The research strategy for A Kids’ Brain Tumor Cure Foundation (aka The PLGA Foundation) is guided by an External Scientific Advisory Committee and two Internal Scientific Advisors.

EXTERNAL SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY COMMITTEE

William Snider, MDr

William Snider, MD, Director of UNC Neuroscience Center, Director of Neurobiology Curriculum and Professor, Neurology and Cell and Molecular Physiology at University of NC at Chapel Hill

Dr. Snider trained at Beth Israel Hospital, Harvard Medical School and completed his Neurology residency at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center. Followed with a postdoctoral fellow ship in the department of Physiology and Biophysics at Washington University School of Medicine.

Dr. Snider is currently the Director of the Neuroscience Center at UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine. In his role, he has directed or facilitated the hiring of 13 young neuroscience faculty members. He is a prolific scientific writer, with over 3 dozen published papers in the past 10 years. Dr. Snider also serves as a PI for an NINDS sponsored Center grant, which funds 6 core facilities that provide infrastructure for neuroscience research at UNC. Dr. Snider has the distinction of being awarded a Jacob Javits Award from the NINDS and having delivered the Bunge lecture at the University of Miami and the Robert A Oakley Lecture at the George Washington University School of Medicine. He is currently on Editorial Board at “Neuron”, and has served in this capacity since 1995. Prior to joining UNC-Chapel Hill, Dr. Snider held the position of Assistant Professor, Associate and subsequently Professor of Neurology and Anat and Neurobiology at Washington University in St. Louis.

Samuel C. Blackman, MD, PhD

Samuel C. Blackman, MD, PhD, Senior Medical Director, Juno Therapeutics, Inc., Seattle, WA.

Dr. Blackman is a physician-scientist trained in pediatric hematology-oncology and pediatric neuro-oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Children’s Hospital Boston. For the past 6 years he has been focused on the early clinical development of novel cancer therapeutics and has held various positions of increasing responsibility within the pharmaceutical industry. In his present role at Juno Therapeutics he is responsible for clinical development of novel immunotherapeutics for cancer, including chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapies and high-affinity T cell receptor (TCR) therapies. Prior to his current role he served as Head of Translational Medicine at Seattle Genetics where he was responsible for pre-clinical and early clinical development of novel antibody drug conjugate (ADC) therapeutics for cancer and lead a group of 30 physicians and scientists. Earlier he was a Director in the Oncology Early Development Unit at GlaxoSmithKline where he focused on the development of targeted therapeutics for cancer and also lead the pediatric development of GSKs BRAF and MEK inhibitors. While employed at Merck Research Laboratories, Dr. Blackman was Associate Director of Experimental Medicine/Oncology and was responsible for developing novel proof-of-concept platforms and clinical validation of biomarkers in association with several early stage drug development programs and designed the pediatric development strategy for Merck’s mTOR inhibitor program.

Dr. Blackman is a graduate of the pediatric residency program at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. He received his MD and PhD degrees at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine and Department of Pharmacology, and his undergraduate degree in philosophy from the University of Chicago.

Dr. Ingo Mellinghoff

Dr. Ingo Mellinghoff, Evnin Family Chair in Neuro-Oncology; Vice Chair for Research, Department of Neurology; Associate Member, Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program; Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Dr. Mellinghoff is a Physician-Scientist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He completed his clinical (Hematology-Oncology) and laboratory research (Molecular Biology) training at the University of California, Los Angeles. He currently holds joint faculty appointments in the Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program and the Department of Neurology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, and in the Department of Pharmacology at the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences, New York. His research focuses on the study of aberrant signaling transduction pathways in primary human brain tumors and the development of novel approaches to identify genomic and proteomic alterations in primary human tumors. Dr. Mellinghoff is experienced in the preclinical and clinical evaluation of novel therapeutic and imaging agents for cancer. His research has been published in leading peer-reviewed journals, including The New England Journal of Medicine, Cancer Cell, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, PLoS Medicine, and others. He has received numerous awards for his work on brain cancer, including the Advanced Clinical Research Award in Glioma from the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the Sontag Foundation Distinguished Scientist Award, the Leon Levy Research Professor Award, and Physician Scientist awards from the Sidney Kimmel Foundation and Doris Duke Foundation.

Dr. Neal Rosen

Dr. Neal Rosen, MD, PhD, Enid Haupt Chair in Medical Oncology and a Member of the Program in Molecular Pharmacology and Chemistry at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and Professor of Pharmacology, Cell Biology and Medicine at the Cornell University Medical School.

Dr. Rosen received his undergraduate degree in Chemistry from Columbia College and an MD, PhD in Molecular Biology from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He completed a residency in Internal Medicine at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and post-doctoral training and a fellowship in Medical Oncology at the National Cancer Institute. He was on the senior staff of the Medicine Branch at the NCI prior to joining the faculty of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Dr. Rosen’s major interests are the identification and study of the key molecular events and growth signaling pathways responsible for the development of prostate, breast, melanoma and other human cancers, and the use of this information for the development of mechanism-based therapeutic strategies. In the course of this work his laboratory has developed inhibitors of the Hsp90 protein chaperone and validated their anticancer activity in animal models and clinical trials.Currently his laboratory work focuses on using pharmacologic and genetic approaches to develop a detailed understanding of feedback and cross-talk among oncogene-activated pathways in order to develop rational strategies for combination therapy.

INTERNAL SCIENTIFIC ADVISORS

Dr. Charles Stiles

Dr. Charles Stiles, Ph.D. Professor of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School, Co-Chair, Department of Cancer Biology, DFCI Co-Director, Program in Pediatric Low-Grade Astrocytoma, DFCI

Dr. Stiles is well known for his work on signaling mechanisms that regulate growth and differentiation of stem cells in the developing brain. These signaling mechanisms, when perturbed, give rise to low-grade astrocytomas (LGAs) in children. However, these same signaling mechanisms lend themselves to the design of targeted therapeutics (a.k.a. “smart drugs”) that will kill tumor cells without the debilitating side effects seen with the current generation of cytotoxic drugs used to treat LGAs in children. Towards the goal of targeted therapeutics for pediatric LGAs, Stiles and his students work collaboratively with a wide range of scientists at Childrens Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School and the Harvard/MIT Broad Institute. They also work closely with scientists in the corporate sector who are developing targeted therapeutics for cancer therapy. Dr Stiles has published more than 100 research articles on cell signaling mechanisms in peer-reviewed journals and has also received prizes for both teaching and mentoring at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Mark Kieran

Dr. Mark Kieran, MD, Ph.D., Assistant Professor Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Associate Professor, Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital Boston, Director of Pediatric Medical Neuro-Oncology and Co-Director, Program in Pediatric Low-Grade Astrocytoma, Dana Farber Cancer Institute