PEGS-The Chain Episode 35

In this episode, Dr. Willem Overwijk returns for a conversation with Dr. Éric Vivier. Dr. Vivier is a professor of immunology at Aix-Marseille and a hospital practitioner at Marseille Public University Hospital. Éric Vivier is also the Chief Scientific Officer at Innate Pharma, a clinical-stage biotech company that creates novel antibodies that activate the immune system to treat patients with cancer. They discuss Dr. Vivier’s scientific background, the importance and the potential of Natural Killer cells, and the next wave of immunotherapy.


Éric Vivier, DVM, PhD, CSO, Innate Pharma
Éric Vivier, DVM, PhD, is Professor of Immunology at Aix-Marseille University and at the Public Hospital of Marseille (AP-HM). In addition, he was appointed in 2018, Scientific Director of Innate Pharma, a biotechnology company dedicated to improving cancer treatment with innovative therapeutic antibodies that exploit the immune system. He completed his post-doctoral training at Harvard Medical School, then joined Aix-Marseille University as professor at the Centre d'Immunologie de Marseille-Luminy (CIML) in 1993 before becoming its director from 2008 to 2017. He is also one of the founders of Marseille-Immunopôle, an immunology cluster created in 2014 linking fundamental and therapeutic research, innovation and industrial development on the Aix-Marseille metropole. Eric Vivier's work focuses on innate immunity and in particular Natural killer and other innate lymphoid cells, at Ciml, at AP-HM and at Innate-Pharma. Professor Vivier has published over 300 scientific articles and is on the list of the most cited researchers. A laureate of the European Research Council (ERC advanced grants), a member of the EMBO, the Académie Nationale de Médecine and the Institut Universitaire de France, Prof. Vivier has received several awards including those from the Ligue Nationale contre le Cancer (1996, 2004 and 2013) and the European Federation of Immunological Societies (EFIS, 2004).

Willem Overwijk, PhD, Vice President Oncology Research, Nektar Therapeutics, Inc.
Willem Overwijk, PhD is Vice President of Oncology Research at Nektar Therapeutics in San Francisco. He received his MS in Medical Biology from Utrecht University in the Netherlands, trained at the Surgery Branch, National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, MD and received his PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the George Washington University in Washington, DC. He completed his postgraduate training at the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam before accepting a faculty position at MD Anderson Cancer Center where he focused on preclinical and translational research in immuno-oncology. In 2018 he joined Nektar Therapeutics to continue his work on bringing novel immuno-oncology agents to patients, focusing on research and development of Nektar’s recombinant cytokine portfolio.

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