Professor Jan Vermorken
Professor Jan Vermorken served on the medical staff of oncology, at the University Hospital Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and is Emeritus Professor of Oncology at the University of Antwerp and past head of the Department of Medical Oncology at the Antwerp University Hospital in Edegem, Belgium, where he still works as a consultant. His main field of interest is in gynecological and head & neck oncology. In addition, he coordinated large clinical trials in breast and colon cancer, including the OncoVAX®’s Phase III trial. His main research areas concern early clinical and pharmacological studies with new drugs, studies on the interaction of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, HPV in various malignancies and immunological approaches. Dr. Vermorken is a member of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) Gynecological Cancer Group (GCG) and the EORTC Head and Neck Cancer Group (HNCG). He chaired the EORTC-GCG from 1983 to 1989 and the EORTC-HNCG from 2006 to 2009. He is still an active member with both groups. He is an officer for ESMO, was a member of the ESMO executive committee during the time that he chaired the ESMO National Representative Committee (1991 – 1996) and the ESMO Education Committee (1996 – 2002) and is a prominent member of the ESMO faculty. He is also a member of the International Gynecological Cancer Society (IGCS), was founding chair of the Gynecological Cancer Intergroup (GCIG) and was Chairman of the Belgian Association of Cancer Research (BACR) from 2003 to 2011, now still being part of its board. Dr. Vermorken is a member of six editorial boards of international journals, reviewer of 13 cancer journals and author or co-author of more than 500 publications in international journals. Dr. Vermorken has been Editor-in-Chief of Annals of Oncology from January 2009 until January 2014. In 2013 he received the title of Commander in the Order of Leopold for his contributions to oncology.
Professor Andrew Hughes
Professor Andrew Hughes is strategy director of the experimental cancer medicine team at The Christie. This role involves overseeing the clinical contribution to Phase 1 cancer clinical trials and a strategic growth of the research by up to 10 fold over the next 5 years. Previous to that he was Global VP of early clinical development at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals leading over 50 research and early clinical development programmes of novel candidate drugs. He graduated with double first in medical sciences at Cambridge, spending 3 years as a Tutor in Physiology and Bye-fellow of Downing College, Cambridge, whilst completing a PhD in behavioural neuroendocrinology in the Dept. of Anatomy. He subsequently practised general clinical medicine in Manchester’s teaching hospitals in the UK, joining Zeneca in 1994 from being a registrar in Cardiology. Within industry, he has had responsibilities on the corporate pain control drug development board and in setting the limits of human exposure based on existing pre-clinical and clinical data for all development products. Since 2001 he has been accountable for the early phase clinical development of AstraZeneca’s oncology compounds, and has been clinical investigator on over 200 clinical trials. He is approved by the Resuscitation Council (UK) as a director in Advanced Cardiac Life Support, and regularly teaches health professionals in ACLS. During 2002-3 he served on the board of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine, UK; and has the responsibility for the clinical pharmacology revision module for those physicians sitting the Diploma of Pharmaceutical Medicine. He is a former member of the board of NCRI, on the editorial committee for Annals of Oncology and on the Steering Committee for the FDA Biomarkers Consortium. In 2006, he was appointed to a chair of Translational medicine at the University of Manchester, UK. He serves on CRUK’s Biomarkers evaluation research panel, New Agents Committee and Clinical Research Committee and the NIHR EME programme. Professor Hughes serves as a board member of PCI Biotech from May 2018.
Professor Kristian Berg
Professor Kristian Berg is Head of Department of Radiation Biology, Institute for Cancer Research, Oslo University Hospital, since 2010. He graduated as biochemist in 1985 at the University of Oslo where he obtained his doctoral degree (dr.philos) in experimental photomedicine in 1990. He has 30 years of experience in experimental and preclinical research within the field photodynamic therapy (PDT). He has a broad background in developing technologies from the bench via preclinical animal-based studies to the clinic and has contributed to establish two companies currently listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange with 2 products approved for clinical use and several in pipeline. Professor Berg is an inventor of Photochemical Internalisation (PCI). He has received several prices such as Claude Rimingtons memorial prize, Pater-Leander-Fischer prize by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Lasermedizin, Kendric C. Smith Innovation Lecture Award and European Society for Photobiology Award for Excellence in Photobiological Research. He is also an appointed Member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters from 2014. He has been President of the European Society for Photobiology (2007-2009), visiting professor at the Medical Faculty, University of Wroclaw, Poland, and professor at School of Pharmacy, University of Oslo from 2009. Professor Berg has published more than 200 papers, mainly in peer reviewed journals and is co-inventor of 8 patents.
Professor Kjetil Taskén
Dr. Taskén holds an MD and a PhD degree from University of Oslo (UiO) and is authorised to practice as a physician in Norway. Dr. Taskén is Professor of Medicine at UiO since 2001, has published some 275 peer-reviewed scientific papers (cited more than 10,000 times, h-index 55) and is an inventor of more than 15 patent families. His current research is in immune regulation, tumour immune evasion mechanisms and cancer cell signalling. He has also established the Norwegian chemical biology initiative, the academic HTS screening platform at UiO and started cancer drug sensitivity screening for future implementation in precision medicine pipelines. Dr. Taskén won the Anders Jahre Medical Award for Younger Scientists in 2002 (Nordic Prize), was elected to the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters in 2005 and won the King Olav V’s Prize for Cancer Research in 2016 (life achievement award by the Norwegian Cancer Society). He was Director of the Biotechnology Centre of Oslo, UiO, from 2003 to 2016 and founded Centre for Molecular Medicine Norway, Nordic EMBL Partnership, UiO, where he served as the Director from 2008 to 2018. From January 2018, Professor Taskén holds the position as Head and Director of the Institute for Cancer Research (ICR) of Oslo University Hospital. He serves on several scientific advisory boards and holds a number of commissions of trust and was recently appointed to the EU/EFPIA Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) Scientific Committee. Dr. Taskén was also co-founder and Board member of Lauras AS, where he was VP R&D for almost 10 years and has been involved with several other biotech start-up companies. He has previously served as Board member of Biomedical Innovation AS and siRNAsense AS. Dr. Taskén was a Board member of PCI Biotech Holding ASA from 2008 to 2018. From 2018 he serves as a member of the PCI Biotech Scientific Advisory Committee.
Professor Sjoerd van der Burg
Professor Sjoerd van der Burg is the Head of laboratory at the Department of Medical Oncology, Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), The Netherlands. Dr van der Burg received his PhD for his thesis on Identification and evaluation of cytotoxic T-cell epitopes in HIV-1 and tumour-associated proteins at Leiden University. In 2003 he was appointed as staff member at the department of Immunohematology of the LUMC and assistant professor, Leiden University, and was promoted to full professor in 2010. His research focus is on immunotherapy in oncology, including cancer vaccines, aiming at developing new treatments of solid tumours. With a translational approach, Dr van der Burg’s research spans from preclinical studies and methodological development to clinical trials and collaborative initiatives with special focus on human T-cell response against tumour-specific and associated antigens, as well as the various neoplasia related immunological host-tumour aspects associated with the functionality of novel immunotherapeutic approaches.
Professor van der Burg has participated in several international collaborations on a variety of projects around HPV-specific humoral and cellular immunity induced by natural infection or by vaccination. He is leading the Experimental Cancer Immunology and Therapy group, and is a Member of the permanent Science Committee (VCW) of the LUMC and the Steering Committee of the “Cancer Pathogenesis and Therapy” program. Professor van der Burg is Advisor for the immunomonitoring of spontaneous and immune therapy induced immune responses at the Dutch Cancer Institute, and a member of numerous international advisory committees and societies including American and European societies for immunology or cancer (AACR, C-IMT, ESMO) and the International Papillomavirus Society.