Scientific Advisory Board

Luis Álvarez-Vallina, MD, PhD.

Co-Founder of LeadArtis is Associate Professor at the Department of Engineering, Immunotherapy and Cell Engineering Laboratory, Aarhus University (Denmark). Luis attended Medical School at Oviedo University (Asturias, Spain). He completed a residency in Immunology at the Clínica Puerta de Hierro (Madrid) and earned a PhD in immunology from Autonoma University of Madrid working on T cell development in the human thymus. He spent four years at the Medical Research Council Centre for Protein Engineering (Cambridge, UK). His work contributed to the first generation of chimeric antigen receptors (CAR) bearing costimulatory domains. In 1998 established his own research group at the Clínica Puerta de Hierro (Madrid) focus in the generation of multivalent and multispecific antibodies. His experience includes the generation of innovative display platforms to select human recombinant antibodies in vivo in tumor-bearing mice (in vivo phage antibody display) and in vitro on complex antigens mixtures expressed on tumor cell surfaces (T lymphocyte display).

Francisco Sanchez-Madrid, PhD.

Dr. Francisco Sánchez-Madrid 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 400 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 Autonoma University of Madrid, member of several editorial boards and 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.

Peter Kristensen, PhD.

Peter Kristensen holds a Master degree in Chemistry and a PhD in Biostructural Chemistry from Aarhus University. In 1995 he move to Cambridge (UK) to work with Greg Winter at the Medical Research Centre, Laboratory of Molecular Biology and Centre for protein Engineering. The work was centered on establishing new selection methods in protein engineering, especially focusing on selection to optimize enzymatic stability and catalytic properties. In 1998 returned to Aarhus University where he was appointed Associate Professor in 2000 at the Department of Molecular Biology. In 2010, as a result of a large organisatorial change within Aarhus University, he became affiliated with the newly formed Department of Engineering. For a number of years Dr Kristensen acted as Degree program coordinator for the Biotechnology education, in addition he is chairman of the Research and Innovation Committee at Department of Engineering and member of the PhD committee at Department of Engineering. Dr. Kristensen has developed innovative methods for antibody selection against single rare cells present in a heterogeneous population using phage display and the research is today mainly focused at identifying biomarkers on circulating cancer cells, developing antibodies capable of modulating the vascular system in addition to identifying biomarkers of cells undergoing ageing.

Ignacio Melero, MD, PhD.

Ignacio Melero 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 on T cell costimulation via CD137. 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 works at the Clinica 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 and associate investigator in clinical trials of cancer immunotherapy both sponsored by industry and by the University of Navarra institutions.

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 Autonoma University of Madrid 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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