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Oncology | Innovation & Biotech in the Time of COVID-19

Time: 1:30 PM - 2:15 PM
Location: YouTube Live
RSVP: Here

Join LabCentral on Tuesday, July 21 for a new episode of our series focused on innovation and biotech in the time of COVID-19.

This webinar series will feature biotech industry leaders, experts, and entrepreneurs discussing COVID-19 and its impact on innovation.

In our eleventh panel, our panelists will discuss what new treatments in oncology are being developed, and how that development has been effected by a global pandemic.


Emma Lees, Ph.D., Vice President of Oncology Discovery Biology & Head, Mechanisms of Cancer Resistance at Bristol Myers Squibb

Emma joined BMS in 2018 and is Site Head for their Kendall Square research center and is responsible for leading Oncology Discovery in Cambridge. The Mechanisms of Cancer Resistance Thematic Research Center is one of the fundamental research and early development engines delivering oncology therapeutics to patients. The scientists at this state-of-the-art research and development site in Cambridge focus on novel tumor intrinsic targets and pathways for tumors that are refractory to current Immuno-Oncology and Oncology therapies, and implement our discovery platforms across all of our therapeutic areas of focus. They are a fully integrated drug discovery through translational and early clinical development organization which exploits state-of-the-art in vitro, in vivo and ex-vivo models of cancer biology to identify and validate targets. They partner closely with colleagues in Translational Medicine, Informatics and Predictive Sciences and Early Clinical Development to generate biomarker and patient enrichment hypotheses to enable efficient decision making in early clinical trials. They are optimally positioned to complement the world-class translational expertise, biology and leading academic research centers in the area.

Emma brings a wealth of experience to BMS from both East Coast and West Coast; she started her industry career at DNAX Research Institute/Schering-Plough in Palo Alto, CA where she was responsible for building and leading the Oncology Research Group. She quickly assumed responsibility for the Immunology team and was responsible for operationalizing one discovery unit.

Emma moved to Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research (NIBR) as Site Head and Vice President of Oncology in Emeryville, CA. She was responsible for building and leading a world-class research group to identify novel oncology small molecule and antibody drug targets, development of appropriate assays for therapeutic discovery, management of projects’ progression through preclinical research and interface with the preclinical and clinical development. In 2014, she moved to NIBR in Cambridge, MA as Vice President of Oncology Biotherapeutics where she was responsible for the design, development, strategy and implementation of the biologics oncology portfolio. Her most recent role was at Jounce Therapeutics a small immuno-oncology company based in Cambridge, MA where as the Head of Research, she had oversight of all discovery and translational research to support clinical programs and was involved in all business aspects of the company.

Emma holds a Ph.D. from Imperial Cancer Research Fund, London England and performed post-doctoral work for Cold Spring Harbor labs and Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center.


Stefan Ries, Global Head of External Innovation, Oncology at Roche

Global Head of External Innovation, Roche, Pharma Research & Early Development Oncology

Stefan is a biochemist by training and received his PhD from the University of Regensburg, Germany. After his postdoctoral training with Dr. Frank McCormick at the NCI-designated Cancer Cancer of the University of California, San Francisco, he returned to Germany, and joined MediGene, a Munich-based biotech company, where he advanced the development of an oncolytic HSV therapy for glioblastoma into the clinic.

In 2005, Stefan joined Roche at the Roche Innovation Center Munich. Initially being responsible for the development of clinical biomarkers for Roche’s IGF1R cancer program, he held multiple scientific and leadership positions with increasing responsibilities since then. In his current role, Stefan heads the global pRED Oncology External Innovation unit. His organization is accountable for all activities related to the identification and scientific as well as strategic evaluation of external project opportunities to complement pRED’s portfolio. Together with Roche Partnering, Stefan’s team drives the licensing and acquisition activities of novel program opportunities for Roche, pRED Oncology.

Examples of recent deals comprise the research collaboration with Blueprint Medicines on novel immunokinases, the collaboration with C4 Therapeutics on protein degraders as well as the acquisitions of Tusk Therapeutics (CD25 antibody to deplete regulatory T cells in clinical phase 1) and Ignyta (NTRK/Ros inhibitor, initially in clinical phase 2 and recently approved).

Wendy Winckler, Chief Scientific Officer at Glympse Bio

Wendy Winckler is an experienced leader in applying innovative technologies to diagnose and characterize disease and drug response. She is currently the CSO and Head of R&D for Glympse Bio, developing noninvasive biosensors to measure disease progression and drug response in vivo. Prior to joining Glympse she was the Executive Director and founder of the Next Generation Diagnostics group at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, applying cutting edge technologies such as liquid biopsy and tumor sequencing to characterize the molecular alterations in patient tumors and understand how these genetic changes correlate with response to therapy. Previously, Dr. Winckler was the Director of the Genetic Analysis Platform at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, co-principal investigator of the NIH Genotype-Tissue Expression program, and lead biologist for The Cancer Genome Atlas pilot. Dr. Winckler earned a B.S. in microbiology and molecular genetics from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Ph.D. in genetics from Harvard University.

Rick Gregory, Associate Director, Translational Medicine at Takeda

Rick Gregory is an Associate Director of Translational Sciences supporting the early clinical phase immune-oncology portfolio at Takeda which he joined in 2018. Prior to joining Takeda, he worked for more than 13 years at Genzyme and Sanofi leading multiple discovery efforts in fibrosis, cardiovascular disease, oncology and leading efforts to develop and support the immune-oncology strategy. He led and supported multiple assets that advanced to clinical studies. He established and maintained multiple academic and industry collaborations. He received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Microbiology and Molecular Biology and B.S. in Biology from Penn State University and was a post-doctoral fellow at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School.

Our webinar will be hosted on YouTube Live. Registrants will receive the link in an email shortly before broadcast.