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Timothy A Yap MBBS MRCP PhD BSc(Hons) PgDip(Onc)

Dr. Yap is a Medical Oncologist and Physician-Scientist based at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and an Associate Professor in the Departments for Investigational Cancer Therapeutics and Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology. He also serves as the Medical Director of the Institute for Applied Cancer Science, and Associate Director of Translational Research in the Institute for Personalized Cancer Therapy. In 2005, Dr. Yap joined the Royal Marsden Hospital where he undertook a Clinical Fellowship in the Phase I Drug Development Unit, before completing a Ph.D in Molecular Pharmacology in the Division of Cancer Therapeutics at the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), London, UK, under a Cancer Research UK Fellowship.


Dr. Yap’s main research focuses on the first-in-human and combinatorial development of molecularly targeted agents and immunotherapies, and their acceleration through clinical studies using novel predictive and pharmacodynamic biomarkers. His main interests include the targeting of the DNA damage response with novel therapeutics, such as ATR and PARP inhibitors, as well as the development of novel immunotherapeutics. His laboratory interests include the development of tumors, circulating plasma DNA and circulating tumor cells as predictive biomarkers of response for novel targeted agents and immunotherapies in clinical trials.


Dr. Yap gained his BSc degree with First Class Honors in Immunology and Infectious Diseases at Imperial College London, UK, and was awarded the Huggett Memorial Prize. He went on to attain a medical degree from Imperial College London, UK, before completing general medical training in Oxford, UK. His Ph.D laboratory research focused on the preclinical and clinical development of AKT and ROCK inhibitors, and development of associated biomarkers. Dr. Yap completed his Medical Oncology Fellowship at the Royal Marsden Hospital and was awarded a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Academic Clinical Lectureship in Medical Oncology. He was subsequently appointed as Consultant Medical Oncologist and NIHR Biomedical Research Centre Clinician Scientist jointly in the Phase I Drug Development Unit, Lung Cancer Unit and Cancer Biomarkers Laboratory at the Royal Marsden Hospital and the ICR.

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Geoffrey I. Shapiro, MD, PhD

Dr. Shapiro is a Professor, Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Director, Early Drug Development Center, at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.  Dr. Shapiro conducts both basic and translational research on cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors. A major goal is to define the role of one of these inhibitors, p16ink4a in the cellular response to DNA damage. In addition, he directs both preclinical and clinical studies of several potent pharmacologic cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors. Several phase I trials are underway investigating these agents in patients with advanced solid tumors. The work involves the assessment of these drugs alone, as well as in combination with standard chemotherapy agents and signal transduction inhibitors.


Dr. Shapiro received his PhD in 1987 and his MD in 1988 from Cornell University, followed by postgraduate training in internal medicine at Beth Israel Hospital, Boston, where he served as chief medical resident.


He completed a fellowship in medical oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, during which he investigated the role of cell-cycle-related proteins in lung cancer. He joined the Dana-Farber faculty in 1994.

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Eric Brown, Ph.D

Dr. Brown is an Associate Professor of Cancer Biology at the University of Pennsylvania, and is an internationally recognized investigator in the field of DNA damage and repair. He is an author of many high impact papers that have been published in top tier journals such as Nature, Genes and Development, Cell Stem Cell and Nature Genetics.


Dr. Brown’s research laboratory focuses on the importance of replication stress responses in preserving genome integrity and preventing cancer and aging. Dr. Brown is studying how the ATR pathway counters replicative stress, how replication stress relates to the process of aging, and whether suppression of the ATR pathway can serve as an effective cancer treatment.

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Karen E. Knudsen, Ph.D

Dr. Knudsen is the Director of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center and the Hilary Koprowski Chair of the Department of Cancer Biology at Thomas Jefferson University. Dr. Knudsen’s research focuses on androgen receptor (AR) signaling in prostate cancer, to delineate the molecular mechanisms driving androgen dependence. Her research identifying tumor suppressor and hormone receptor alterations has revealed novel targets for treating this disease, leading to biomarker-driven clinical trials. Dr. Knudsen also has joint appointments in the Departments of Urology, Radiation Oncology and Medical Oncology. Additionally, she served as the first Vice Provost for Thomas Jefferson University, overseeing and integrating basic and clinical research across the colleges.

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Zvi Gregorio Fridlender M.D MSc


Prof. Fridlender is a physician and a scientist at the Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School in Jerusalem, Israel. He is a leader in the field of Immunology and Immunotherapy of lung cancer and mesothelioma. His work led to several key discoveries in tumor-immunology, mostly in lung cancer, and the characterization of the diversity and importance of neutrophils in cancer. Prof. Fridlender has published 67 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, mostly in tumor immunology and immunotherapy, including several highly-cited articles on the role of regulatory myeloid cells in cancer, especially neutrophils. In 2009 Prof. Fridlender published a groundbreaking article in the prestigious Cancer Cell journal, highlighting for the first time the unique plasticity of neutrophils in cancer. This paper was cited over 400 times, and has been described by the editors of cancer-cells as one of their landmark papers in their centennial issue. This article was followed by a series of articles on the role and diversity of tumor-related neutrophils. In a recent Cancer-Research review he introduced the term "immunosuppressive switch" as an important hallmark of cancer development.


As a physician, Prof. Fridlender is known as one of the leading Internal Medicine and Pulmonology physicians. He founded and led the Hadassah Center for COPD and smoking-related damages and serves as the General Secretary of the Israel Society of Pulmonary Medicine since 2013. In addition, Prof Fridlender serves on the managing committee of MYE-EUNITER – a European action on myeloid regulatory cells, and since 2015 as a member of the program committee of the American Thoracic Society.

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