Pauling Biotech Symposium Speakers
MIT Faculty Club, Cambridge, MA, USA

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This is a preliminary list of speakers from Publicly Held Cytokine Companies. More will be added soon.

Publicly Held Cytokine Companies
Linda Burkly, PhD Biogen
Meena Subramanyam, PhD Biogen
Martin Scott, PhD Biogen
Matthew Cooper, PhD Biogen
Richard L. Cate, PhD Biogen
Dinah W. Sah, PhD Biogen
Akshay K. Vaishnaw, MD, MRCP, PhD Biogen
Marianne T. Sweetser, MD, PhD Biogen
Diane Pennica, PhD Genentech
Hans-Peter Gerber, PhD Genentech
Thomas D. Wu, MD, PhD Genentech
Andrew Chan, MD, PhD Genentech
Grace Wong, PhD ActoKine Therapeutics

Linda Burkly, PhD
Linda Burkly PhD, Distinguished Investigator, Biogen

Dr. Burkly's tenure at Biogen has been characterized by her project initiation, leadership, scientific excellence and creative invention. She has made significant contributions through her investigation of potential drug targets and role in product advancement. Her important contributions are in the fields of AIDS, transplantation, autoimmune diseases (diabetes, lupus, hemophilia), immunology, integrins, cytokines, TNF family, angiogenesis and hedgehog biology.

One of her project was outlicensed to Tanox where it is currently in preclinical/clinical development. Her responsibilities shifted in 1997 to Lead Scientist on Anti-CD40L mAb (hu5C8) Development. She helped support Phase 1 and Phase 2 testing of a hu5C8 and managed preclinical studies of hu5C8 in renal and islet allotransplantation, diabetes, hemophilia, and atherosclerosis. She also has specific scientific interests in several areas including the TNF family and VLA-4/integrins which play a key role for many diseases including inflammatory, autoimmune disorders and multiple myeloma.

Recently, Dr. Burkly has been championing the TWEAK Project at Biogen collaborating with Dr. Jeff Browning. She holds a BS in biology from Fairfield University and a PhD in immunology from Tufts University. She did a Postdoctoral Fellow with Dr. Richard Flavell in Yale University from 1985-1988. She has published 78 papers (including Nature, Science & Cell) and filed 12 patents (4 issued). She has received many honors and awards and she was frequently invited to give seminars at many international conferences.
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Meena Subramanyam PhD, Director, Biogen

Presentation Title: Biological Characterization of Drugs

Dr. Meena Subramanyam is the Director of the Clinical Science & Technology Division (CST) at Biogen, Inc., in Cambridge, Massachusetts. As Director of CST, Dr. Subramanyam facilitates the establishment of scientific, operational and strategic directions for the group. Her group provides leadership in the application of scientific knowledge and technology in the biological characterization of drugs in Non-clinical & Clinical Development. The department is involved in developing bioassays to provide a better understanding of the mode of action and structure/bioactivity relationship of drugs to support process and formulation development. The group also develops and validates assays to understand PK/dose profile, antigenicity and ability of drugs to bind appropriate target receptor/protein.

In addition, the group develops and validates biomarker assays using expression profiling and protein profiling technologies to monitor efficacy as well as the toxicology/safety profile of drugs in Non-Clinical & Clinical Development. Prior to joining Biogen, Inc., Dr. Subramanyam served as Associate Director of the Experimental Therapeutics Department at Ares Advanced Technology of the Ares-Serono group in Randolph, Massachusetts. Dr. Subramanyam received her Ph.D. degree in Microbiology from Miami University at Oxford, Ohio in 1990 and did her post-doctoral training at the Tufts University School of Medicine in the Department of Pathology. Dr. Subramanyam is a featured speaker at many National and International Drug Development Conferences and has several scientific publications to her credit.
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Martin Scott PhD, Principal Scientist, Biogen

Dr. Scott is a Principal Scientist at Biogen, where he has worked since 1999, initially as a Senior Scientist. Dr. Scott holds a BA from Harvard College and MD and PhD degrees from Stanford University. Dr. Scott worked with Dr. Henry Kaplan and Dr. Irving Weissman at Stanford on the molecular cloning of primate retroviruses and characterization of murine radiation and virus-induced tumors. After completing an internal medicine residency in 1989,

Dr. Scott did a postdoc with Nobel prize winner, Dr. David Baltimore, at MIT and Rockefeller University, where he performed research on Rel-related transcription factors, retroviral gene transfer systems and targeted manipulation in embryonic stem cells. Much of Dr. Scott's work at Biogen has focused on B-cell development and function (BAFF signaling pathway) and studies of RNAi in vivo. In addition, he is head of the directed mouse genetics facility at Biogen. Coauthored with his colleagues, his recent Nature Genetics paper* on inhibiting gene function with RNAi is of particular note. Dr. Scott has published >30 papers and two patents.

* "A lentivirus-based system to functionally silence genes in primary mammalian cells, stem cells and transgenic mice by RNA interference." Nature Genet 33: 401-406 (2003).
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Matthew Cooper PhD, Scientist, Biogen

Dr. Matthew Cooper is a scientist in the Biomarker Development Group at Biogen. Dr. Cooper joined Biogen in early 2001 and served through 2002 as a preclinical toxicologist, designing and conducting preclinical safety evaluations of drug candidates. He then joined the Clinical Science and Technology Department to assist in creating the Biomarker Development Group at Biogen. Dr. Cooper employs Affymetrix microarray and Real Time PCR technologies to investigate non-clinical and clinical MOA and develop biomarkers of efficacy and toxicity. He is also responsible for implementing transcription-profiling analysis as part of preclinical drug safety evaluations.

Prior to joining Biogen, Dr. Cooper earned a PhD in toxicology at the University of Kentucky's Graduate Center for Toxicology where his research focused on expression of human P450 monooxygenases in bacteria for use in the Ames mutagenicity assay. He has also worked as a toxicology consultant for such companies as Merrill Lynch, Procter & Gamble, Dow Corning and Sun Oil. Dr. Cooper has several scientific publications to his credit.
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Richard L. Cate PhD, Director of Molecular Genetics, Biogen

Dr. Cate has worked at Biogen since 1986. He holds a BA in chemistry from Hofstra University, NY, and a PhD in biochemistry from Kansas State University. At Kansas State, he worked in the laboratory of Dr. Thomas Roche on the regulation of pyruvate dehydrogenase. His postdoctoral work under Nobel laureate, Dr. Walter Gilbert, focused on the regulation of the rat insulin genes.

Dr. Cate was a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard working under Nobel laureate, Dr. Walter Gilbert focusing on the regulation of the rat insulin genes. Dr. Cate's initial work at Biogen centered on the cloning and characterization of the human genes for lipocortin, factor VIII, and Mullerian inhibiting substance (MIS). He also developed a quantitative PCR assay for HIV provirus and methods for chemiluminescent detection of DNA and protein along with generating CHO cell lines expressing IFN-b.

As head of Molecular Genetics Dr. Cate supervised the isolation of genes for the MIS receptor and co-receptors for the tyrosine kinase receptor RET. His group used a genomics approach to identify genes upregulated in the kidney after ischemic injury. As Director, Dr. Cate has supervised a project to evaluate agonists of the RET pathway in the treatment of neurodegenerative disease.He has also initiated a new genomics effort at Biogen. He has authored numerous research papers and reviews.
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Dinah W. Sah, PhD

Dinah W. Sah PhD, Associate Director of Neurobiology, Biogen

Dr. Dinah Sah received her PhD in 1987 from the Department of Neurobiology at Harvard University, where her graduate work focused on electrophysiological, biochemical and immunocytochemical characterization of peripheral neuronal cultures in response to different growth conditions.

Her post-doctoral research also at the Department of Neurobiology at Harvard University was on calcium channel pharmacology and modulation, using patch-clamp methods. From 1993-1999, she oversaw and coordinated neuroscience projects at Signal Pharmaceuticals (now Celgene), including development and application of immortalization technology to human neuronal cells, and major corporate collaborations with Roche Bioscience and Nippon Kayaku. In 1999, she joined Biogen, where she currently heads neurobiology research.

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Akshay K. Vaishnaw, MD, MRCP, PhD

Akshay K. Vaishnaw MD, MRCP, PhD, Biogen

Akshay K. Vaishnaw, MD, MRCP, PhD, Biogen Dr. Vaishnaw is a respected and well-known authority in rheumatology and immunology. He has held positions in several medical institutions in the UK and US, including the University of Cambridge School of Medicine, the Royal Postgraduate Medical School, London, and the Cornell University Medical Center, NYC. After 7 years of lupus research in those academic institutions, he is now Senior Director of Medical Research at Biogen, Inc. located in Cambridge, Massachusetts where he is devoted to the discovery and development of drugs to benefit patients with autoimmune diseases, including psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, scleroderma and lupus. Dr. Vaishnaw is also a prominent and active member of numerous professional organizations and he is on the boards of the Lupus Foundation and the American College of Rheumatology. He has the ability to address a variety of audiences, and has published in prestigious journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine as well as patient magazines such as the Lupus Newsletter.

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Marianne T. Sweetser, MD, PhD

Marianne T. Sweetser MD, PhD, Assoc. Director, Medical Research, Biogen

Title: Amevive targets memory T cells in psoriasis and other autoimmune disorders

Dr. Marianne Sweetser works at Biogen in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She is dedicated into helping to bring current advances in immunology to the bedside to benefit patients with autoimmune diseases such as psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and lupus.

Dr. Sweetser’s career in immunology started at Stanford University, where she earned a BS with honors in Medical Microbiology and an MS in Biological Sciences. In 1990, she received an MD and a PhD in Immunology from Washington University in St. Louis. She completed her residency in pediatrics at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics. She completed fellowships in pediatric immunology with a focus on primary immunodeficiency, laboratory diagnostic immunology, and allergy and immunology at the University of Washington in Seattle. She is certified by the American Board of Allergy & Immunology. After serving on the faculty at the University of Washington, she started working at Biogen in 2002. Dr. Sweetser has interests in the areas of antigen presentation, cytokine gene expression, lymphocyte signaling, primary immunodeficiency and gene therapy.

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Diane Pennica, PhD

Diane Pennica PhD, Senior Scientist, Molecular Oncology Department, Genentech.

Dr. Pennica is well known for cloning cytokines and has over 20 years of biotech industry experience. Dr. Pennica, together with Dr. Bill Kohr, Dr. David Goeddel and Dr. Gordon Vehar, made a very important heart attack drug (tissue plasminogen activator t-PA, Activase) for Genentech.

She received her PhD from the University of Rhode Island and did her postdoctoral work at the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology in Nutley, NJ. She has been working at Genentech since 1980 cloning many proteins, including t-PA, TNF, p53, WISP-1 and cardiotrophin. Dr. Pennica has published 95 papers and filed 36 (20 issued) US patents.

She was awarded (with Drs. Goeddel, Kohr and Vehar) the Inventor of the Year Award from the Intellectual Property Owners Foundation (1989) for the recombinant t-PA patent. She was also nominated for the Lemelson-MIT Prize for Inventors in 1996.

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Hans-Peter Gerber, PhD

Hans-Peter Gerber PhD, Senior Scientist, Genentech, Inc.

Title: Avastin (Bevacizumab) prolongs survival in first-line colorectal cancer

Dr. Hans-Peter Gerber received an MS in Biochemistry and a PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Zurich, Switzerland. He joined Genentech in 1995 as a visiting scientist and studied the effects of inhibition of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibition in murine models. He is now a research discovery scientist, and has spent the past 6 years studying the mechanisms involved in regulating blood vessel formation in pathologic conditions such as tumor growth. Dr Gerber is a member of the team reviewing preclinical and clinical data from trials conducted with Avastin.

VEGF is one of the most critical growth factors that mediate angiogenesis and a variety of therapeutic strategies are being developed to target VEGF or its receptors in the treatment of cancer. These include monoclonal antibodies and small molecule inhibitors of receptor tyrosine kinases. Several inhibitors did not exhibit any dose-limiting toxicity in early-phase clinical trials. Bevacizumab has shown promising efficacy in phase II/III studies, including the phase III colorectal cancer trial in combination with standard chemotherapy, where Avastin prolonged patient survival by an average of 4.7 months. Thus, the findings from preclinical and clinical studies validate VEGF as a target for cancer treatment.

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Thomas D. Wu, MD, PhD

Thomas D. Wu MD, PhD, Senior Bioinformatics Scientist, Genentech

Title: Tumor-specific and tissue-specific genes in the human genome

Dr. Wu has worked for Genentech since 1999 as a group leader in gene expression informatics. In this role, he has developed computational methods and tools for analyzing microarray data on gene expression to identify drug targets for further research and development. His group also provides informatics support to the Company’s microarray laboratories in the areas of image processing, database design and maintenance, and software development.

Prior to working at Genentech, Dr. Wu obtained his undergraduate degree from Stanford University, with a dual major in biological sciences and electrical engineering. He subsequently obtained a Master's degree from Stanford in electrical engineering, with a concentration inon statistical signal processing. In 1992 he received an MD from Harvard Medical School and a PhD in computer science from MIT. His doctoral research was in the area of medical informatics, specifically in the development of algorithms to support clinical diagnosis. It earned him an award from MIT for the best departmental dissertation.

Dr Wu completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at Stanford, with certification from the American Board of Internal Medicine. He then began his research in bioinformatics as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Biochemistry at Stanford. During his postdoctoral training, he helped to develop the functional genomics tools EMOTIF and EMATRIX. He also developed methods for the prediction of gene structure and for the superposition of multiple protein structures.

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Andrew Chan, MD, PhD

Andrew Chan MD, PhD, VP Research, Head of Immmunology, Genentech

Andrew Chan joined Genentech in 2001 as senior director of Immunology. In July 2003, Chan was promoted to vice president, Research-Immunology. In this role, he supervises Genentech's immunology research program for the treatment of immune-mediated and inflammatory disorders. Chan's laboratory is currently working on defining the role of B-cells in autoimmune disease and understanding the mechanisms of action of anti-CD20 and other B-cell modulatory therapies.

Prior to joining Genentech, Chan was an associate professor in the Division of Rheumatology and the Departments of Medicine, Pathology and Immunology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, where he was also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) associate investigator.

Chan received his bachelor's and master's degrees in chemistry from Northwestern University, and his medical degree and doctorate in cellular and developmental biology from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at Barnes Hospital at Washington University School of Medicine before becoming a postdoctoral clinical and research fellow at the University of California, San Francisco.

Chan is a frequent lecturer and has authored or co-authored more than 50 scientific articles.

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Grace Wong, PhD

Grace Wong PhD, Founder & CSO of ActoKine Therapeutics, Founder of Student Vision

Presentation Title: New Therapeutic Indications of Cytokines in Cancer, CNS and Viral diseases

Dr. Grace Wong has worked for Genentech, Millennium, AstraZeneca and Serono on new drug discovery in a variety of therapeutic areas. Dr. Wong did a PhD at The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Australia. In the US, Dr. Wong did a postdoc with Dr. David Goeddel at Genentech and she advanced basic research discoveries to product development in 1993. In 1996, Dr. Wong became the Head of Apoptosis Research at Millennium Pharmaceuticals and identified potential drug resistance genes using functional genomics.

In 1998, she joined AstraZeneca as Section Head of Molecular Genetics and identified potential genes for Alzheimer's disease. Since AstraZeneca was moving to Delaware, Dr. Wong joined Serono in 1999 as Head of Functional Genomics and Director of Cytokine Genomics. She created 17 unique cDNA libraries for discovery of new cytokine genes and discovered several novel functions of cytokines for obesity and women's health. She has been awarded 13 scholarships and received 5 Recognition Awards from Genentech. She was invited to present at 139 international conferences including the Nobel Symposium (Sweden, 1994). She has published 87 papers and filed 27 patents (11 issued). Seven of her publications (3 Nature, 1 Science, and 3 Cell) have received over 500 citations.

Dr. Wong has founded Actokine Therapeutics ( which will focus on (1) drug rescue (2) drug indication switch and (3) drug advancements for biodefense projects (radioprotection against dirty bomb and protection against a broad spectrum of virus). She has also founded Student Vision for helping the growth of students of all ages in biotech science (

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If you would like to be involved with the 2006 Pauling Symposium please email Dr. Grace Wong at

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