Monday, April 8 | 4:00pm

Vision for How Immunotherapy Will Shape Future of Cancer Care

Leena Gandhi, MD, PhD, Vice President, Immuno-Oncology Medical Development, Lilly Oncology

Immunotherapy is considered by many as a pillar of cancer care today, but in many ways we have only scratched the surface. Our knowledge and understanding of the complexities of immunotherapy and its mechanisms continue to evolve. The future of cancer care will be defined by our ability to systematically identify and implement opportunities for combination therapy to improve and standardize patient response.


The Lassa Virus Glycoprotein: Stopping a Moving Target

Kathryn Hastie, PhD, Staff Scientist, Immunology and Microbiology, The Scripps Research Institute

Lassa virus causes ~5000 deaths from viral hemorrhagic fever every year in West Africa. The trimeric surface glycoprotein, termed GPC, is critical for infection, is the target for neutralizing antibodies, and a major component of vaccines. Structural analysis of Lassa GPC bound to antibodies from human survivors reveals a major Achilles heel for the virus and provides the needed template for development of immunotherapeutics and improved vaccines.


Dr. Gandhi graduated from the NYU School of Medicine and completed her residency at MGH, and fellowship at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) and MGH. She worked as a thoracic oncologist and phase I oncologist at DFCI and served as Director of Clinical Trials in the thoracic oncology program from 2013- 2016. She joined NYU Perlmutter Cancer Center as Associate Professor of Medicine and the Director of Thoracic Medical Oncology in 2016. She has worked on Phase 1, 2 and 3 trials of novel targeted therapies and immunotherapies in lung cancer, with a focus on evaluating potential biomarkers of response. She has been a lead investigator in clinical trials that helped define the use of PD-L1 as a biomarker of response to PD-1 inhibition in non-small cell lung cancer. Dr. Gandhi most recently served as the lead investigator on the KEYNOTE-189 study, establishing combination chemotherapy and immunotherapy a standard of care in initial treatment for most NSCLC. On June 25, 2018, Dr. Gandhi joined Lilly Oncology to lead immuno-oncology medical development.

Dr. Hastie studied Ecology and Environmental Biology, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She then joined Erica Ollmann Saphire’s group at The Scripps Research Institute and completed her graduate studies in October, 2011. As a Staff Scientist in the Ollmann Saphire lab, Dr. Hastie conducts an independently NIH-funded research project aimed at expanding structural knowledge of glycoproteins of Lassa and other arenaviruses. In addition, she serves on international task forces to steer thought about how to better elicit and detect the right responses and to deliver a much-needed vaccine for Lassa virus, which infects hundreds of thousands of under-served in West Africa every year.

* The program is subject to change without notice, due to unforeseen reason.

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