Scientific Advisors

Bruce Blazar, M.D.

Regents Professor of Pediatrics
Chief of the Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program
Vice Dean for Clinical Research in the Medical School, University of Minnesota

Dr. Blazar has directed preclinical basic and translational immunology and stem cell research and early phase clinical studies for more than 30 years, with particular emphasis in blood and marrow transplantation immunobiology. His experience in preclinical rodent studies lead to clinical testing of rapamycin to prevent graft-vesus-host disease (GVHD) following hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT); keratinocyte growth factor to prevent tissue injury after allogeneic HSCT; the use of rodent and human T regulatory cells (Tregs) to prevent alloresponses; and new chronic GVHD drug therapies such as ibrutinib. He directs the Clinical and Translational Science Institute and the Center for Translational Medicine at the University of Minnesota, which was created to bring innovative, early phase therapies into the clinic. Dr. Blazar has received an NIH MERIT Award, the ASH Ernest Beutler prize and lectureship, and the Till and McCulloch Lecture Award from the Canadian Blood and Marrow Transplant Group. He is an elected member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation, Association of American Physicians, American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the National Academy of Medicine.

Thomas F. Gajewski, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Pathology
The Ben May Department for Cancer Research
Department of Medicine - Section of Hematology/Oncology
UCCCC, Committee on Cancer Biology, Committee on Immunology, Committee on Molecular Medicine/MPMM

The focus of Dr. Gajewski’s work is on fundamental aspects of anti-tumor immunity and bringing these concepts forward from the laboratory into clinical trial testing in patients.  While working on melanoma vaccine strategies, his laboratory uncovered a role for downstream resistance pathways allowing tumor evasion from the immune response.  Gene expression profiling and IHC approaches have identified the T cell-inflamed and non-T cell-inflamed tumor microenvironment phenotypes.  T cell-inflamed tumors contain tumor antigen-specific T cells but also negative regulatory pathways that have been moved forward as drug targets, including blockade of PD-1/PD-L1 interactions and IDO.  Strategies to promote T cell priming and infiltration into non-T cell-inflamed tumors have led to STING pathway agonist development, currently in phase I clinical testing.  Genomic characterization of non-T cell-inflamed tumors has revealed oncogene pathways that mediate T cell exclusion, the first of which is the Wnt/b-catenin pathway.  Recent work has also identified germline polymorphisms and evidence for commensal microbiota that also regulate anti-tumor immunity, suggesting additional novel ways to facilitate improved immunotherapy outcomes.

Dr. Gajewski has published more than 220 manuscripts and 20 book chapters in these areas, and has presented data at more than 200 scientific conferences.  He is past president of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer, is founding editor of the Journal for Immunotherapy of Cancer, is current chair of the Cancer Immunopathology and Immunotherapy grant review study section at NIH, has served on the program committees for ASCO and AACR, and is a grant reviewer for the Melanoma Research Alliance.  In 2016 he became the first recipient of the American Cancer Society-Jules L. Plangere Jr. Family Foundation Professorship in Cancer Immunotherapy, and was designated a Distinguished Professor at the University of Chicago.  In 2017, he has been named the AbbVie Foundation Professor for Cancer Immunotherapy, and received the William B. Coley Award for contributions to the field of cancer immunology.  He has had continuous NIH funding for 20 years, and is scientific co-founder of Jounce Therapeutics.

Lewis L. Lanier, Ph.D.

American Cancer Society Professor
Chair, Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Leader, Cancer, Immunity, and Microenvironment Program, UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
University of California San Francisco

Lewis L. Lanier is an American Cancer Society Professor and the J. Michael Bishop MD Distinguished Professor and Chairman of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and is leader of the Cancer, Immunity, and Microenvironment Program of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. He received his Ph.D. in Immunology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After postdoctoral studies, he joined the Becton Dickinson Monoclonal Center in Mountain View, California; in 1990 moved to the DNAX Research Institute in Palo Alto, California, where he was Research Director; and in 1999 joined the faculty of UCSF. In recognition of his contributions, he was awarded the William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Basic Tumor Immunology from the Cancer Research Institute in 2002, was given the Rose Payne Award for contributions to Immunogenetics by the American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics in 2005, was elected to the US National Academy of Sciences in 2010, and was named a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2011. From 2006 to 2007, he served as President of the American Association of Immunologists. Dr. Lanier serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of several pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

Ronald Levy, M.D.

Professor of Medicine, Division of Oncology
Stanford University School of Medicine

Dr. Levy’s landmark research on the basic immuno-biology of lymphocytes and on monoclonal antibodies led to the development of rituximab, a widely successful treatment for B-cell lymphoma. Dr. Levy continues to study the mechanism of lymphoma initiation and progression to develop new monoclonal and vaccine therapies for this disease. Dr. Levy has received numerous honors and awards, including the Damashek Prize from the American Society of Hematology in 2004, the Jeffrey A. Gottlieb Memorial Award from the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in 2003, the Evelyn Hoffman Memorial Award from the Lymphoma Research Foundation of America in 2001 and the Medal of Honor from the American Cancer Society in 2000. He is also a member of the National Academy of Science and the National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Levy has been a member of Five Prime’s Scientific Advisory Board since October 2002.

Drew M. Pardoll, MD, Ph.D.

Abeloff Professor of Oncology
Director, Cancer Immunology
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins

Dr. Pardoll is an Abeloff Professor of Oncology, Medicine, Pathology and Molecular Biology and Genetics at the Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine. He is Director of the Cancer Immunology in the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Pardoll attended Johns Hopkins University, where he earned his M.D., Ph.D., in 1982 and completed his Medical Residency and Oncology Fellowship in 1985. He then worked for three years at the National Institutes of Health as a Medical Staff Fellow. Dr. Pardoll joined the departments of oncology and medicine at Johns Hopkins in 1988. Dr. Pardoll Dr. Pardoll has published over 300 papers as well as over 20 book chapters on the subject of T cell immunology and cancer vaccines. He has served on the editorial board of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute and Cancer Cell, and has served as a member of scientific advisory boards for the Cancer Research Institute, the University of Pennsylvania Human Gene Therapy Gene Institute, Biologic Resources Branch of the National Cancer Institute, Harvard-Dana- Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, Cerus Corporation, Global Medical Products Corporation, Genencor International, Inc.Corporation, Cell Genesys, Inc. Corporation, Mojave Therapeutics, the American Association of Clinical Oncology and the American Association of Cancer Research. Dr. Pardoll has made a number of basic advances in Cellular Immunology, including the discovery of gamma - delta T cells, NKT cells and interferon-producing killer dendritic cells. Over the past two decades, Dr. Pardoll has studied molecular aspects of dendritic cell biology and immune regulation, particularly related to mechanisms by which cancer cells evade elimination by the immune system. He is an inventor of a number of immunotherapies, including GVAX cancer vaccines and Listeria monocytogenes based cancer vaccines. Dr. Pardoll’s basic immunology discoveries include the identification of T cells, NKT cells and IKDC. He elucidated the role of Stat3 signaling in tumor immune evasion and in Th17 development, leading to the discovery that Stat3-driven Th17 responses promote carcinogenesis. Dr. Pardoll discovered one of the two ligands for the PD-1 inhibitory receptor and leads the Hopkins cancer immunology program that developed PD-1 pathway-targeted antibodies, demonstrating their clinical activity in multiple cancer types. His more than 300 articles cover cancer vaccines, gene therapies, cancer prevention technologies, recombinant immune modulatory agents for specific pathways that regulate immunity to cancer and infectious diseases. Dr. Pardoll attended Johns Hopkins University, where he earned his M.D., Ph.D., in 1982 and completed his Medical Residency and Oncology Fellowship in 1985. He then worked for three years at the National Institutes of Health as a Medical Staff Fellow. Dr. Pardoll joined the departments of oncology and medicine at Johns Hopkins in 1988.

Antoni Ribas, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor of Medicine
Professor of Surgery
Professor of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology
Director, Tumor Immunology Program
University of California Los Angeles

Antoni Ribas, M.D., Ph.D. is Professor of Medicine, Professor of Surgery, and Professor of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Director of the Tumor Immunology Program at the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center (JCCC) and the Chair of the Melanoma Committee at SWOG. Dr Ribas is a physician-scientist who conducts laboratory and clinical research in malignant melanoma, focusing on gene engineered adoptive cell transfer (ACT) therapies, anti-CTLA4 antibodies, anti-PD-1 antibodies, BRAF and MEK inhibitors and nanoparticle-siRNA. His NCI, State of California and private foundation-supported research laboratory develops models of disease to test new therapeutic options and studies mechanism of action of treatments in patients. He is an elected member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation (ASCI), the recipient of the AACR Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Award and a National Cancer Institute (NCI) Outstanding Investigator Award.

Suzanne L. Topalian, M.D.

Professor, Surgery and Oncology
Director, Melanoma Program, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Dr. Topalian received her medical degree from the Tufts University School of Medicine and completed a general surgery residency at the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. She was a research fellow and subsequently a Senior Investigator in the National Cancer Institute, NIH. She joined the Johns Hopkins faculty in 2006 to direct the Melanoma Program in the Kimmel Cancer Center. Dr. Topalian is a physician-scientist whose studies of human anti-tumor immunity have provided a foundation for the translational development of cancer vaccines, adoptive T cell transfer, and immunomodulatory monoclonal antibodies. Her current research focuses on manipulating immune checkpoints such as PD-1 in cancer therapy, and discovering biomarkers predicting clinical outcomes. Dr. Topalian was named one of Nature’s 10 in 2014, and received the Karnofsky Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology in 2015. Her work has opened new avenues of scientific investigation in cancer immunology and immunotherapy, and has established this modality as a treatment approach in oncology.

Daniel D. Von Hoff, M.D.

Physician in Chief and Director of Translational Research
Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), Phoenix, Arizona

Dr. Von Hoff’s major interest is in the development of new anticancer agents, both in the clinic and in the laboratory. He and his colleagues were involved in the initial development of many oncology agents now used routinely, including mitoxantrone, fludarabine, paclitaxel, gemcitabine, irinotecan and others. At present, he is concentrating on the development of molecularly targeted therapies. Dr. Von Hoff was appointed to President Bush’s National Cancer Advisory Board in June 2004. He also currently serves as Chief Scientific Officer for US Oncology and Chief Scientific Officer, Scottsdale Clinical Research Institute. Dr. Von Hoff is the past President of the American Association for Cancer Research, a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, a member and past board member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and a founder of ILEX™ Oncology, Inc. He was recently awarded the 2010 David A. Karnofsky medal from the American Society of Clinical Oncology for his outstanding clinical research impacting the lives of patients with cancer. Dr. Von Hoff has been a member of Five Prime’s Scientific Advisory Board since August 2008.

Arthur Weiss, M.D. Ph.D.

Professor of Medicine
University of California, San Francisco

Dr. Weiss is one of the world’s leaders in the study of the signal transduction events that control lymphocyte responses. His particular interest is in signal transduction events controlled by tyrosine kinases and phosphatases how abnormalities in these mechanisms can lead to autoimmune diseases. Dr. Weiss is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and is the Ephraim P. Engleman Distinguished Professor of Rheumatology. His other honors include the Distinguished Investigator Award from the American College of Rheumatology (2004), the Arthritis Foundation's Lee C. Howley Prize, and the American Association of Immunologists Meritorious Career Award. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Weiss has been a member of Five Prime’s Scientific Advisory Board since May 2004.