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2017 Featured Talks » Patient Advocacy Panel Discussion: What Does Real Time Translation Mean for Patients?


Andrew Pollack

Panel Members:

  • Ezra Cohen, MD
    UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center
  • Tom Marsilje, PhD
    Patient Advocate
  • Stephen Schoenberger, PhD
    La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology, Human Longevity Inc.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Andrew Pollack

Andy Pollack covered the business and science of biotechnology and medicine from The New York Times from January 2000 through September 2016, when he retired.

He joined The New York Times in 1981, covering computers and telecommunications, after three years at The Dallas Times-Herald. He previously covered technology and other business while based in San Francisco from 1985 to 1992, Tokyo from 1992 to 1997 and Los Angeles from 1997 to 2000.

Pollack earned a bachelor's degree from Princeton and a master’s degree in civil and environmental engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Ezra Cohen, MD
Professor of Medicine
Associate Director, Translational Science
UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center

Dr. Ezra Cohen is the Associate Director of the Moores Cancer Center where he heads the Solid Tumor Therapeutics program. Dr. Cohen is also a Professor of Medicine at UC San Diego Health where he specializes in Head and Neck Cancer and Immunotherapy and is recognized as an expert on novel cancer therapies. He earned his medical degree from the University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, completing his residencies in family medicine at the University of Toronto and in internal medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Dr. Cohen completed his hematology/oncology fellowship at the University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine where he was named chief fellow. Prior to joining UC San Diego Health System, he was the co-director of the Head and Neck Cancer Program at the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Cohen is a board-certified oncologist and cancer researcher.

Tom Marsilje, PhD
Patient Advocate

Dr. Tom Marsilje is a 20-year oncology drug discovery scientist including being a co-inventor of the lung cancer drug “ceritinib”. He is a co-author on 25 scientific publications and is co-inventor of 19 Issued US Patents. He is also diagnosed with “currently incurable” stage IV colon cancer. He works with many different CRC patient advocacy organizations in order to increase CRC patient empowerment and education on the CRC clinical trial landscape. Advocacy highlights include helping to create and run the COLONTOWN CLINIC CRC Clinical Trial online community recently featured on NBC Evening News with Lester Holt and MSNBC and the release of a MSS-CRC curated clinical trial finder in both web & phone app formats. As a prolific writer, he writes a personal blog on life at the intersection of being both a cancer patient and researcher with readership in 140 countries “Adventures in Living Terminally Optimistic”, a science column for Fight Colorectal Cancer "The Currently Incurable Scientist", is a regular columnist on Stage IV life and issues for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Stephen Shoenberger, PhD
Professor, Division of Cellular Immnology
La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology,
Head of Cancer Vaccines, Human Longevity Inc.

Dr. Schoenberger is a Professor in the Laboratory of Cellular Immunology and Chair of LIAI’s Center for the Immunobiology of Cancer, as well as an Adjunct Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology and Oncology at the UCSD Moores Cancer Center. He received his Ph.D. in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics from UCLA in 1993 and completed postdoctoral training in Immunohematology and Tumor Immunology at the University of Leiden in The Netherlands. Dr. Schoenberger was appointed to LIAI’s faculty in 1998 as an Assistant Professor, was promoted to Associate Professor in 2002, gained Tenure in 2005, and became a Professor in 2007. He is a recipient of Scholar Awards from both the American Cancer Society and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and is on the editorial advisory board of the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

Dr. Schoenberger is a leader in the immunobiology of CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses with particular expertise on the generation and maintenance of immune memory by these subsets and in the key role of antigen-presenting cells (APC) in mediating antigen-specific tolerance versus immunity. His research has revealed a new mechanism for how CD4+ T cells provide the ‘help’ necessary for optimal CD8+ T cell responses via APC activation and his laboratory was the first to demonstrate the role of T cell programming in guiding the development of CD8+ T cells. More recently, he has sought to translate his laboratory’s insights into T cell and APC biology for the personalized immunotherapy of cancer based on patient-specific tumor neoantigens in work that will lead to clinical trials at the Moores Cancer Center planned for later in 2016.