Oncology Board of Advisors
Keith T. Flaherty, MD, is Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Director of the Termeer Center for Targeted Therapy and Director of Clinical Research at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, where he was named as the Richard Saltonstall Endowed Chair in Oncology. The goal of Dr. Flaherty’s research is to understand the molecular and clinical consequences of inhibiting oncogenes and oncogenic pathways in melanoma, while establishing individual therapeutic approaches and constructing rational combinatorial therapies. A pioneer in developing targeted therapies matched to the genetic characteristics of a patient’s tumor, Dr. Flaherty led early clinical trials on the development of vemurafenib and trametinib and the dabrafenib/trametinib combination. He has authored or co-authored nearly 200 peer reviewed primary research reports and review articles. Dr. Flaherty serves as the Editor-in-Chief of Clinical Cancer Research and is an active member of the American Association for Cancer Research. He is the principal investigator of the NCI MATCH trial, the first NCI-sponsored trial assigning patients to targeted therapy independent of tumor type on the basis of DNA sequencing detection of oncogenes. He is also the Deputy Chair for Biomarker Sciences and the Chair of the Developmental Therapeutics Committee in the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group, a Scientific Advisory Committee member for the Melanoma Research Foundation and President of the Society for Melanoma Research.
Dr. Kirkwood is Usher Professor of Medicine, Dermatology, and Translational Science at the University of Pittsburgh and Senior Investigator for the University in ECOG-ACRIN. He served as founding Associate Director for Medical Oncology of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) and was Chief of Medical Oncology until 1996. Dr. Kirkwood has directed the Melanoma Center of the UPCI and is the PI of the recently renewed Pittsburgh SPORE in Melanoma and Skin Cancer. He holds a T32 Training Grant for Melanoma and Skin Cancer and his research focuses upon the immunotherapy and molecular therapy of melanoma and its precursors. He is Chairman of the Melanoma Committee of ECOG-ACRIN and is Chairman of the International Melanoma Working Group founded with the Aim at Melanoma. Dr. Kirkwood completed his MD at Yale University and postgraduate work at Yale-New Haven Hospital and Harvard University/Dana-Farber Cancer Center. He directed the Yale Melanoma Unit before moving to Pittsburgh.
Dr. Lotze is Professor of Surgery, Immunology, and Bioengineering as well as Senior Advisor to UPMC Enterprises, Immunotransplant and Therapy Center at the University of Pittsburgh. Previously, he served as founding director of the Division of Surgical Oncology, Co-leader of Biologic Therapy and Gene Therapy in its Cancer Institute; vice chair of research in the department of surgery; and assistant vice chancellor in the university’s six schools of health sciences. He was also director of strategic partnerships within the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and the Catalyst Program in the Clinical and Translational Research Institute. Dr. Lotze previously held senior scientific and research positions at GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals (Vice President), Metacine, Inc. (CMO and CSO) and Lion/Iovance as CSO. Dr. Lotze is Past President of the current Society for the Immunotherapy of Cancer, Director of the Centers of Excellence for the Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies, Co-founder of the Translational Research Cancer Center Consortium and the Translational Research in Mitochondria, Aging, and Disease Symposia (with Penn and Penn State), as well as the International DAMPs and HMGB1 Symposia. Dr. Lotze received his MD and BMed Sciences from Northwestern University and he is an inventor of ten patents in dendritic cell vaccines and antigen discovery and has authored over 500 scientific papers and over ten books.
Dr. Speiser is head of Clinical Tumor Biology and Immunotherapy group, dedicated to Investigator-Initiated Trials at the Department of Oncology and Ludwig Cancer Research Center, University of Lausanne, Switzerland. His focus is identifying and exploring drugs that contribute to therapeutic tumor-antigen specific human T cell responses through clinical studies representing a step-by-step development towards more efficient cancer immunotherapy. He received his medical training in internal medicine with specialization in clinical immunology and oncology at the University of Zürich, Switzerland and specialized in experimental infectious and tumor immunology in the lab of Rolf M. Zinkernagel (then future Nobel Laureate). Moving to the University of Toronto, Dr. Speiser’s research established that T cells in cancer have a molecular and functional setting termed “exhaustion,” providing new therapeutic insights. Returning to Europe, he joined Ludwig Cancer Research and the Department of Oncology in Lausanne, where he leads a team that optimizes cancer therapies and combinations of therapies with the aim to enhance immune and clinical responses. Dr. Speiser promotes academic bio-medical progress at local, national and international levels. His goal is to advance clinical research to support progress in medicine, in the framework of dedicated programs for integrated personalized diagnosis and therapy.