Catriona Jamieson, MD, PhD

Catriona Jamieson, MD, PhD is a leading physician-scientist in the cancer stem cell biology field. She is a Professor of Medicine, the Koman Family Presidential Endowed Chair in Cancer Research, the Deputy Director of the Moores Cancer Center and the Director of the Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center at the University of California San Diego (UCSD). Dr. Jamieson is the Director of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) Alpha Stem Cell Clinic at UCSD, which provides infrastructure to accelerate the bench to bedside development and implementation of cancer stem cell targeted and cellular immunotherapy trials for hematologic and other malignancies.

Dr. Jamieson discovered malignant reprogramming, RNA hyper-editing and splice isoform switching as mechanisms governing human pre-cancer stem cell generation and cancer stem cell maintenance in selective niches. This pioneering cancer stem cell research has informed the developed of cancer stem cell targeted therapies, including JAK2 and sonic hedgehog inhibitor trials, which resulted in two FDA approvals for myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) and leukemia. Dr. Jamieson’s research focuses on developing novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies to obviate initiation, progression and therapeutic resistance of myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), MPNs and hematologic malignancies, including secondary acute myeloid leukemia.

Derrick Rossi, PhD

Derrick Rossi, PhD, is a serial biotech entrepreneur and stem cell scientist. His efforts in the development of cutting-edge technologies and novel therapeutic strategies are at the forefront of regenerative medicine and biotechnology. Time magazine named Dr. Rossi as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the world (Time 100) in 2011. Dr. Rossi earned his BSc and MSc from University of Toronto, and his PhD from the University of Helsinki. Until his retirement from academia, he was an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School and Harvard University and an investigator at Boston Children’s Hospital where he led an academic team working on stem cell biology and regenerative medicine.

Discoveries made in Dr. Rossi’s lab led to the formation of several leading biotechnology companies. His development of modified-mRNA reprogramming was leveraged to found Moderna, a company focused on developing modified-mRNA therapeutics and whose COVID-19 vaccine is being deployed around the world. In 2015, Dr. Rossi co-founded Intellia Therapeutics, a clinical-stage company focused on developing CRISPR/Cas9-based therapeutics. In 2016, he co-founded Magenta Therapeutics, which is focused on transforming transplantation medicine. In 2017, he co-founded Stellexis Therapeutics, an oncology company targeting the stem cell origin of cancer. Also in 2017 he helped launch Convelo Therapeutics, which is developing remyelination therapeutics for patients suffering from demyelination diseases such as multiple sclerosis. He currently serves as the CEO of Convelo.

Gwen Nichols, MD

As LLS’s chief medical officer, Gwen Nichols, M.D., plays a critical role in advancing cures through a unique combination of clinical, academic and pharmaceutical experience. She oversees LLS’s scientific research portfolio, patient services and policy and advocacy initiatives. A physician and scientific researcher, she has dedicated her career to advancing cures for cancers.

Most recently, Dr. Nichols was oncology site head of the Roche Translational Clinical Research Center, where she worked to develop new cancer therapies, translating them from the laboratory to clinical trials. Prior to joining Roche in 2007, Dr. Nichols was at Columbia University for more than ten years, where she served as the director of the Hematologic Malignancies Program.

While at Columbia University, Dr. Nichols maintained an active clinical practice and received the prestigious honors of “Physician of the Year” from Columbia University and the “Humanism in Medicine Award” from the American Association of Medical Colleges. Dr. Nichols trained in internal medicine at the University of Chicago and completed postdoctoral research and a hematology-oncology fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center where she was an attending physician. She received her medical degree with honors from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

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