- This event has passed.
2022 ITCMS Director’s Career Symposium
June 8 @ 12:00 pm - 4:30 pmFree!
This half-day hybrid symposium will feature three speakers from a variety of career paths: Industry (Big Pharma), Industry (Biotech), and Academic (Research).
|12:00 – 1:00 pm||Lunch for In-Person Attendees|
|1:00 – 1:30 pm||Christina G. Towers, PhD, Assistant Professor, Molecular and Cell Biology Laboratory, Salk Institute for Biological Sciences|
|1:35 – 2:05 pm||Danielle R. Cook, PhD, Director of Immuno-Oncology, RootPath|
|2:10 – 2:40 pm||Melinda D. Willard, PhD, Research Fellow Clinical, Loxo Oncology at Lilly|
|2:45 – 3:15 pm||Questions/ Discussion|
|3:30 – 4:30 pm||Breakout Sessions (In-Person Attendees)|
A look at our speakers:
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 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 Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the laboratory of Dr. Channing Der. She trained as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania with Dr. Carl June and Dr. Laura Johnson where she investigated CAR T cell specific killing and interactions with the tumor microenvironment and endogenous immune system. Next, she trained at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center with Dr. Kevin Haigis where she used in vivo CRISPR screens to find new drug targets for KRAS mutant malignancies. In 2018 she transitioned into industry at Intellia Therapeutics, where she worked on ex vivo CRISPR applications for next generation T cell therapies to treat solid tumors. In January 2020, she joined RootPath and now serves as Director of Immuno-Oncology where she leads the personalized TCR discovery and antigen identification programs.
Melinda D. Willard, PhD, Research Fellow Clinical, Loxo Oncology at Lilly
Dr. Willard completed her Ph.D. studies in Pharmacology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in the laboratory of Dr. David Siderovski. She then completed her postdoctoral training at Eli Lilly and Company in Oncology Discovery and Translational Science Genetics. In 2011, Dr. Willard joined Eli Lilly as a Research Scientist in Cancer Genetics and NGS, Tailored Therapeutics/Oncology Tailoring, before transitioning in 2015 into clinical research as a Senior Clinical Research Scientist in the Oncology Business Unit – Patient Tailoring & Global Strategy Planning / Oncology Genomics and Bioinformatics. In 2018, Dr. Willard joined Medical Early Phase Development and is now a Research Fellow Clinical at Loxo Oncology at Lilly where she applies her precision medicine experience as the medical lead for multiple early phase oncology programs.