Scientific Advisors

Our Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) is comprised of an accomplished group of scientific leaders who are experts in the fields of oncology, immunology and drug discovery and development. They are providing strategic and scientific advice to our management team to guide the development of our investigational AlloCAR TTM therapies for blood cancers and solid tumors.

Scientific Advisors

Ton Schumacher, Ph.D. serves as Senior Member at the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam and Professor of Immunotechnology at Leiden University Medical Center. He completed his Ph.D. at The Netherlands Cancer Institute where he studied the interactions of MHC class I molecules with antigenic peptides in the laboratory of Dr. Hidde Ploegh. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship in Dr. Ploegh’s lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he joined the group of Dr. Peter Kim at the Whitehead Institute in Cambridge, Mass. Ton later returned to the Netherlands Cancer Institute to study the development of tumor-specific T cell immunity through biotechnological approaches. Ton is a recipient of, among others, the Amsterdam Inventor Award, Queen Wilhelmina Cancer Research Award, San Salvatore Award, Meyenburg Cancer Research Award, and William B. Coley Award, and is founder of three biotechnology companies in the area of immuno-oncology.

Donald B. Kohn, M.D., is Professor of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics (MIMG) and Pediatrics, Director of the UCLA Human Gene and Stem Cell Therapy Program, and a member of the Broad Stem Cell Research Center and the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. He received a B.S in biology and an M.S. in microbiology from the University of Illinois-Urbana and an M.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Donald completed a pediatric internship and residency at the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and a medical staff fellowship in the Metabolism Branch of the National Cancer Institute. He was at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, USC Keck School of Medicine for 21 years, where he rose to the rank of professor and served as Head of the Division of Research Immunology/Bone Marrow Transplantation. Donald previously served as President of the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy and the Clinical Immunology Society. Donald is the recipient of an Elizabeth Glaser Scientist Award from the Pediatric AIDS Foundation, a Distinguished Clinical Scientist Award from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Consortium (PBMTC) Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dr. Brenner is the Fayez Sarofim Distinguished Service Professor at Baylor College of Medicine and founding director of the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy at the Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children’s Hospital, and Houston Methodist Hospital. As a professor at Baylor College of Medicine, Dr. Brenner’s expertise spans cell and gene therapy, molecular and human genetics, pediatrics, and translational biology & molecular medicine. His primary research interest is the use of gene transfer to augment the immune response to human tumors, using vaccines and adoptive transfer of genetically modified T cells. Dr. Brenner is also member of the National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Brenner holds a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge, a M.B.Ch.B. from Westminster Medical College, and a B.S. from the University of Cambridge.

Matthew Porteus, M.D., Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics in the Department of Pediatrics, Divisions of Hematology/Oncology and Human Gene Therapy at Stanford University School of Medicine. He completed his combined M.D./Ph.D. at Stanford, with his Ph.D. focused on understanding the molecular basis of mammalian forebrain development. After completing his dual degree program, Matthew completed an internship and residency in pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital and a pediatric hematology/oncology fellowship in the combined Boston Children’s Hospital/Dana Farber Cancer Institute program. For his fellowship and postdoctoral research, he worked with Nobel Laureate Dr. David Baltimore at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Caltech where he began his studies in developing homologous recombination as a strategy to correct disease-causing mutations in stem cells as definitive and curative therapy for children with genetic diseases of the blood, particularly sickle cell disease. Following his training with Dr. Baltimore, Matthew took an independent faculty position at UT Southwestern in the Departments of Pediatrics and Biochemistry before returning to Stanford as an Associate Professor.

Owen Witte, M.D. is a University Professor of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics, and Molecular and Medical Pharmacology at UCLA, where he holds the President’s Chair in Developmental Immunology at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine. For 30 years, he was also an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Dr. Witte is also a member of the National Academy of Science and National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Witte currently serves on the Board of Directors of Allogene and previously served on the Board of Directors and the Scientific Advisory Board of Kite Pharma. He completed his postdoctoral research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Cancer Research, working in the lab of Nobel Laureate Dr. David Baltimore. Dr. Witte also completed predoctoral research training in the lab of Dr. Irving Weissman while a medical student at Stanford University. He received his B.S. with highest honors in microbiology from Cornell University and his M.D. from Stanford University.

Robert Abraham, Ph.D., is Senior Vice President and Group Head, Oncology R&D Group for Pfizer Worldwide Research and Development (WRD). Bob serves as a standing member of the WRD leadership team, and founded and directs the Pfizer WRD Postdoc Training Program. Prior to these roles, Bob served in Wyeth Research as Vice President of Oncology Research, one of the five therapeutic areas in Wyeth Discovery Research. Prior to joining Wyeth, Bob was a Professor at the Sanford-Burnham Institute for Medical Research (SBIMR) in La Jolla, Calif. He was the founding Director of the Signal Transduction Research Program and served as the Director of the SBIMR Cancer Research Center, successfully guiding the center to a renewal of its designation as one of nine National Cancer Institute-sponsored basic science centers in the United States. Bob retains an appointment as an Adjunct Professor at the SBIMR, together with an Adjunct Professor Appointment in Pharmacology at the University of California, San Diego. From 1998-2001, he was a Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology at the Duke University Medical Center and was the first recipient of the Glaxo-Wellcome Chair of Molecular Cancer Biology at Duke. He also served as Associate Director of Translational Research in the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center. Before his arrival at Duke University, Bob was at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., where he rose through the ranks to become a Professor in both the Department of Immunology and Department of Pharmacology. From 1997-1998, he also served as Director of Basic Sciences in the Mayo Comprehensive Cancer Center. Bob’s major research interests included characterization and functional analysis of the mammalian Target of Rapamycin signaling pathway, cancer metabolism, signal transduction mechanisms in T-lymphocytes, and molecular mechanisms underlying cellular responses to DNA damage. He holds several patents related to anticancer drug development. Bob received a B.S. in biology from Bucknell University and a Ph.D. in pharmacology from the University of Pittsburgh. He was a postdoctoral fellow in pharmacology and immunology at the Mayo Clinic. Bob is the author of more than 210 scientific publications and has served on and chaired grant review panels at the National Institutes of Health. He is a reviewer for many top journals, including Nature, Science and Cell. He has received several awards for his scientific contributions, including the Legacy Laureate Award as an outstanding alumnus of the University of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Forman is the Francis & Kathleen McNamara Distinguished Chair in Hematology and Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation and leader of the Hematologic Malignancies and Stem Cell Transplantation Institute and Director of the T Cell Therapeutics Research Laboratory at the City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center. An expert in leukemia, lymphoma and bone marrow transplantation, Dr. Forman has served at City of Hope for more than 40 years, deeply involved with the translational and clinical research at City of Hope’s Toni Stephenson Lymphoma Center, Center for CAR T Cell Therapy, Judy and Bernard Briskin Center for Multiple Myeloma Research and the Gehr Family Center for Leukemia Research. Dr. Forman was recognized by the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation as the 2019 E. Donnall Thomas Lecturer, and awarded the 2019 DKMS Mechtild Harf Science Award. Dr. Forman holds an M.D. from the University of Southern California and a B.A. from St. John’s College.

Wendell Lim is the Byers Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology at the University of California San Francisco, and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He received his A.B. in Chemistry, summa cum laude, from Harvard College, his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Biophysics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and completed his postdoctoral training at Yale University. His research focuses on the design principles of molecular circuits that govern cell decision-making and responses. His lab has made contributions in understanding the molecular machinery of cell signaling and how molecular modules have been used in evolution to build novel new behaviors. Most recently he has been a pioneer in the emerging field of synthetic biology, exploring how these design principles can be harnessed to engineer cells with customized therapeutic response programs. He is an author of the textbook, Cell Signaling (Garland Science 2014) and was the founder of the cell therapy biotech startup, Cell Design Labs, which was acquired by Gilead Sciences in 2017.

Ton Schumacher, Ph.D. serves as Senior Member at the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam and Professor of Immunotechnology at Leiden University Medical Center. He completed his Ph.D. at The Netherlands Cancer Institute where he studied the interactions of MHC class I molecules with antigenic peptides in the laboratory of Dr. Hidde Ploegh. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship in Dr. Ploegh’s lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he joined the group of Dr. Peter Kim at the Whitehead Institute in Cambridge, Mass. Ton later returned to the Netherlands Cancer Institute to study the development of tumor-specific T cell immunity through biotechnological approaches. Ton is a recipient of, among others, the Amsterdam Inventor Award, Queen Wilhelmina Cancer Research Award, San Salvatore Award, Meyenburg Cancer Research Award, and William B. Coley Award, and is founder of three biotechnology companies in the area of immuno-oncology.

Donald B. Kohn, M.D., is Professor of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics (MIMG) and Pediatrics, Director of the UCLA Human Gene and Stem Cell Therapy Program, and a member of the Broad Stem Cell Research Center and the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. He received a B.S in biology and an M.S. in microbiology from the University of Illinois-Urbana and an M.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Donald completed a pediatric internship and residency at the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and a medical staff fellowship in the Metabolism Branch of the National Cancer Institute. He was at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, USC Keck School of Medicine for 21 years, where he rose to the rank of professor and served as Head of the Division of Research Immunology/Bone Marrow Transplantation. Donald previously served as President of the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy and the Clinical Immunology Society. Donald is the recipient of an Elizabeth Glaser Scientist Award from the Pediatric AIDS Foundation, a Distinguished Clinical Scientist Award from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Consortium (PBMTC) Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dr. Brenner is the Fayez Sarofim Distinguished Service Professor at Baylor College of Medicine and founding director of the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy at the Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children’s Hospital, and Houston Methodist Hospital. As a professor at Baylor College of Medicine, Dr. Brenner’s expertise spans cell and gene therapy, molecular and human genetics, pediatrics, and translational biology & molecular medicine. His primary research interest is the use of gene transfer to augment the immune response to human tumors, using vaccines and adoptive transfer of genetically modified T cells. Dr. Brenner is also member of the National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Brenner holds a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge, a M.B.Ch.B. from Westminster Medical College, and a B.S. from the University of Cambridge.

Matthew Porteus, M.D., Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics in the Department of Pediatrics, Divisions of Hematology/Oncology and Human Gene Therapy at Stanford University School of Medicine. He completed his combined M.D./Ph.D. at Stanford, with his Ph.D. focused on understanding the molecular basis of mammalian forebrain development. After completing his dual degree program, Matthew completed an internship and residency in pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital and a pediatric hematology/oncology fellowship in the combined Boston Children’s Hospital/Dana Farber Cancer Institute program. For his fellowship and postdoctoral research, he worked with Nobel Laureate Dr. David Baltimore at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Caltech where he began his studies in developing homologous recombination as a strategy to correct disease-causing mutations in stem cells as definitive and curative therapy for children with genetic diseases of the blood, particularly sickle cell disease. Following his training with Dr. Baltimore, Matthew took an independent faculty position at UT Southwestern in the Departments of Pediatrics and Biochemistry before returning to Stanford as an Associate Professor.

Owen Witte, M.D. is a University Professor of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics, and Molecular and Medical Pharmacology at UCLA, where he holds the President’s Chair in Developmental Immunology at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine. For 30 years, he was also an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Dr. Witte is also a member of the National Academy of Science and National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Witte currently serves on the Board of Directors of Allogene and previously served on the Board of Directors and the Scientific Advisory Board of Kite Pharma. He completed his postdoctoral research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Cancer Research, working in the lab of Nobel Laureate Dr. David Baltimore. Dr. Witte also completed predoctoral research training in the lab of Dr. Irving Weissman while a medical student at Stanford University. He received his B.S. with highest honors in microbiology from Cornell University and his M.D. from Stanford University.

Robert Abraham, Ph.D., is Senior Vice President and Group Head, Oncology R&D Group for Pfizer Worldwide Research and Development (WRD). Bob serves as a standing member of the WRD leadership team, and founded and directs the Pfizer WRD Postdoc Training Program. Prior to these roles, Bob served in Wyeth Research as Vice President of Oncology Research, one of the five therapeutic areas in Wyeth Discovery Research. Prior to joining Wyeth, Bob was a Professor at the Sanford-Burnham Institute for Medical Research (SBIMR) in La Jolla, Calif. He was the founding Director of the Signal Transduction Research Program and served as the Director of the SBIMR Cancer Research Center, successfully guiding the center to a renewal of its designation as one of nine National Cancer Institute-sponsored basic science centers in the United States. Bob retains an appointment as an Adjunct Professor at the SBIMR, together with an Adjunct Professor Appointment in Pharmacology at the University of California, San Diego. From 1998-2001, he was a Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology at the Duke University Medical Center and was the first recipient of the Glaxo-Wellcome Chair of Molecular Cancer Biology at Duke. He also served as Associate Director of Translational Research in the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center. Before his arrival at Duke University, Bob was at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., where he rose through the ranks to become a Professor in both the Department of Immunology and Department of Pharmacology. From 1997-1998, he also served as Director of Basic Sciences in the Mayo Comprehensive Cancer Center. Bob’s major research interests included characterization and functional analysis of the mammalian Target of Rapamycin signaling pathway, cancer metabolism, signal transduction mechanisms in T-lymphocytes, and molecular mechanisms underlying cellular responses to DNA damage. He holds several patents related to anticancer drug development. Bob received a B.S. in biology from Bucknell University and a Ph.D. in pharmacology from the University of Pittsburgh. He was a postdoctoral fellow in pharmacology and immunology at the Mayo Clinic. Bob is the author of more than 210 scientific publications and has served on and chaired grant review panels at the National Institutes of Health. He is a reviewer for many top journals, including Nature, Science and Cell. He has received several awards for his scientific contributions, including the Legacy Laureate Award as an outstanding alumnus of the University of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Forman is the Francis & Kathleen McNamara Distinguished Chair in Hematology and Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation and leader of the Hematologic Malignancies and Stem Cell Transplantation Institute and Director of the T Cell Therapeutics Research Laboratory at the City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center. An expert in leukemia, lymphoma and bone marrow transplantation, Dr. Forman has served at City of Hope for more than 40 years, deeply involved with the translational and clinical research at City of Hope’s Toni Stephenson Lymphoma Center, Center for CAR T Cell Therapy, Judy and Bernard Briskin Center for Multiple Myeloma Research and the Gehr Family Center for Leukemia Research. Dr. Forman was recognized by the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation as the 2019 E. Donnall Thomas Lecturer, and awarded the 2019 DKMS Mechtild Harf Science Award. Dr. Forman holds an M.D. from the University of Southern California and a B.A. from St. John’s College.

Wendell Lim is the Byers Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology at the University of California San Francisco, and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He received his A.B. in Chemistry, summa cum laude, from Harvard College, his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Biophysics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and completed his postdoctoral training at Yale University. His research focuses on the design principles of molecular circuits that govern cell decision-making and responses. His lab has made contributions in understanding the molecular machinery of cell signaling and how molecular modules have been used in evolution to build novel new behaviors. Most recently he has been a pioneer in the emerging field of synthetic biology, exploring how these design principles can be harnessed to engineer cells with customized therapeutic response programs. He is an author of the textbook, Cell Signaling (Garland Science 2014) and was the founder of the cell therapy biotech startup, Cell Design Labs, which was acquired by Gilead Sciences in 2017.