Get to Know Our CEO – David Chang, M.D., Ph.D.
September 11, 2019
David Chang, M.D., Ph.D.
President, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder
What was your first job?
I had a few jobs in high school, but my favorite—although short-lived—was working at Baskin Robbins, scooping ice cream. It took me about three working days to taste-test all the flavors, and I left after I had nothing left to sample.
My first full-time job was a university faculty job – I was an assistant professor at UCLA.
Why did you join Allogene?
I saw a tremendous opportunity for both patients and the field of cancer therapy.
What is your favorite Allogene moment so far?
I’ve enjoyed watching the Allogene team grow, especially now that we’re in our new headquarters and have many teams in one collaborative space. My favorite moment happens every day – it’s when I come into the office and see more and more new colleagues who are clearly excited about the work they are doing here.
What are you most proud of in your career?
Personally, I am most proud that my wife and I celebrated our 30-year wedding anniversary this year. That is my greatest accomplishment. Professionally, there are two – the first was unequivocally demonstrating that the wild-type KRAS is required for response to the EGFR mAb therapy in colorectal cancer and the second was seeing that 40% of patients with relapsed and refractory large B cell lymphoma have remained free of disease after a single infusion of KTE-C19, the autologous anti-CD19 CART therapy that became Yescarta.
Who is your greatest inspiration (personally or professionally)?
To me, this is a question that is more about who shapes my thinking and behavior. I have been fortunate to be around many amazing people. The list is long, but I would be remiss if I didn’t call out my parents, Phil Sharp, Dennis Slamon, Arie Belldegrun, and my wife Jane.
What is your hope for the future of cancer treatment?
My hope is that cancer is no longer a life-threatening disease.