Immunogenicity Summit
Immunogenicity and Bioassay Summit

Speaker Biographies


Ranjana H. Advani, MD, is the Saul Rosenberg Professor of Lymphoma at Stanford University Medical Center.  She is a medical oncologist specializing in research and treatment related to Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphomas. Dr. Advani received her Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery and Doctor of Medicine degrees from Bombay University (India).  She then completed a residency in internal medicine and fellowships in Hematology and Oncology at SUMC, joining the Stanford faculty in 2004.  Since 2010, Dr. Advani has served as the Physician Leader of the Lymphoma Disease Management Group.

Dr. Nahor Haddish-Berhane is a Senior Principal Scientist working at Pfizer. He works in the area of oncology specifically ADC efficacy and toxicology translational research. Dr. Haddish-Berhane has over 8 years of research experience in PK/PD and systems pharmacology modeling and simulation of biological systems in disease areas such as cardiovascular and metabolic, antibacterial and intestinal inflammation. Dr. Haddish-Berhane received his Ph.D. in Bioscience Engineering from Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium.

Dr Guozheng Liu has dedicated his entire career to the syntheses and applications of radiolabeled compounds for disease targeting and life-process tracing. After graduation from a Ph D program of radiopharmaceutical chemistry in Beijing Normal University and a successful translation of one of his novel labeled agents from animal to human during his postdoctoral fellowship in China Institute of Atomic Energy, he joined a biomarker development group in the Department of Radiology, University of Massachusetts Medical School in the end of 1999. In the past 10 years, he has been working on a pretargeting project for tumor targeting and recently expanded this technology to islet targeting in connection with diabetes. To address the complexity due to the multiple injections, he has investigated the interaction of the agents in vivo in the context of their distributing into the organs. Numerous observations were obtained about the influences of the multiple factors on target accumulation, further rationalized using a simple “reactor” model, and finally summarized into rules of thumb. He believes these rules of thumb can provide insights to target accumulations prior to feasibly being measured accurately.

Timothy B. Lowinger, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer.  Dr. Lowinger joined Mersana in 2008. He has over eighteen years of experience in the pharmaceutical/biotech industry and brings a wealth of international experience to his role in leading our Research team. From 1993 to 2007, Dr. Lowinger held a number of positions at Bayer Pharmaceuticals in the US, Germany, and Japan, where he contributed to the discovery of more than 15 pre-clinical and clinical candidates in a variety of indications. Most notably, he led the discovery team that invented and advanced Nexavar® (sorafenib), a pioneering anti-angiogenic, anti-cancer agent that is approved for indications including renal and hepatocellular cancer, with Phase 3 studies underway in numerous other cancers. Later, as the VP and Department Head of Chemistry Research in West Haven, he managed a department of over 140 scientists in the disciplines of medicinal, analytical, computational, combinatorial and synthetic chemistry, focused on the discovery and clinical proof-of-concept of new therapeutics for the treatment of cancer, diabetes and obesity. He also served as VP of Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences at Angiotech Pharmaceuticals where he managed a multidisciplinary team of scientists and engineers focused on developing polymer-based pharmaceutical products for local administration as well as medical devices incorporating pharmaceutical agents. Dr. Lowinger has a B.Sc. (Hons.) in Chemistry and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, and he was a Merck Postdoctoral Fellow at the Ohio State University in the labs of Professor Leo A. Paquette. Tim has published over 40 scientific papers and is a co-inventor on over 30 patents.

Jan Pinkas joined ImmunoGen, Inc. in 2008 and is currently Senior Director, Translational Research. Dr. Pinkas leads a research team charged with utilizing animal model systems to understand features of ImmunoGen’s antibody-maytansinoid conjugates that impact tolerability, pharmacokinetics, metabolism and anti-tumor activity. In addition, he has responsibility for preclinical development-related pharmacology, toxicology, pharmacokinetic and IHC/biomarker activities to support molecules advancing to IND as well as molecules currently in clinical development. Prior to 2008, Dr. Pinkas was a Senior Scientist in Cancer Pharmacology at Amgen, Inc. and a Scientist II in Oncology Research at Genzyme, Corp.  Dr. Pinkas was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Philip Leder in the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School, and he received his doctorate in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1998. 

Rakesh Sindhi, M.D., Professor of Surgery and Co-Director, Pediatric Transplantation, University of Pittsburgh. Research focus: immunogenetics of transplant rejection and immunosuppression, and genetic basis of congenital organ failure.

Tamara van Steeg obtained her PhD from Leiden University in 2008. Subject of her thesis was the ‘free drug hypothesis’ in pharmacodynamics (Thesis title: 'The free drug hypothesis: “Fact or Fiction”). Currently she is a senior consultant at LAP&P Consultants (Leiden, the Netherlands) were she specializes in mechanistic modeling of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics throughout the drug discovery and development process.

Syd Johnson, Ph.D., V.P. of Antibody Engineering at MacroGenics, Inc., has over twenty years of experience in the antibody engineering field.  Prior to joining MacroGenics in 2001, he spent eleven years at MedImmune, Inc., where he led the preclinical efforts to develop humanized monoclonal antibodies.  Dr. Johnson is the inventor of Synagis, MedImmune’s anti-RSV product, which is still the only licensed monoclonal antibody product for prevention of viral infection. Prior to that, he worked for six years at Genex Corporation, during which time he was involved in pioneering work in the development of single chain Fv technology for the production of antibody fragments in E. coli.

Dr. Benno Rattel is Executive Director at Amgen Research Munich, ex-Micromet, and he has been working on bispecific BiTE antibodies since 2008. Formerly, he was Vice President of Nonclinical Development and DMPK at GPC Biotech AG., and before that Director of Toxicology and Pharmacology at Fujisawa. He also consulted various European Biotech Companies as well as the German Leibniz Gesellschaft in nonclinical drug development.  Dr. Rattel has more than 20 years of drug development experience and is board-certified in pharmacology, toxicology and animal welfare and a European Registered Toxicologist. He is member of a number of professional societies and has studied veterinary medicine at the LMU Munich, where he was granted his doctorate. 

Yuki Iwayanagi, Ph.D.,is a research scientist at Preclinical Research department, Chugai Pharmaceutical, Co., Ltd., working on pharmacokinetics analysis of antibody. 2011-present: Research scientist at Discovery Research Department, working on developing new technologies, project leader of therapeutic antibody project.


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