Dr. BarbAdam W. Barb, MS, Ph.D., Iowa State University

The Structural Role of Antibody N-Glycosylation in Receptor Interactions

Dr.  Adam Barb is an associate professor in the Roy J Carver Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology at Iowa State University. He earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in plant science before pursuing a Ph.D. at Duke University under Christian Raetz and Pei Zhou in the Department of Biochemistry. There, Dr. Barb combined in vitro enzyme kinetics measurements of an essential deacetylase in gram negative bacteria with solution NMR spectroscopy to probe the structure/function relationship of this important antibiotic target. He subsequently moved to the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center at the University of Georgia to work under James Prestegard and began his work on antibody glycosylation. Dr. Barb joined the Roy J. Carver Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics & Molecular Biology at Iowa State University in 2012. His laboratory is focused on how post translational modifications, including asparagine-linked glycosylation, impact the structure and function of proteins in the immune system.

Dr. AinslieKristy Ainslie, Ph.D., UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy

Acetalated dextran: a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine (and vaccines) go down

Dr. Kristy M. Ainslie is an Associate Professor with appointments in the Division of Pharmacoengineering and Molecular Pharmaceutics, within the Eshelman School of Pharmacy, UNC Department of Microbiology and Immunology, and the UNC/NC State Department of Biomedical Engineering. Her research focuses on the use of biomaterials and immunology to develop new immune-modulatory therapies that treat and prevent infectious diseases, autoimmune diseases, and cancer. As a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, San Francisco, she researched the microfabrication of oral drug delivery vehicles and the immune response of nanobiomaterials. Prior to that, she completed a Ph.D. and M.S. in Chemical Engineering at The Pennsylvania State University and her B.S. in Chemical Engineering at Michigan State University.

Dr. Jain

Maneesh Jain, Ph.D., University of Nebraska Medical Center

Pancreatic Cancer Immunotherapy: Progress, Challenges and Opportunities

Dr. Jain received his Masters in Biochemistry in 1996 from Devi Ahilya University, Indore and received his Ph.D in Biotechnology in 2002 from the Institute of Microbial Technology, Chandigarh India. Subsequently he completed his post-doctoral training at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) in 2007 in Cancer Biology and later joined the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology as a faculty member. The overall objective of his research is to improve the delivery and distribution of therapeutic agents for solid tumors, particularly pancreatic cancer. Jain’s team is studying the role of signaling pathways involved in the complex cellular crosstalk in the tumor microenvironment with a goal to selectively modulate the obstructive effects of stroma. His laboratory is also interested evaluating in biomarkers for early diagnosis, and developing targeted therapeutic approaches (radioimmunotherapy, immunotherapy) that exploit differential overexpression of mucins in pancreatic cancer.

Dr. GuerrieroJennifer L. Guerriero, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School

Overcoming chemo- and immuno-therapy resistance by targeting tumor associated macrophages

Dr. Jennifer Guerriero is an Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School and is the Director of the Breast Immunology Laboratory at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.  She received her PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology and Immunology and Pathology from Stony Brook University.  Dr. Guerriero’s research focuses on harnessing myeloid cells to overcome resistance to chemo- and immuno-therapy. 

Dr. ChenMingnan Chen, Ph.D., University of Utah

Selective suppression of autoimmunity through depletion of programmed death-1 (PD-1)-positive cells

Mingnan Chen, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of the Department of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of Utah. His research interests are at the interface of protein engineering, drug delivery, and immunotherapy. His research has been supported by the NCI and the NIBIB. Dr. Chen received his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Connecticut and postdoctoral training at Duke University. Dr. Chen received his B.Sc. from Jimei University and his M.Sc. from Peking University in China. Dr. Chen is a recipient of a Pathway to Independence Award in Cancer Nanotechnology Research from the NCI.

Dr. YangLily Yang, MD, Ph.D., Emory Univeristy School of Medicine

Theranostic Nanoparticles for Overcoming Drug Delivery Barrier and Resistance in Human Cancer

Dr. Lily Yang is Professor and Nancy Panoz Chair of Surgery in Cancer Research at Emory University School of Medicine. She received her medical training at West China University of Medical Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine. She received her PhD degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Brown University.  Dr. Yang’s research focuses on the development of theranostic approaches and targeted nanoparticles for early cancer detection, targeted drug delivery, non-invasive assessment of therapeutic response, and image-guided surgery.  

 Dr. SolheimJoyce Solheim, Ph.D., University of Nebraska Medical Center

Nanoformulation of the CCL21 Chemokine as for Cancer Treatment

Dr. Joyce Solheim’s research is focused on immunology and cell biology as related to cancer, with particular emphasis on the development of novel, effective immunotherapies for cancer.  She joined the Eppley Institute in the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) in 1999, and now as Professor she serves as a member of the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center Senior Leadership Council and as the Director of the Cancer Research Doctoral Program.  At UNMC, she  also serves as the Assistant Director of the National Cancer Institute-sponsored Cancer Biology T32 Training Program and as the Co-Director of the Career Development Program for junior faculty and the Developmental Research Program in the Specialized Program of Research Excellence in Pancreatic Cancer.  She has been an Associate Editor and a Section Editor for the Journal of Immunology, and was appointed as a Member of the Faculty of 1000 Biology in the Immunology Section.

Dr. ChenTaosheng Chen, Ph.D., St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Development of novel antagonists of PXR and CAR to overcome adverse drug effects

Dr. Taosheng Chen is a Full Member at the Department of Chemical Biology & Therapeutics and the St. Jude Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (SJCRH). He is also a Full Professor at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Dr. Chen is currently the Director of High Throughput Bioscience Center at SJCRH. He received his BSc and MS degrees from Fudan University, China, and completed his Ph.D. from the University of Vermont, and postdoctoral studies from the University of Virginia. Prior to joining St. Jude, He was a Senior Research Investigator at Bristol-Myers Squibb, and a Research Scientist at SAIC-Frederick, National Cancer Institute. He serves on the Editorial Boards of several journals, and on NIH grant review study section. He has authored more than 110 publications. His research laboratory studies signaling pathways that regulate therapeutic responses such as drug toxicity and drug resistance.

Dr. KrishnanSunil Krishnan, MD, FACP, MD Anderson Cancer Center

Priming immune-mediated anti-tumor effects using radiation therapy and nanoparticles

Dr. Krishnan is the Director of the Center for Radiation Oncology Research and the John E. and Dorothy J. Harris Professor of Gastrointestinal Cancer in the department of Radiation Oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center. He received his medical degree from Christian Medical College, Vellore, India and completed a radiation oncology residency at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota. In the clinic, he treats patients with hepatobiliary, pancreatic and rectal tumors with radiation therapy. His laboratory has developed new strategies and tools to define the roles and mechanisms of radiation sensitization with gold nanoparticles, identified mechanisms to exploit this therapeutically, and developed techniques to facilitate imaging and image-guided therapy of cancers using nanoparticles. He serves as the chair of the gastrointestinal scientific program committee of ASTRO, co-chair of the gastrointestinal translational research program of RTOG, consultant to the IAEA for rectal and liver cancers, chair of the NCI pancreatic cancer radiotherapy working group, and Fellow of the American College of Physicians. He has co-authored over 200 peer-reviewed scientific publications, co-authored 17 book chapters, co-edited 3 books, and served on the editorial board of 13 journals.

Dr. PickingWendy L. Picking, Ph.D., University of Kansas

Bacterial nanomachines as vaccine targets for Gram negative bacterial pathogens

Wendy Picking is a Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS.  She received her BA and PhD degrees from the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Kansas.  Dr. Picking was awarded post-doctoral fellowships at the University of Texas at Austin and Washington University in St. Louis.  Following her post-doctoral fellowships, Dr. Picking returned to the University of Kansas where she became a Research Assistant Professor and secured NIH funding to explore the molecular basis for pathogenesis by Shigella flexneri, a diarrheal pathogen that is responsible for high rates of morbidity and mortality, especially among children under the age of five, in low income countries.  She later moved to Oklahoma State University and secured funding from the NIH, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the PATH-Enteric Vaccine Initiative to perform proof of concept studies to demonstrate the protective efficacy of a novel vaccine that ultimately provided the foundation for new serotype-independent subunit vaccines she is currently developing.  Dr. Picking recently returned to the University of Kansas where her laboratory continues to expand upon on these findings.

Dr. KaneBob Kane, Ph.D., Baylor University

Drug-Eluting Transplants: Live Tissue as a Functional Biomaterial

Dr. Bob Kane is Director of the Institute of Biomedical Studies and Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at Baylor University.  He received his BS from Texas Lutheran University and his PhD from Texas Tech University, followed by postdoctoral work as an NIH fellow in the Hawthorne Lab at the University of California Los Angeles. Dr. Kane’s research applies the tools of organic synthesis and bioconjugation chemistry to biomedical challenges including vaccines, transplantation, and wound healing. 

Dr. DurdenDonald L. Durden, MD, Ph.D., University of California San Diego

In silico combinatorial drug design and discovery for dual inhibitory chemotypes for immuno-oncology

As a board certified practicing attending pediatric hematologist-oncologist at UCSD, I am actively involved in the development and execution of Phase I and Phase II clinical trials of targeted and immunotherapies in cancer patients at the UCSD/Rady Children’s Hospital and Moores Cancer Center and participation in our weekly molecular tumor boards. I understand the potential challenges to drug development in the pediatric population including but not restricted to cancer. I hope to apply these combinatorial dual and triple inhibitory chemotypes in a precision medicine, multiple-omics and systems biologic setting of adult and pediatric cancer and other diseases in Phase I and II trials.