"Cancer immunotherapy already increases the survival of advanced cancer patients and induces durable clinical responses in a growing number of cancer types. Further progress critically depends on our ability to counteract the mechanisms developed by tumors to resist immune rejection, by developing a new class of immunomodulatory drugs that will further increase the impact of this revolutionary approach of cancer therapy."

Benoît Van den Eynde,                  Chairman, Scientific Committee                 Co-Founder


Scientific Committee

Benoît Van den Eynde, M.D., Ph.D.

Chairman, Scientific Committee - Co-Founder

Prof. Benoît Van den Eynde is the Director of the LICR Brussels Branch since 2010. He is an internationally recognized expert in tumor immunology, a field that he contributed in the early nineties by identifying some of the very first tumor antigens, which are currently tested as targets in clinical trials of cancer vaccines. He also uncovered biological processes of more general significance, such as antisense transcription and translation of alternative open-reading frames and the startling discovery of peptide splicing by the proteasome. His group was also the first one to demonstrate that many tumors express the enzymes indoleamine dioxygenase or tryptophan dioxygenase, which suppress T lymphocyte activity by locally depleting tryptophan in the microenvironment.

Benoît holds a medical doctor degree and a Ph.D. in immunology from Université Catholique de Louvain. He has authored more than 60 peer-reviewed publications and has received several awards during his career, including the 2007 GlaxoSmithKline Prize and the Joseph Maisin Prize in Biomedical Sciences.

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Jean-Yves Bonnefoy, Ph.D.

Dr. Jean-Yves Bonnefoy is the CEO of Anagenesis Biotechnologies. In his previous positions, he was the CEO and the founder of Elsalys, a startup dedicated to the development of first-in-class antibodies for cancer therapies and he previously was the Vice President, Research and Development of Transgene in charge of Research, Clinical Development, Regulatory Affairs and Intellectual Property. Prior to joining Transgene, he was Head of the Canceropôle Lyon Rhônes-Alpes. From 1997 to 2002, he was Director of the Immunology Center of the Pierre Fabre Group in Saint-Julien en Genevois, France. He previously was responsible for the Immunology Department of the Biomedical Research Institute of the Glaxo-Wellcome Group in Geneva, Switzerland. Dr. Bonnefoy holds a PhD in Immunology from the Lyon University and has completed the Senior Management Program of the London Business School.

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Vincenzo Cerundolo, M.D., Ph.D., FRCPath, FMedSci

Prof. Vincenzo Cerundolo works in the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, Oxford. He graduated in Medicine at the University of Padua, Italy where he completed his Ph.D. in Immunology, and subsequently moved to the UK as an EMBO Fellow to work with Professor Alain Townsend on antigen presentation. In 1990, he described the first human antigen processing deficient cells, which led to the cloning and characterization of TAP1 and TAP2 genes. He was appointed Professor of Immunology at the University of Oxford in 2000 and became Director of the MRC Human Immunology Unit in 2010. In 2012, he was appointed Head of the Investigative Medicine Division of the newly-formed Radcliffe Department of Medicine of the University of Oxford. He is a Fellow of Merton College, of the Royal College of Pathologists, Batsheva Fellow of the Israeli Academy of Medical Sciences, and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, UK. Prof. Cerundolo sits on the Scientific Advisory Board of numerous keynote institutions and charitable organizations, and serves on the Editorial boards of several leading peer-reviewed journals in the field. Research carried out in Professor Cerundolo’s laboratory is mainly focused on gaining a better understanding of the mechanisms that control the cell-cell interplay required for optimal expansion and activation of tumor-specific T cell populations and to apply this knowledge to the development of better treatment strategies in cancer patients.

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Pierre Coulie, M.D., Ph.D.

Prof. Pierre G. Coulie is a Professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL). Trained in immunology as a student by Prof. Jacques Van Snick, he worked on murine rheumatoid factors and on cytokines. In 1988, he joined the group of Prof. Thierry Boon and switched to human immunology. Investigator at the Brussels branch of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research from 1989 to 1995, he made important contributions to the identification of human tumor-specific antigens recognized by T lymphocytes. Pursuing his collaboration with the neighboring teams of the Ludwig Institute, he is primarily interested in human anti-tumor immunology. His current work is focused on human anti-tumor immunology in the context of therapeutic vaccination using tumor-specific antigens, with specific work aiming at understanding the mechanisms of tumor regression observed in some vaccinated melanoma patients, and the reasons for clinical vaccine failure in most patients.

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Douglas Fearon, M.D., Ph.D.

Prof. Douglas Fearon received his M.D. from Johns Hopkins Medical School and completed his internal medicine training on the Osler Medical Service of the Johns Hopkins Hospital. After serving as a physician in the Army, he was a post-doctoral fellow in rheumatology at Harvard Medical School where he was later appointed Professor of Medicine in 1984. He moved back to Johns Hopkins in 1987 as Professor of Medicine and as Director of the Division of Molecular Rheumatology, and of the Graduate Program in Immunology. In 1993, he moved to the University of Cambridge as a Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellow. He was elected a Fellow of Trinity College in 2001, and as the Sheila Joan Smith Professor of Immunology in 2003. Professor Fearon recently returned to the United States as the Walter B. Wriston Professor of Pancreatic Cancer Research at Weill Cornell Medical College, and as a Professor at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. His recent research has focused on cancer immunology.

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Jedd Wolchok, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Jedd Wolchok is a medical oncologist who specializes in the treatment of melanoma and whose research focuses on the development of innovative ways to use the immune system to treat cancer. His specific research interest is the pre-clinical and early clinical development of novel immunologic therapies. He has been a principal investigator in several pivotal clinical trials, including trials using plasmid DNA vaccines for patients with melanoma and a large phase III trial that led to the FDA approval of ipilimumab, an antibody now used as a first-line treatment for patients with advanced melanoma. He has been involved in the development of the DNA vaccine program at every level - from initial studies in mouse models, through all levels of regulatory review, and now as principal investigator of the clinical trials. He is an Associate Director of the Ludwig Center for Cancer Immunotherapy, an associate member of Ludwig Cancer Research, and the Lloyd J. Old/Virginia and Daniel K. Ludwig Chair in Clinical Investigation. He is director of the CRI/Ludwig Cancer Vaccine Collaborative Trials Network and is an associate director of the CRI Scientific Advisory Council. Dr. Wolchok has authored numerous articles concerning DNA vaccines, cytokine biology, and clinical care of melanoma and co-authored two chapters in the definitive textbook, Cutaneous Melanoma. Dr. Wolchok is also co-editor of the journal Cytotherapy.

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Thomas F. Gajewski, M.D., PH.D.

Dr. Thomas Gajewski currently serves as professor, departments of pathology and medicine, section of hematology/oncology at the University of Chicago. There, he is leader of the immunology and cancer program of the Cancer Center and directs the Melanoma Oncology Clinic. Dr. Gajewski is the immediate past president of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer and serves as an editor of Cancer Research and JITC. His laboratory studies the molecular and cellular regulation of T lymphocyte activation and differentiation, and in turn applies this information to preclinical and clinical efforts to promote anti-tumor immunity in vivo. Dr. Gajewski is committed to investigating and developing new treatments for patients with melanoma, with a special interest in the development of immunotherapies against the disease. Dr. Gajewski also leads development of immune-based therapies for other cancers, using new laboratory data on how the immune system is regulated to develop novel clinical trials. He has served on the program committees for the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).

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