceptin.   Julian began working on the role of Ras proteins in human cancer in Robert Weinberg's laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, prior to starting his own lab in London at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund Laboratories, which are now part of the Francis Crick Institute. The lab has provided critical insights into the molecular mechanisms of proteins in the Ras family and their importance in human tumours. Julian is a member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation, a Fellow of the Royal Society, a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians.

Day One

Thursday 13th December 2018

9:00 am | Combination Approaches to the Use of G12C KRAS Inhibitors

Krishnaraj Rajalingam
Heisenberg Professor of Cell Biology, Cell Biology Unit
University Medical Center Mainz

Krishnaraj Rajalingam is the head of the Cell Biology Unit and a full professor of Cell Biology at the University Medical Centre, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany. Krishna received his Ph.D (2004) in Molecular Cell biology from the Max Planck Institute for Infections Biology in Berlin, Germany. Krishna’s lab focuses on understanding the molecular signalling machinery that drives fundamental cellular processes like cell division, cell death, cell migration and differentiation with explicit biomedical implications. Of particular interest are the kinome and ubiquitinome and their role in human diseases. Since 2014, he is a tenured full professor of Cell Biology and holds a prestigious Heisenberg Professorship of the DFG, at the University Medical Center of JGU, Mainz. He is a recipient of Max Planck Research fellowships, BOGS stipend from Leopoldina, the prestigious Emmy Noether Fellowship from the DFG and a PLUS3 fellowship of the Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation. More recently he has been selected to be a fellow of the Gutenberg Research College. He also holds an adjunct faculty position at the School of Biotechnology, IIT Madras, India and is a faculty member of DKTK, Germany. Recently he has been honoured with a distinguished visiting research directorship at IMCB, A*STAR Singapore to co-ordinate “Cancer Library Initiative” a major public private partnership.

Day One

Thursday 13th December 2018

5:30 pm | A Subset of Flavaglines Inhibit KRAS Oncogene Activation

Laurent Debussche
Vice President, Global Head Molecular Oncology Research Therapeutic Area
Sanofi R&D

Sanofi Oncology Research is a global organization which manages a large portfolio of preclinical projects and several collaborations with Academia, Biotechs and Pharmas. It is composed of 2 closely collaborating Therapeutic Areas, Immuno-Oncology and Molecular Oncology, both located in two sites: Cambridge, Massachusetts and Vitry-sur-Seine, France. Dr. Laurent Debussche is V.P. Global Head of Molecular Oncology Research Therapeutic Area since 2016. He joined one of the mother company of Sanofi more than 30 ago and worked from the beginning on cancer molecular targets such as RAS. In 1998, he became a senior Oncology research leader. He contributed to and even directly led several preclinical candidate nominations as well as first-in-human and clinical projects, has built a large Oncology international network and was referred as a “stubborn” cancer scientist in a front page article of 12/22/2012 New York Times issue. He is author of 60+ peer-reviewed scientific publications.

Day One

Thursday 13th December 2018

12:00 pm | RAS Protein Flexibility & How to Target Cryptic Pockets to Drug the Undruggable Master Oncogene

Mariano Barbacid
AXA.CNIO Professor of Molecular Oncology
CNIO (Spanish National Cancer Research Center)

Mariano Barbacid got his Ph.D. in Madrid (1974) and trained as a postdoctoral fellow at the US National Cancer Institute (1974-78). In 1978, he started his own research group to study the molecular events responsible for the development of human tumours.  His work led in 1982, to the isolation of the first human oncogene, HRAS, and the identification of the first mutation associated with the development of human cancer. In 1988, he joined Bristol Myers-Squibb where he became Vice President, Oncology Drug Discovery. In this position, he pioneered the development of “targeted therapies”. In 1998, he returned to Madrid to create and direct the Spanish National Cancer Research Center (CNIO). In 2011 he stepped down as Director to concentrate on his own research currently centered on the identification and validation of novel therapeutic strategies against K-RAS mutant lung and pancreatic tumors.  In 2012, he was inducted to the US National Academy of Sciences and in 2014, elected Fellow of the Academy of the American Association for Cancer Research.  To date, Dr. Barbacid has authored 311 publications, including 232 original research articles in journals with impact factor. Currently, his Hirsch "h" factor is 114.

Day One

Thursday 13th December 2018

11:30 am | Targeting KRAS Singling

Michael Gmachl
Principal Scientist, Regional Center Austria
Boehringer Ingelheim

Michael Gmachl is currently Principal Scientist in the department of “New Therapeutic Concept Discovery” at Boehringer-Ingelheim Regional Center Vienna, Austria. His major goals are the identification of first in class targets in cancer biology and the progression of those targets into a drug development program. Michael received his PhD from the University of Salzburg and went from there to the Sloan Kettering Institute in New York to join the laboratory of now Noble Prize winner James Rothman. In 1998 he joined the Institute of Molecular Pathology in Vienna, working with Jan Michael Peters. Since 2000 he is with BI.

Day Two

Thursday 13th December 2018

11:30 am | Discovery of BI-3406: A Potent & Selective SOS1::KRAS Inhibitor Opens a New Approach for Treating KRAS-Driven Tumours

Nicolas Bery
Postdoctoral Research Scientist
University of Oxford

Nicolas Bery completed his MSc degrees in Biochemistry at the INSA Toulouse and in Cancer Research at the University of Toulouse, France. He received his Ph.D. in Cancer Biology from the University of Toulouse. His PhD focused on the development of intracellular single domain antibodies targeting selectively the RAS-related small GTPase RHOB. He joined Prof. Rabbitts' group at the University of Oxford in April 2015. His postdoctoral work notably focuses on the development of cell-based assays for the screening and the characterisation of small molecule and macromolecule inhibitors of RAS and KRAS protein-protein interactions (PPI). They developed BRET-based RAS biosensors to monitor RAS PPI inhibition by small molecules and macromolecules. They recently identified KRAS specific macromolecules targeting a novel allosteric site on KRAS. They are currently analysing the effect of these macromolecules in cancer cells and in mouse model. They are also looking for functionalising these macromolecules to improve their potency and specificity towards mutant KRAS tumours.

Day Two

Thursday 13th December 2018

3:00 pm | Targeting Mutant KRAS Tumours with a Functionalised Anti-KRAS Macromolecule

Peter DeMuth
Vice President of Research
Elicio Therapeutics

Peter DeMuth is a founding scientist at Elicio Therapeutics and serves now as the Vice President of Research, where he oversees research and development in oncology, immunology, and materials engineering.  While at Elicio, DeMuth has led the development of technology platforms for cancer immuno-therapeutics from research inception to clinical development.  Prior to joining Elicio, DeMuth oversaw efforts to develop novel technologies for vaccination and immunotherapy at the MIT Koch Institute for Cancer Research where he received recognition from the National Institutes of Health and the American Chemical Society, and received the coveted Quadrant Award for research innovation.  DeMuth has also spend time as an NIH Fellow at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics, and as a Howard Hughes Research Fellow at the University of Maryland, where he was awarded the University Medal for his development of advanced technologies for oncology therapeutics.

Day One

Thursday 13th December 2018

4:00 pm | Targeting the Lymph Nodes to Enhance Mutant KRAS-Specific Vaccine Responses

Roman Hillig
Senior Scientist
Bayer

Roman Hillig is a protein crystallographer and senior scientist in the structural biology group at the Bayer research laboratories in Berlin, Germany. Roman joined Schering in 2001 and Bayer in 2007, working on structure-based drug discovery of small molecules and antibodies for various therapeutic areas such as oncology, gynecology and cardio-vascular. Prior to his work in the pharmaceutical industry, Roman received his PhD in chemistry under guidance of Alfred Wittinghofer, and was a postdoc at the Max-Planck-institute in Dortmund and with Wolfram Saenger at the Free University in Berlin.

Day Two

Thursday 13th December 2018

11:00 am | Disruption of the RAS-SOS1 Interaction – Enabling Lead Discovery by a Combination of High-Throughput & Fragment Screening

Sara Mainardi
Senior Postdoctoral Researcher
Netherlands Cancer Institute

Dr. Sara Mainardi studied Medical Biotechnologies at the University of Rome La Sapienza. Subsequently, she obtained her PhD degree at the Autonoma University of Madrid by working on KRAS mutant Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer under the supervision of prof. Mariano Barbacid (CNIO). Later on, she joined Rene Bernards lab at the Netherlands Cancer Institute of Amsterdam, to continue working on KRAS-driven tumors with a more translational angle. Currently she is a senior postdoc leading a small team of researchers interested in targeting multiple nodes of the MAPK pathway to treat RAS-driven tumors.

Day Two

Thursday 13th December 2018

2:00 pm | Targeting RAS-Driven Tumour by Exploiting Vulnerabilities in the RAS Network

Sreesha P. Srinivasa
Senior Vice President
Oblique Therapeutics

Dr. Sreesha Srinivasa has more than 20 years of experience in global biopharma majors. He has broad experience in drug discovery and development with special focus on translational sciences. He has led and contributed to several discovery and development programs which have gone onto clinical development including  FDA approved drugs Crizotinib and Palbociclib.  During a 20+ years career in biopharma, Sreesh has held leadership positions at CGI Pharma (now Gilead), Pfizer, Jubilant, Piramal and Biocon. Prior to joining Oblique, Sreesh was Vice President & Head of Novel Biologics at Biocon Ltd. He holds a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology & Biochemistry from Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, USA and an M.Sc. in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology from Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, India.

Day One

Thursday 13th December 2018

4:30 pm | Generation & Characterization of Antibodies Targeting Mutant KRAS Proteins

Steven M. Fruchtman
President & Chief Executive Officer
Onconova Therapeutics

Dr. Fruchtman joined Onconova in January 2015. He has extensive experience in large and small biopharmaceutical companies and has led successful clinical development programs while serving in senior positions at Ortho Biotech Products, Novartis, Allos Therapeutics, Spectrum Pharmaceuticals and Syndax Pharmaceuticals leading to Health Authority approvals for several new chemical entities in various malignancies. Earlier, Dr. Fruchtman was on the faculty of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and the Director of the Stem Cell Transplantation and Myeloproliferative Disorder Programs at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. He is an author of more than 170 lectures, presentations, books, chapters, and abstracts and served as an external reviewer for multiple medical journals. Dr. Fruchtman received his medical degree from New York Medical College with the distinction of membership in the Alpha Omega Alpha honorary medical fraternity. He is currently President and CEO of Onconova Therapeutics.

Day Two

Thursday 13th December 2018

9:00 am | Rigosertib is a Unique Small Molecule RAS Antagonist: Scientific & Clinical Studies

Steve Kelsey
President, Research & Development
Revolution Medicines

Steve is currently President of R and D at Revolution Medicines. He trained as an academic hematologic oncologist in London before joining the pharmaceutical industry in 2000. In London, he ran a clinical practice treating patients with leukemias and lymphomas in a research-focused environment and ran a research laboratory doing both basic and translational research. After two years of leading the clinical development of Sutent® for Pharmacia/SUGEN, he joined Genentech where he became vice president of hematology/oncology, playing a significant role in the development of key products such as Perjeta®, Kadcyla® and Erivedge® as well as other molecules in the company’s oncology portfolio. He then led the development of imetelstat, a first-in-class telomerase inhibitor, at Geron where he served as head of research and development and chief medical officer. Following his time at Geron, Steve served as president of Onkaido Therapeutics, a Moderna Venture focusing on discovery and development of mRNA therapeutics for cancer. During his 17 years in the biotechnology industry, Steve has worked with small molecules, antibodies, antibody-drug conjugates, DNA oligonucleotides and mRNA platforms and has driven multiple industry and industry-academia collaborations as part of the mission to provide better drugs for patients with cancer.

Day One

Thursday 13th December 2018

12:30 pm | Strategies to Inhibit RAS-Driven Cancers

Tatu Pantsar
Marie Skłodowska, Curie Fellow
University of Tübingen

Tatu Pantsar is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the laboratory of Prof. Stefan Laufer, Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Chemistry, University of Tübingen. He received his PhD (Pharm.) in the group of Prof. Antti Poso, University of Eastern Finland, studying potential drug targets against solid tumours, including KRAS. He is specialized in computer-aided drug design (CADD) and has focused on utilizing molecular dynamics (MD) simulations in cancer related drug discovery.

Day Two

Thursday 13th December 2018

2:30 pm | RAS Conformational Dynamics & Its Influence on RAS Drug Discovery

Miriam Molina-Arcas
Senior Laboratory Research Scientist
Francis Crick Institute

Dr. Miriam Molina-Arcas obtained her PhD in Biomedicine at the University of Barcelona (Spain) in 2005. After a first postdoctoral project at the University of Barcelona, in 2008 she joined 23/01/2020Dr. Julian Downward’s laboratory at the London Research Institute and moved in 2016 to the Francis Crick Institute in London. The main aim of her research has been the identification of therapeutic strategies for the treatment of lung cancer tumours harbouring KRAS mutations. Most recently, she has focused on combination approaches that can improve the efficacy of KRAS-G12C inhibitors and reduce resistance mechanisms.