01.21.21 | news
HiberCell Expands Scientific Advisory Board with Appointment of Lisa M. Coussens, Ph.D., and Ronald Wek, Ph.D.
– Distinguished scientists will advise on the company’s expanding and differentiated preclinical and clinical pipeline of therapies targeting the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment and adaptive stress biology
NEW YORK, January 21, 2021 — HiberCell, a biotechnology company dedicated to overcoming foundational barriers that prevent patients from living longer, cancer-free lives, today announced the appointments of Lisa M. Coussens, Ph.D., and Ronald Wek, Ph.D., to its scientific advisory board.
“We’re thrilled to welcome such distinguished scientists to our advisory board,” said Alan C. Rigby, Ph.D., co-founder and chief executive officer of HiberCell. “Dr. Coussens is a world-renowned cancer biologist with a foundational understanding of the immune cell architecture and its contribution to the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment, a key barrier that our clinical assets hope to address and overcome. Dr. Wek continues to be at the forefront of the adaptive stress biology field with profound expertise in the role of key integrated stress response pathways. Both offer necessary key insights as we drive our programs into and through the clinic.”
Dr. Coussens is chair of the Department of Cell, Developmental and Cancer Biology and associate director for Basic Research at the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Sciences University. She holds the Hildegard Lamfrom Endowed Chair in Basic Science. Her research focuses on dissecting the roles of normal immune cells in regulating various facets of solid tumor development, identifying leukocyte activities that are co-opted by early tumors to support ongoing cancer development, and in understanding the role leukocytes play in regulating responses to cytotoxic, targeted and immune-based therapies. Utilizing mouse models of mesothelioma, as well as cutaneous, head and neck, pancreas and mammary cancers, her research has identified critical immune-regulated pathways for therapeutic targeting that are being clinically translated in combination with chemotherapy in women with metastatic triple negative breast cancer, pancreas cancer and head and neck squamous cancer. Dr. Coussens has published over 175 research articles, reviews and commentaries, garnering over 44,000 citations within this research space. Dr. Coussens earned a Ph.D. in biological chemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at University of California, San Francisco in Dr. Douglas Hanahan’s laboratory.
Dr. Wek is the Showalter Professor of Biochemistry at Indiana University School of Medicine. For nearly 30 years, he has led a research laboratory at the university that focuses on cell stress response pathways, gene expression changes and the connectivity between the two in health and disease. He is internationally recognized for his research on eIF2 phosphorylation and its role in translational control as an output to stress-induced cellular adaptation, including perturbations in the endoplasmic reticulum and/or nutritional deprivation. Given that multiple eIF2 kinases respond to unique stress conditions differentially, this pathway is referred to as the integrated stress response. Dr. Wek has published over 130 research articles, reviews and commentaries, garnering over 12,000 citations within this research space. Dr. Wek received his Ph.D. from University of California, Irvine where he trained in molecular genetics and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health with Dr. Alan Hinnebusch.
HiberCell is dedicated to developing therapeutic molecules that overcome foundational scientific barriers that prevent patients from living longer, cancer-free lives. The company views cancer as a chronic disease and is working to develop therapies that address the most common cause of cancer mortality: relapse and metastasis. To that end, HiberCell is developing therapies focused on modulating stress mediated adaptive biology and on reprogramming the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment given their critical role in cancer recurrence and metastatic disease.