Position title: Associate Dean for Therapeutics Development, SMPH
Website: Lab Website
3009 WIMR, 1111 Highland Ave, Madison, WI 53705
Immunology/Immunopathology and Caner Biology
MD, University of Montreal
My laboratory research is focused on cell and biological therapy of cancer and immune ailments. We are also exploring the utility of mesenchymal stromal cells for regenerative medicine, immune modulation and for delivery of therapeutic proteins for treatment of acquired and hereditary diseases.
Following medical training, Hematology/Oncology Fellowship and postdoctoral research highlighted above, I secured in 1997 a position as Project Director at the Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research (McGill University), concurrent to a clinical position as Staff Hematologist at the Montreal Jewish General Hospital. Whilst in Canada, I developed a line of investigation investigating the cell physiology and translational use of adult stem cells, mesenchymal stem cells in particular for treatment of autoimmune ailments in pre-clinical animal models such as EAE. I established a GMP-compliant cell therapy core at McGill University which was funded by the National Centers of Excellence Canadian Stem Cell Network where I was also appointed as Therapeutic Theme Leader and remain a scientific advisory Board Member. In October 2009, I joined Emory University’ Departments of Hematology/Medical Oncology & Pediatrics as a Tenured Professor and was given the mandate of developing first-in-human translational studies exploring the use of adult stem cells as a cellular pharmaceutical. I established the Emory Personalized Immunotherapy Center at Emory that enabled a series of investigator-initiated trials in advanced mesenchymal stromal cell therapies. As of September 1st 2016, I have relocated to University of Wisconsin in Madison as Associate Dean for Therapeutics Discovery and Development and the inaugural director of the UW Program for Advanced Cell Therapy [PACT, www.pact.wisc.edu ] which is focused on translational development of cell therapeutics and drug discovery. I have since sponsored more than five on-going investigator-initiated IND/IDEs in cellular immunotherapy and regenerative medicine.
As my publication record shows, I have created a line of investigation, which seeks to investigate and develop the use of mesenchymal stromal cells, and engineered cytokines (aka fusokines) to alter the immune response. I have published extensively on murine and human cell therapy spanning cell biochemistry, physiology, immunology, genetic engineering and translational use in pre-clinical disease models and I have sponsored multiple FDA INDs to enable first-in-human clinical trials. I have extensive experience collaborating with multidisciplinary scientists, specifically in the areas of biology and translational medicine. As part of this proposal, I intend to bring this translational experience to bear and strive to reduce to clinical practice cell technologies curative for unmet medical needs and secure new FDA CBER IND sponsored clinical trials.