Scientific Advisory Board

LeadArtis has involved a group of specialists as scientific advisors including experts in immune cell cytotoxic responses and extensive experience in cancer immunotherapy clinical trials sponsored by industry.
Luis Álvarez-Vallina, MD, PhD. Co-Founder and scientific advisor. Associate Professor at the Department of Engineering, Immunotherapy and Cell Engineering Laboratory, Aarhus University (Denmark). Luis attended Medical School at Oviedo University (Asturias, Spain) and completed a residency in Immunology at the Clínica Puerta de Hierro (Madrid). Luis earned a PhD in Immunology from the Autónoma University of Madrid (UAM) working on T cell development in the human thymus and spent four years at the Medical Research Council Centre for Protein Engineering (Cambridge, UK) where he worked with Robert E. Hawkins, Stephen J. Russell, and Greg Winter. His work contributed to the first generation of chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) with costimulatory domains. In 1998, he established his research group at the Hospital Universitario Puerta de Hierro (Madrid) focusing on the generation of multispecific antibodies for cancer immunotherapy. His experience includes generation of phage display platforms to select human recombinant antibodies in vivo in tumor-bearing mice (in vivo phage antibody display) and in vitro on complex antigen mixtures expressed on tumor cell surfaces (T lymphocyte display), and the development and preclinical testing of cancer immunotherapy strategies based on the adoptive transfer of genetically engineered cells secreting bispecific antibodies.
Ignacio Melero, MD, PhD. Attended Medical School at Navarra University (Pamplona, Spain). He completed a residency in Immunology at the Hospital Universitario de la Princesa (Madrid) and earned a PhD in immunology working on NK receptors. In 1994 he moved to Seattle (USA) where he worked with Karl E. Helström and Lieping Chen in tumor immunology. His work contributed to define immunological ignorance of tumor antigens and, more importantly, contributed decisively to T cell costimulation via CD137/4-1BB. These studies served to discover a potent therapeutic approach using immunostimulatory monoclonal antibodies in rodent models of cancer. In 1998 he returned to Navarra University where he now works at the Clínica Universitaria and at the CIMA research centre. He was appointed full professor of Immunology in 2004 and currently holds this position. Dr. Melero has extensive experience as a principal investigator in clinical trials of cancer immunotherapy both sponsored by industry and by the University of Navarra institutions.
Luis Paz-Ares, MD, PhD.  Chair of the Medical Oncology Department at the Hospital 12 de Octubre, Associate, Professor at the Universidad Complutense and Head of the Lung Cancer Unit at the CNIO (National Oncology Research Center) in Madrid, Spain. He graduated in Medicine and completed his PhD at the Universidad Autonoma Madrid (UAM). He was a postdoctoral ESMO Research Fellow in Medical Oncology at the Beatson Oncology Centre, University of Glasgow, Scotland; chair of the Medical Oncology Department at the Virgen del Rocío University Hospital in Seville, Head of the early clinical studies at the 12 de Octubre and Visiting Research Fellow at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, USA. Luis’s research focuses on lung cancer and new therapeutics; he has published over 200 articles in peer review journals, served as a member of several committees, including ASCO, ESMO, European Organisation of Cancer Protocol Review & the Spanish European Medicines Agency.
Francisco Sanchez-Madrid, PhD. Graduated in Science with honors from the University of Sevilla (Spain) earned a PhD working at the Center for Molecular Biology in Madrid (Spain); soon after, he joined Dr. Timothy A. Springer´s group at Harvard University (Boston, USA), where he studied the cytotoxic response of T lymphocytes and cell adhesion. In 1985, he joined the Immunology Department at the La Princesa University Hospital (Madrid) where currently is the director. Dr. Sanchez-Madrid is author of over 500 peer-reviewed journal articles and patents with seminal contributions in several immunology disciplines including molecular mechanisms that regulate immune cell migration and adhesion, polarization, activation as well as immunological synapse during the regulation of the immune and inflammatory response.
Dr. Sanchez-Madrid has been Managing Director of the Spanish Biomedicine Plan (2001-2005), president of the Spanish Health Research Foundation (FIS) Committee on Immunology and Infectious Diseases (1998-2000), member of the European Research Council (ERC) assessment panel (2007-2010), and scientific advisor of numerous Research Institutes. He is a full Professor and chair of Immunology at the Autónoma University of Madrid, a member of several editorial boards, and a full member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO). In January 2009, he was appointed scientific director of the Health Research Institute of the La Princesa University Hospital.
Laura Sanz Alcober, MD, PhD. Co-Founder of LeadArtis and a Senior Scientist at the Molecular Immunology Unit in the Hospital Universitario Puerta de Hierro (Madrid). Laura holds a degree in Medicine from the University of Zaragoza and a PhD from the Autónoma University of Madrid (UAM) and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Molecular Medicine Program in Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN, USA) where she specialized in gene transfer, antibody engineering and cancer immunotherapy. Laura has extensive experience with a strong background in Immunology. Over the past years her research group has been focus to identify novel targets and biomarkers of anti-angiogenic therapy.

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