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Special Programs

Insights into Immuno-oncology: Fighting Cancer from Within

Wednesday, Oct 10, 2018 | 8:00 PM-10:30 PM

A Science Panel presented by BioLabs@CIC Philadelphia

Immunotherapy, or harnessing the body’s immune system to eliminate or slow the spread of disease, has the potential to upend conventional approaches for treating patients. Early results show improved outcomes and survival rates for people with certain types of cancers, leading to hopes that new drugs working in concert with the immune system may ultimately replace radiation and chemotherapy.

Our panel will give their views on the promise of immuno-oncology, focusing on therapies and technologies now emerging from research labs. The participants include an entrepreneur commercializing a platform technology developed at Penn to endow human macrophages with the ability to recognize and attack solid tumors; a researcher in cancer biology leading drug discovery for a large pharma; and an investor identifying local companies that may revolutionize our approach to medicine.

Following the program, meet Melina Blees, the site director for BioLabs@CIC Philadelphia. She will take you on a tour of the world-class co-working wet lab space that can house up to 75 of Philly’s best life science startups.

This event is free and open to the public. Space is limited, so be sure to register now.

Featured Speakers

Peter Melley, Director of New Ventures at University City Science Center (MODERATOR)

Peter manages Phase 1 Ventures, the QED proof-of-concept program,and their accompanyinginvestment portfolios. Peter directs funding and business guidance to principal investigators andemerging stage entrepreneurs developing high-potential medical technologies and buildingcompanies around those.

Dora Mitchell, Ph.D., Vice President, Operations at Carisma Therapeutics

Dora is the Vice President of Operations at Carisma Therapeutics Inc. and enjoys wearing many hats at a young biopharmaceutical company. Prior to joining Carisma, she managed the therapeutics and diagnostics company portfolio at PCI Ventures at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn), where she also directed the UPstart Company Incubator. In that role, she led the launch, funding, incubation and growth of Penn intellectual property-based businesses including CytoVas LLC, LignaMed LLC, Quantitative Radiology Solutions LLC, Linnaeus Therapeutics Inc. and others. Prior to joining PCI Ventures, Dora was a member of the Health and Life Sciences team at Battelle Ventures, LP, an early-stage technology company investor. Dora holds a PhD in Molecular Biology from Princeton University.

Dr. Ken Hance, Senior Director and Head of Immune Biology in the Immuno-Oncology and Combinations Discovery Performance Unit (IOC DPU) at GlaxoSmithKline

Dr. Hance has worked in the field of Cancer Immunology for 15 years. Dr. Hance is responsible for new target identification/validation and the delivery of critical path biology to support a growing portfolio of immune-based therapies within GSK Oncology.

Matthew Cohen, Principal at Osage University Partners

Matt joined Osage University Partners in 2013. Prior to joining Osage, Matt was a strategy consultant with L.E.K. Consulting serving clients in biopharma, diagnostics, research tools, healthcare, and private equity. As a Ph.D. student, he studied the immune response to a novel smallpox vaccine

Melina Blees, Site Director at BioLabs@CIC Philadelphia

Melina Blees is the Site Director for the new BioLabs@CIC Philadelphia lab facility. Melina received her Masters and PhD in Physics from Cornel University with a postdoc at University of Chicago. and has worked with scientific start-ups in a variety of settings. She was most recently the Director of Innovation at Skyscraper, a global innovation consulting firm.