"Cytokines in Cancer Immunotherapy"

September 13, 2019    


La Jolla Institute for Immunology

9420 Athena Circle, La Jolla, CA  92037


7:00am-8:00am  Breakfast and Networking

8:00am-10:00am  Presentations and Q&A

(Dr. Greg Daniels, Dr. Chris Garcia, Dr. Loui Madakamutil, Dr. Chris Twitty)

10:00am-10:30am  Break with Light Refreshments and Networking

10:30am-12:30pm  Presentations and Q&A

(Dr. Tony Reid, Dr. Elina Zuniga, Dr. Manuela Raffatellu)

Kindly REGISTER by Friday, September 6, 2019.  Space is limited.



"Tuning cytokine signaling through ligand engineering"

Christopher Garcia, PhD
Stanford University

K. Christopher Garcia, Ph.D is a Professor of Molecular and Cellular Physiology, and of Structural Biology at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He received his B.S. in Biochemistry from Tulane University, and his Ph.D in Biophysics from Johns Hopkins University. After two years of post-doctoral work at Genentech, Inc. under Dr. David Goeddel in the Dept. of Molecular Biology, Dr. Garcia moved to a second post-doctoral fellowship at The Scripps Research Institute in the laboratory of Prof. Ian Wilson, where he succeeded in determining the first crystal structures of the T cell receptor and then its complex with peptide-MHC. In 1999, Dr. Garcia started his lab at Stanford University School of Medicine in 1999 where he also became an Investigator in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Dr. Garcia was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2012, and the National Academy of Medicine in 2016.
     Dr. Garcia’s laboratory is investigating structural and functional aspects of cell surface receptor recognition and activation, in receptor-ligand systems with relevance to human health and disease. Structural information on receptor-ligand complexes is used to engineer variant proteins and/or surrogates to manipulate receptor signaling and cellular function, potentially with therapeutic applications. The receptor systems studied derive principally from the immune system (TCR/MHC, cytokines), but additionally encompass several systems that are also important in neurobiology (Neurotrophins, Semaphorins) and development (Notch, Wnt). A focus is on "shared" pleiotropic receptors, to understand the biophysical basis by which different ligands are able to elicit unique intracellular responses and functional outcomes., and to exploit this information to engineer receptor-specific ligands A recent effort in the lab has been to “deorphanize” cell surface receptors, the vast majority of which remain un-paired with a ligand.

“Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cell Exhaustion”

Elina Zuniga, PhD
University of California, San Diego

Elina Zuniga received her Biochemist degree (B.S./M.S. equivalent) from the National University of Cordoba, Argentina, where she received the “University Prize” of class 1994 (~1,500 students registered). This prize is the highest recognition given to the student with best grade point average in each class. She continued her education at the same institution where she obtained her Ph.D. in Biochemistry. Afterwards, Dr. Zuniga conducted postdoctoral research at The Scripps Research Institute where she held two post-doctoral fellowships from Antorchas Foundation and PEW Charitable Trust, respectively. After joining UCSD in 2007 she has received a Hellman Foundation Scholar Award, The Vilcek Finalist Prize for Creative Promise, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Scholar Award and the American Cancer Society Scholar Award (a lifetime honor). In 2018, the American Association of Immunologists also recognized her scientific achievements and exemplary career with the Vanguard Lecture.

“Supercharging the Tumor Microenvironment with the Engineered Cytokines NKTR-214 and NKTR-255”

Loui Madakamutil, PhD
Nektar Therapeutics

​Loui Madakamutil is currently SVP and Head of Preclinical development at Nektar Therapeutics and is responsible for the overall discovery strategy of Nektar to deliver novel immuno-modulatory medicines in several therapeutic areas including Cancer and Auto-inflammatory diseases. Previously Loui was a Senior Director and Lead for Rheumatology-DAS at Janssen Research Division where Loui was responsible for the discovery strategy and delivering portfolio assets from early ideas to proof of concept in humans in Rheumatic diseases. Loui held appointment as the Site Head of Immunology at Takeda Pharmaceuticals in San Diego, where he has held positions of increasing responsibility in Drug Discovery and Early Development, and was responsible for driving Takeda’s Discovery strategy in Immunology with a focus on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and Cancer Immunology. Loui also spent five years in Immunology discovery at Celgene in the Experimental Therapeutics Team where he worked on Apremilast and Revlemid to understand immunological MOA for these compounds. He has taken several large and small molecule compounds into Phase 1a. Loui did his Post-Doctoral training at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology first with Eli Sercarz and then with Hilde Cheroutre. Loui has a PhD in applied immunology from University of Mumbai India and MS in Biochemistry.

"Harnessing the Power of Intratumoral IL-12 to Achieve Systemic Immunity"

Chris Twitty, PhD
Oncosec Immunotherapies

​Chris Twitty, is the Chief Scientific Officer of OncoSec, and is responsible for the development of the clinical immune monitoring and biomarker program, focused on understanding the relevant mechanisms underlying the tumor/immune relationship in patients treated with intratumoral IL-12 (TAVO) and anti-PD-1. Additionally, Chris leads the R&D effort to augment OncoSec’s intratumoral pipeline with both therapeutic small molecules/biologics as well as additional DNA-encodable combinations. Dr. Twitty earned his PhD from Oregon Health & Science University where his work was focused on novel tumor vaccine strategies and was awarded an American Cancer Society fellowship training grant for his post-doctoral studies in Dr. Bernard Fox’s Molecular Tumor Immunology Laboratory. He has previously held scientific positions of increasing responsibility at Bayer Pharmaceuticals, Cell Genesys and Tocagen.

"IL2, Back to the Future"

Greg Daniels, MD, PhD
University of California, San Diego

Gregory A. Daniels, MD, PhD, is a Professor of Medicine and medical oncologist at the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Daniels leads the disease team of the cutaneous malignancy group at Moores Cancer Center. Dr. Daniels earned his PhD from Stanford University in Cancer Biology and his MD from University of Southern California in Medicine. Upon completing his residency and fellowship at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Dr Daniels joined UCSD in 2005 with a focus upon immune therapy in cancer. He is the principle investigator of a number of clinical trials focused on the connection between autoimmunity and tumor immunity.

"Gut microbes, colitis and cancer"

Manuela Raffatellu, MD
University of California, San Diego

Manuela Raffatellu is a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. She received her M.D. at the University of Sassari, Italy, in 2000, followed by postdoctoral training at Texas A&M University and at the University of California, Davis. She started her own lab at the University of California, Irvine in 2008, then relocated to the University of California, San Diego in 2017. Her research focuses on the complex interactions between pathogenic and commensal microbes with the mucosal immune system of the inflamed gut. She is the recipient of several awards, including the IDSA ERF/NFID Astellas Young Investigator Award, the ICAAC Young Investigator Award from the American Society for Microbiology, the Burroughs Wellcome Funds Investigator in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease Award. She was elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation, and she is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology.

"Altering the Tumor Microenvironment:  Impact of An Oncolytic Adenovirus Expressing a TGFb Receptor Trap"

Tony Reid, PhD
University of California, San Diego

​Bio coming soon

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