Scientific Advisory Board

Darrell Irvine, PhD
Chairman

Darrell Irvine, PhD, is a co-founder of Torque and Chairman of Torque’s Scientific Advisory Board. He is a Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He also serves on the steering committee of the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, and Harvard. Dr. Irvine’s research is focused on the application of engineering tools to problems in cellular immunology and the development of new materials for vaccine and drug delivery. Current efforts are focused on problems related to vaccine development for HIV and immunotherapy of cancer. This terdisciplinary work has been recognized in numerous awards, including a Beckman Young Investigator award, an NSF CAREER award, selection for Technology Review’s “TR35,” and election as a Fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. Dr. Irvine is the author of more than 70 publications, reviews, and book chapters and an inventor on numerous patents. He holds a BS in Engineering Physics from the University of Pittsburgh and a PhD in Polymer Science from MIT.

Catherine M. Bollard, MD, MBChB
Catherine M. Bollard, MD, MBChB, is Professor of Pediatrics and Immunology at The George Washington University and the Chief of the Division of Allergy and Immunology at Children’s National, Washington DC. She is a distinguished hematologist and immunotherapist, a member of the Division of the Blood and Marrow Transplantation, and the Principal Investigator and Co-Director of the Immunology Initiative of the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation at Children’s National Health System. Prior to Children’s National, Dr. Bollard was at the Baylor College of Medicine, where she was a tenured Professor in the Department of Pediatrics. Prior to that, she served as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Texas Children’s Hospital. Dr. Bollard received her medical degree from Otago University Medical School in New Zealand.

Malcolm Brenner, MD, PhD
Malcolm Brenner, MD, PhD, is Founding Director of the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), Texas Children’s Hospital and The Methodist Hospital. He is a Distinguished Service professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and of Medicine at BCM. Dr. Brenner’s clinical research interests span many aspects of stem cell transplantation, using genetic manipulation of cultured cells to obtain therapeutic effects. Efforts in Dr. Brenner’s laboratory to analyze the cell of origin when relapse occurs in patients with acute myelogenous leukemia led his team to be the first to label autologous bone marrow cells genetically after purging, prior to being reintroduced to the patient. His group recently pioneered the first clinical use of a new safety switch for cellular therapy. He has won many awards for his work, including the ASGCT Outstanding Achievement Award and the American Society of Hematology Mentor Award. Dr. Brenner received his medical degree and subsequent PhD from Cambridge University, England.

Marcela Maus, MD, PhD
Marcela Maus, MD, PhD, is Assistant Professor, Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Director of Cellular Immunotherapy, Cancer Center, Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Maus’ laboratory focuses on creating next-generation CAR T cells (chimeric antigen receptor T cells). Prior to Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Maus was an Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, where she was the Director of Translational Medicine and Early Clinical Development, Translational Research Program. Her postdoctoral laboratory and clinical research with Carl June and Michel Sadelain focused on the creation and clinical testing of novel T cell immunotherapies. She completed residency training in internal medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Health System and completed fellowship training in Hematology and Medical Oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Dr. Maus completed undergraduate studies at MIT and her MD and PhD at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dane Wittrup, PhD
Dane Wittrup, PhD, is the C.P. Dubbs Professor of Chemical Engineering and Biological Engineering at MIT and Associate Director of MIT’s Koch Institute. In 2012, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering. He was also elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2011. Dr. Wittrup is co-founder and acting Chief Scientific Officer at Adimab and is a fellow of the American Institute of Biomedical Engineers. He has also served as the J. W. Westwater Professor of Chemical Engineering, Biophysics, and Bioengineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He previously worked as a postdoctoral research associate in Amgen’s Yeast Molecular Biology Group. Dr. Wittrup holds a PhD and MS in Chemical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology and a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of New Mexico.

Cassian Yee, MD
Cassian Yee, MD, is Clinical Oncologist and Professor in the Departments of Melanoma Medical Oncology and Immunology, Director of Solid Tumor Cell Therapy, and Co-Director of the Adoptive Cellular Therapy Platform at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Yee’s research over the past 20 years has focused on developing immune-based therapies for the treatment of patients with cancer. His specialty, in the area of adoptive cellular therapy, involves the isolation of rare tumor antigen-specific T cells from the peripheral blood, manipulation of immune modulating factors to enhance their effector function and in vivo persistence, and expansion to numbers sufficient for adoptive transfer. He is an elected member of the American Society of Clinical Investigators, recipient of Clinical Translational Scientist Award from Burroughs Wellcome Fund, CPRIT Clinical Investigator award, and co-Leader of the Stand Up to Cancer—American Association for Cancer Research / Cancer Research Institute Immunotherapy Dream Team. Dr. Yee completed his medical degree in Canada followed by an internal medicine residency at Stanford before going on to an oncology fellowship at the University of Washington. He ascended to the position of Professor at the University of Washington and Full Member at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Peter Zandstra, PhD
Peter Zandstra, PhD, is a Professor at the University of Toronto’s Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering and at the Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research. He is also a Professor at the University of British Colombia (UBC) in the Departments of Medical Genetics and Chemical Engineering and Biological Engineering. Research in the Zandstra Laboratory is focused on the generation of functional cells and tissues from adult and pluripotent stem cells. Dr. Zandstra is the Canada Research Chair in Stem Cell Bioengineering and is a recipient of a number of awards, including the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and the Till and McCulloch Award. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the Royal Society of Canada (Science). In addition to his academic roles, Peter is the Chief Scientific Officer at the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM) and Chief Technology Officer at ExCellThera, a clinical-stage company focusing on the development of stem cell-based therapies for leukemia and other blood diseases. Dr. Zandstra graduated with a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering degree from McGill University, obtained his PhD from UBC in Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, and continued his research training as a Postdoctoral Fellow in Biological Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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