Scientific and Clinical Advisory Board
Gary Acton, M.D.
Dr. Acton is a London based clinician providing oncology drug development advice, predominantly to US and European biotechnology companies. Twenty years of pharmaceutical experience have left him with wide ranging clinical, commercial and corporate capabilities. He has expertise in all stages of drug development and through into the marketplace. This includes successful US NDA and European MAA approvals. Dr. Acton has been involved in drug development programs for most solid and hematological malignant indications. He has worked in North American, European, and Japanese pharmaceutical companies. Dr. Acton has served at Board level in both private and publicly traded entities. He originally studied medicine at Oxford and London Universities. Prior to moving into the pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Acton obtained a number of post-graduate qualifications while undergoing general medical and oncology training at a variety of London teaching hospitals.
Roger B. Cohen, M.D.
Dr. Cohen is Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and Associate Director for Clinical Research for the Abramson Cancer Center. He is a graduate of Harvard Medical School and completed internal medicine and hematology training at Mount Sinai Hospital (NY) followed by research fellowships at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and National Institutes of Health and a medical oncology fellowship at the National Cancer Institute. He was a medical officer at the FDA Center for Biologics from 1989-1994 where he was Deputy Director, Division of Monoclonal Antibodies. Prior to his arrival at Penn, Dr. Cohen was Director of the Clinical Trials Office at the University of Virginia Cancer Center in Charlottesville and then Director of the Phase 1 Program at the Fox Chase Cancer Center where he also served as interim Medical Oncology Department Chair for more than 2 years. He is an active investigator on a number of first-in-humans clinical trials with research interests that focus on evaluation of novel therapies, including monoclonal antibodies, immune therapies, and small molecule cell-signaling pathway inhibitors. He primarily sees patients with lung and head and neck cancer.
Llew Keltner, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Keltner is Chief Executive Officer of EPISTAT, an international healthcare technology transfer, corporate risk management, and healthcare strategy company that he founded in 1972. Dr. Keltner was also formerly CEO of AgonOx, a biotech company developing OX40 agonists for use in cancer therapy, from 2011 to 2013. From 2010 to 2011, he was the President of Novici Biotech, a privately-held gene and protein optimization firm. Dr. Keltner also served as CEO and President of Light Sciences Oncology, a privately-held biotechnology company developing a late stage, light-activated therapy for hepatocellular cancer and other solid tumors, from 2001 to 2010. From 1997 to 2004, Dr. Keltner was CEO of Metastat, a development-stage biotech company focused on cancer metastasis. He serves as a board member for several companies, including Curetech, Infostat, BioQ Pharma, Oregon Life Sciences, Surgeon Training International, OncoSCAR and Goodwell Technologies. He is currently a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, American Medical Association, International Association of Tumor Marker Oncology, American Association of Clinical Chemistry, and Drug Information Association. Dr. Keltner received an M.S. in Epidemiology and Biostatistics, a Ph.D. in Biomedical Informatics, and an M.D. from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.
Robert B. Levy, Ph.D.
Robert B. Levy, Ph.D., is a member of the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine. He is a professor of Microbiology and Immunology, and Ophthalmology and Medicine, and previously served as graduate program chair for 19 years within the Microbiology and Immunology department.
Dr. Levy’s research has been focused on developing approaches to facilitate the success of hematopoietic stem (“bone marrow”) cell transplants (HSCT) by inhibiting graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), while promoting graft-versus-leukemia (GVL). His laboratory has generated a novel Treg expansion strategy via concomitant stimulation of both the TNFRFS25 and IL-2 receptors. Current studies involve the development of combinatorial protocols to inhibit activation of antigen-reactive T-cells; employing Treg cells, MEK pathway inhibitors and epigenetic transcriptional regulators; the regulation of innate immune sensors; and generating localized therapeutic modalities to treat ocular GVHD.
Dr. Levy has authored more than 130 original papers, contributed to book chapters, served on study review panels, and is currently associate editor for the journals, “Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation” and “Bone Marrow Research.” He was an American Cancer Society fellow and a senior staff fellow at the National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD. He received his M.Sc. and Ph.D. at Ohio State University, and his undergraduate degree from Muhlenberg College.
Robert Negrin, M.D.
Robert S. Negrin, M.D. is a professor of medicine and Division Chief of Blood and Marrow Transplantation at Stanford University. His research work focuses on cellular immunology; in particular, developing a more fundamental understanding of complex biological reactions, such as graft versus host (GVHD) and graft versus tumor (GFT) reactions within the clinic and in animal models.
Dr. Negrin is a member of the Association of American Physicians, and the founding editor of “Blood Advances.” Additionally, he has authored more than 225 original papers, 40 book chapters, as well as a book, and once served as associate editor of the journal, “Blood.” He is also the recipient of a number of awards, including the Doris Duke Distinguished Clinical Scientist Award. Previously, he was president of both the International Society of Cellular Therapy and the American Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation. Dr. Negrin received his M.D. from Harvard University, and trained in medicine and hematology at Stanford University, where he joined the faculty in 1990. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley.
Anthony Tolcher, M.D., FRCPC, FACP
Dr. Tolcher is a medical oncologist who has more than 25 years of early drug development and clinical trial experience and is currently a principal investigator for 20 Phase 1 clinical studies. He is a reviewer for the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Clinical Cancer Research and Annals of Oncology; and has chaired the Developmental Therapeutics Review Committee for the American Society for Clinical Oncology Annual Scientific Program. In addition, he is a member of more than 20 scientific advisory boards for both large and small pharmaceutical companies and serves as a board member for two biotechnology companies.
Dr. Tolcher has been involved in many of the initial Phase 1 studies of new agents that subsequently were FDA approved for the treatment of cancer. Some of these include pembrolizumab (Keytruda®), copanlisib (Aliqopa®), trastuzumab emtansine (Kadcyla®), regorafenib (Stivarga®), liposomal vincristine (Marqibo®), cabazitaxel (Jevtana®), carfilzomib (Kyprolis®), gefitinib (Iressa®), erlotinib (Tarceva®) and eribulin (Halaven®).
Dr. Tolcher is CEO and founder of NEXT Oncology, a San Antonio-based company focused on accelerating breakthrough medicines for cancer by developing and supporting Phase 1 clinical trial programs in oncology research. In 2007, Dr. Tolcher co-founded South Texas Accelerated Research Therapeutics (START), which operates one of the world’s largest Phase 1 and early drug development oncology programs. He served as president of the company until 2018.
Dr. Tolcher has over 100 peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals, such as Nature, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA), Journal of Clinical Oncology and Clinical Cancer Research, and he is an author of nine book chapters.