PEGS-The Chain Episode 53


What is the first step of getting into biotech? How do you make real progress in research? In honor of Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, host Nimish Gera discusses these topics and more with Jonathan Sockolosky, PhD, Director of CSO Partner Team at Curie.Bio, in this special episode of The Chain. Jonathan details how he got started in biotech, what inspires him to keep going, his personal interests in ovarian cancer treatments, and what he does to raise funds to further ovarian cancer research. Jonathan also offers advice on how others can get involved in causes they are passionate about and how to give back to the community, as well as the progress that has been made in ovarian cancer therapy.


Jonathan Sockolosky, PhD, Director of CSO Partner Team, Curie.Bio
At his core, Jonathan Sockolosky is a scientist and drug hunter with a relentless fervor for innovation and transforming an idea into a drug. His passion for research and drug development ignited during his early days at Genentech, where he began his professional journey. It was an exciting time as novel engineering approaches to afford site-specific conjugation of cytotoxic payloads to antibodies fueled a new wave of antibody drug conjugates into early development. As a process development engineer, he had the opportunity to support numerous early stage antibody drug conjugate programs, including polatuzumab vedotin (Polivy), a CD79b-targeted ADC that received FDA-approval in 2020. The experience was invaluable and stocked his interest in basic and translational research.

He returned to academia and earned his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and completed postdoctoral training at Stanford University in protein engineering and cancer immunotherapy. At Stanford, his research resulted in the invention of orthogonal IL-2 cytokine-receptor pairs for cell therapy currently under Phase 1 clinical development by Synthekine. There is nothing more rewarding to him than seeing your work inform the development of novel therapeutics, which solidified his decision to return to biotech.

He joined Denali Therapeutics to tackle the challenge of delivering antibodies to the brain, and ALX Oncology to develop CD47-SIRPa antagonists and targeted TLR9 agonists for cancer immunotherapy, currently in Phase 2 and Phase 1 clinical trials, respectively. He then returned to Genentech as a group leader and Principal Scientist in the Department of Antibody Engineering where he led early stage portfolio programs focused on developing large molecule therapeutics targeting cytokine pathways for cancer immunotherapy.

At Curie.Bio he is a member of the CSO Partner team where he works closely with founders to launch new therapeutic companies. He has always been most excited by the earliest stages of the drug discovery and development lifecycle; turning an idea on a napkin into a drug candidate. That is one of the many reasons he joined Curie.Bio. Curie’s mission resonates with him. He often finds himself saying “I wish Curie.Bio was around when I was leaving my post-doc, I would have started a company.” He is here to help make the Curie.Bio vision a reality and apply his scientific training in drug discovery in a new way: to help founders build early-stage therapeutic companies.


Nimish Gera, Ph.D., Vice President of Biologics, Mythic Therapeutics
Nimish Gera is the vice president of biologics at Mythic Therapeutics overseeing antibody discovery, engineering, optimization, and cell-based screening technologies to generate antibody-drug conjugates. Nimish’s broad experience in biotech encompasses various modalities (monoclonal antibodies, bispecific antibodies, protein-fusions, and antibody-drug conjugates) and therapeutic areas (oncology, immuno-oncology, autoimmune, and rare disease). Prior to Mythic, Nimish served as a project leader at Alexion Pharmaceuticals, where he led and managed diverse cross-functional project teams to lead two antibody discovery programs into development. Prior to Alexion, Nimish helped establish discovery sciences functionality at Oncobiologics (now Outlook Therapeutics) and identified multiple lead candidates for the company’s platform. He earned a Ph.D. in Chemical and Biomolecular engineering with a minor in biotechnology at North Carolina State University and a Bachelor of Technology in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati.

PEGS Summer Europe


PEGS Summit