Mark your calendars for Wednesday, June 8th from 12-5 pm: this year’s Director’s Career Symposium is coming!
This half-day hybrid symposium will feature three speakers from a variety of career paths: Industry (Big Pharma), Industry (Biotech), and Academic (Research).
Moderated by Dr. John P. Morris IV.
|12:00 – 1:00 pm||Lunch for In-Person Attendees|
|1:00 – 1:30 pm||Melinda D. Willard, PhD, Research Fellow Clinical, Loxo Oncology at Lilly|
|1:35 – 2:05 pm||Christina G. Towers, PhD, Assistant Professor, Molecular and Cell Biology Laboratory, Salk Institute for Biological Sciences|
|2:10 – 2:40 pm||Danielle R. Cook, PhD, Director of Immuno-Oncology, RootPath|
|2:45 – 3:15 pm||Questions/ Discussion|
|3:30 – 4:30 pm||Breakout Sessions (In-Person Attendees)|
A look at our speakers:
Melinda D. Willard, PhD, Research Fellow Clinical, Loxo Oncology at Lilly
Dr. Willard received her BA in Cellular Neuroscience in 2000 at Colgate University. She then completed her PhD in Pharmacology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill under the mentorship of Dr. David Siderovski. She then completed postdoctoral training at Discovery Oncology, Eli Lilly in Indianapolis, IN. Over the course of her career at Eli Lilly, she worked her way up to Senior Clinical Research Scientist before transferring to Loxo Oncology at Lilly during the first year of the pandemic. Dr. Willard is now a clinical research fellow for the Medical Early Phase Development group. Among her activities include the clinical evaluation of inhibitors for KRASG12C mutant cancer.
Christina G. Towers, PhD, Assistant Professor, Molecular and Cell Biology Laboratory, Salk Institute for Biological Sciences
Dr. Towers completed her PhD in Pharmacology at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus with Dr. Heide Ford. She went on to pursue her postdoctoral studies also at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Dr. Andrew Thorburn’s lab. In 2021, Dr. Towers joined The Salk Institute for Biological Studies as an Assistant Professor. Her work focuses on understanding how cancer cells can adapt to the loss of core metabolic processes, in particular autophagy. She is using fundamental cell biology to understand non-canonical mechanisms of autophagy and leveraging these new discoveries to improve the clinical use of autophagy inhibition. She is the recipient of the K99/R00 transition award from the National Cancer Institute.
Danielle R. Cook, PhD, Director of Immuno-Oncology, RootPath
Dr. Cook received her B.S. in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley in 2005, and her PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with Dr. Channing J. Der in 2013. She was then a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania investigating the interactions of tumor-killing CAR T cells with the tumor microenvironment and endogenous immune system. She then continued her postdoctoral training at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center with Dr. Kevin Haigis where she focused on identifying new mutant KRAS vulnerabilities. Prior to joining RootPath in Boston, MA, she was a senior scientist at Intellia Therapeutics in Cambridge, MA, where she used ex vivo CRISPR applications to enhance the efficacy of engineered cell therapies. Danielle Cook joined RootPath in 2020 and currently serves as Director of Immuno-Oncology.