Get to Know Our CTO – Alison Moore, Ph.D.
April 9, 2020
Alison Moore, Ph.D.
Chief Technical Officer
What was your first job?
My dad was a pharmacist. He had an old-fashioned community pharmacy store and I would work for him in the summer. I helped him restock items in the back, where the pharmacy was. I also served customers who would come in for shampoo and other toiletries but working in the back with my dad was my favorite.
After my Ph.D., I did a visiting post doc fellowship at medical university in Germany. I was looking at intracellular calcium signaling in human thyroid cells to evaluate the TSH receptor signaling pathway.
Why did you join Allogene?
I was fortunate enough to work with Amgen for 20 years, and I feel very lucky to have had the experiences I had there. I decided to leave after I realized I’d worked for the same company for such a long period of time. I wanted to be exposed to more biotech and to a different environment.
Once I hit the 20-year mark, I started researching emerging technology companies. I was very drawn to cell therapy because I’m a cell biologist. I felt cell therapy combined my experience and my roots in cell biology. Coincidentally, David reached out to me about the Allogene opportunity, and once we spoke, I knew I had found my new home. I had no reservations. I still don’t.
What is your favorite Allogene moment so far?
The day we got our first IND approved. That was my favorite day because putting an IND together requires so much work – so much fresh writing, so much collaboration from teams across the organization. When we received clearance for the IND to proceed, I felt we received our first validation as a company for all the work we had done together, on our own. I was so proud when it was cleared.
What are you most proud of in your career?
I’ve had the opportunity to play a part in several product launches. One of the most challenging launches is also the one I’m most proud of, the Repatha launch. I was proud of the giant BLA because it incorporated such forward-thinking science. Quality science will always be what makes me the proudest. This was a compilation of years’ worth of work across hundreds of people. I loved seeing the incredible coordination of work and the quality of the science.
Who is your greatest inspiration (personally or professionally)?
My father, who introduced me to medicines and where they come from, and who remained the same good natured man through terminal lung cancer; my sister, who, as a nurse, demonstrated exceptional compassion for all human circumstances; and the armies of non-executive staff in the field of biotechnology, who, through hard work and belief, are in pursuit of new learnings which collectively enable the future of medicine.
What is your hope for the future of cancer treatment?
My hope for cancer therapy is that, with a diagnosis in the future, there is a simple, one-time treatment that offers a cure. That instead of buying time, treatments restore life. That’s my hope.