Eric Lightcap is a passionate and accomplished scientist with 24 years of experience in oncology and immuno-oncology drug discovery. As a leader managing biochemists, cell biologists, computational biologists and bioinformaticians, he has a successful history of applying mechanistic studies to highly novel therapies, leveraging insights from functional and correlative genomics and proteomics with in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo studies, to inform the translation of multiple oncology assets into the clinic. These efforts led to the exploration of diverse and unexpected biology. In particular, his exploration of the mechanism of action for Velcade resulted in an appreciation of the role of the integrated stress response, especially endoplasmic reticulum stress, in sensitive models.
He has worked on both small molecule and antibody teams and served on phase 1 clinical teams for the successful development and application of pharmacodynamic and predictive biomarkers, including for Velcade (clinical pathway engagement biomarker), pevonedistat (mechanism of action leading to the clinical exploration of carboplatin combination and validation of ERCC1 as a predictive biomarker of combination benefit), TAK-676 (clinical pathway engagement biomarker) and TAK-981 (characterization as an innate immune stimulator).
Eric received a B.S. in Biochemistry with Honors from Indiana University, Bloomington; a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison; and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Northwestern University, Evanston. Eric began his work in oncology at ProScript, a small biotech company where he first worked on Velcade and neddylation, and through acquisitions transitioned to LeukoSite, Millennium, and Takeda.