MAY 10, 2016 8:00 AM PDT

The art of war, unleashing the immune system to fight cancer

Speaker
  • Senior Principal Investigator and Director for Translational Immunology, Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology (IMCB)
    Biography
      Dr. Connolly is a Senior Principal Investigator and Director for Translational Immunology at the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology (IMCB). Additionally, Dr. Connolly serves as Program Director for the A*Star Program in Translational Research in Infectious Disease, a multi-disciplinary center focused on vaccine development. As a human immunologist, his research focuses on immunotherapy for cancer and target discovery for immune modulation. In 2010 Dr. Connolly moved to Singapore to establish the Program in Translational Immunology at A*Star (Agency for Science, Technology and Research) a national training and infrastructure program linking all of the hospitals in Singapore and dedicated to the analysis of human disease in this uniquely diverse population. Dr. Connolly is Adjunct Associate Professor of Immunology at Baylor University.

      Dr. Connolly received his Ph.D. in Immunology from Dartmouth Medical School and studied human dendritic cell biology under Dr. Michael Fanger. During this time he was involved in the development of immunotherapeutic preclinical models and clinical trials for Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). He moved to the Baylor Institute for Immunology Research, a fully translational research institute dedicated to rationally designed biologics, vaccines and cell therapy for cancer. Dr. Connolly served as the Director of Research Initiatives for the Baylor Research Institute, a large integrated translational research resource and multi-institutional programs that involved a number of international sites. During his tenure at Baylor, Dr. Connolly was the central core facility director of the NIAID Centers for Translational Research on Human Immunology and Biodefense, an NIH funded consortium of basic, translational research and clinical trials focused on vaccine design. Dr. Connolly is the past President of the Board of Directors of The American Cancer Society in N. Texas and founding Director of the Singapore Immunology Network's Immunomonitoring Platform.

    Abstract
    DATE: May 10th, 2016
    TIME:  8:00am Pacific time, 11:00am Eastern time


    Cancer is a complex, multifactorial disease that not only is a cause of major human suffering throughout history, but continues to represent an enormous burden to society. In most cases long term treatment remains elusive primarily because the underlying cause does not often lie in a single defect but rather large number of small effects arising from lifestyle, environment and underlying genetic predispositions. Recent advances in our understanding of the human immune system and cancer immune evasion have led to nothing less than a revolution in cancer treatment. The development of effective immune checkpoint inhibitors, and novel cell therapy strategies have resulted unprecedented responses across a number indications with dramatic increases in durable disease control and long term survival. We will discuss the evolution of our view of the immune system and highlight the breakthroughs which provide a framework to develop the next generation of cancer therapeutics

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