In 2015 we are celebrating McArdle’s 75th anniversary as one of the premier cancer research centers. This, together with our recent move to the new Wisconsin Institute for Medical Research complex next to the UW Hospital, provides a perfect time to launch new research and training initiatives that will extend our leadership role in cancer research and education into the future. We have recently formed a McArdle Alumni Advisory Board that will be an integral part of this new effort, giving us advice and support. We have reached out to about 30 alumni whom we believe represent the breadth and diversity of the >1500 graduate students and postdocs/scientists trained in McArdle over the last 75 years. Members of this advisory board all are highly successful alumni in academics, business and governmental organizations. They were active participants while at McArdle, have maintained contact with McArdle, and appreciate the positive effects of their training and time in Madison. These alumni are proud of their association with McArdle and have graciously agreed to help us improve our programs and be ambassadors for McArdle. Members of this advisory board are listed below, with photo, contact information and a brief bio.
McArdle Alumni Advisory Board
Peter A. Bell, Ph.D.
Director, Research and Development
Thermo Fisher Scientific
3747 N. Meridian Road
Rockford, IL 61105
I earned a Ph.D. at McArdle Laboratory under the direction of Charles Kasper in 1991. For 20 years, I have led Research and Development for Life Science Research companies including Pharmacia/Amersham, Orchid Biosciences, and Pierce Biotechnology. I currently head R&D for the Protein Biology business unit within Thermo Fisher Scientific.
Veit Bergendahl, Ph.D.
Biopharmaceutical Project Management
Boehringer Ingelheim Biopharma
I am a trained chemist with comprehensive expertise in biochemistry, cell biology and bioanalytical chemisty. I received my Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Phillips University in Marburg, Germany, with the supervision of Richard R. Burgess, working on RNA polymerase in McArdle at the UW-Madison. After a postdoc in Dr. James Thompson’s lab at UW-Madison, I joined Cellular Dynamics International in Madison, transitioned to Roche Pharma in Penzberg, and Miltenyi Biotec in Cologne. I hold several patents in biochemistry and cell biology, and since 2012 I am leading late stage projects at Boehringer Ingelheim Biopharma, Germany, as project leader in CMC Project Management.
Bennett Berson, J.D.
Quarles and Brady LLP
33 East Main Street, Suite 900
Madison, WI 53703-3095
I received my B.S. from Haverford College, my M.S. in 1986 with Rex Risser in McArdle, and my J.D. in 1992 from UW-Madison. I devise and implement global patent and trademark protection strategies for high technology companies and advise on cutting edge technical fields of biotechnology. Typical biotechnology patents relate to human pluripotent stem cells, genes, proteins, diagnostic assays, genomic analyses, gene therapies, gene discovery methods, pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, agricultural biopesticides and bioinsecticides. I also advise on biomass-based and microbial biofuels technologies.
William Brondyk, Ph.D.
Vice President, Head of Biologics Discovery
Genzyme, a Sanofi Company
One Kendall Square
Cambridge MA 02139
I received my Ph.D. in McArdle at UW-Madison with Bill Fahl in 1991. I have spent the majority of my career at large biotechnology companies working in an incredible variety of therapeutic areas. In my current role as head of the Biologics Discovery group at Genzyme, I am leading a team to develop biologics for the transformative treatment of unmet medical needs in the rare genetic disease and autoimmune disease areas. The biologics include protein replacement therapies and humanized/human antibodies. I have been involved in a number of projects that have reached the clinic and one (Lemtrada) was recently approved for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.
Edmundo Calva, Ph.D., FAAM
Member, Seminar of Mexican Culture
Research Professor of Molecular Microbiology
Instituto de Biotecnología, UNAM
I received my Ph.D. from McArdle with Dick Burgess in 1979. I am Research Professor of Molecular Microbiology at the Instituto de Biotecnología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Cuernavaca, Mexico. My research interests are in molecular pathogenesis and epidemiology of Salmonella enterica. I am Past-Chair of the Committee on Global Engagement at the American Society for Microbiology, a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, and a Past-President of the Mexican Society for Biochemistry and the Mexican Society for Microbiology.
Irvin S. Y. Chen, Ph.D.
Professor of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics, and Medicine
Director, UCLA AIDS Institute
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
I received my B.A. at Cornell University in 1977, and my Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin in 1981. I trained at McArdle Laboratory with Dr. Howard Temin, a 1975 Nobel Laureate for Medicine and continued postdoctoral studies at UCLA in 1982-1984 with Dr. David Golde. I am currently a Professor in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology and in the Department of Medicine in the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. I am the founding director of the UCLA AIDS Institute since its inception in 1991 and have served as the head of the NIH funded UCLA Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) for 16 years. I have made a number of fundamental discoveries regarding how human T-cell leukemia virus (HTLV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infect cells and cause disease. I was the first to clone a leukemia virus known as HTLV-II, and am co-inventor of a blood screening test that is used in blood banks worldwide. Recent work is directed at genetically ablating CCR5 as a therapy and potential cure for HIV-1 disease. I am co-founder of a company, Calimmune, Inc., currently testing this and other genetic therapies for AIDS.
John M. Coffin, Ph.D.
American Cancer Society Professor of Molecular Biology and Microbiology
136 Harrison Avenue
Boston, MA 02111
After obtaining my Ph.D. from McArdle in the laboratory of Howard Temin in 1972, my entire career has been involved in the study of retroviruses, first as a fellow with Charles Weissmann at the University of Zürich, subsequently as a faculty member at Tufts Medical School in Boston, where I am currently American Cancer Society Research Professor of Molecular Biology and Microbiology. As a postdoc, I worked on the structure of retrovirus genomes, discovering, for example, that the two subunits are genetically identical. I followed this up by showing that the genomes have a short terminally redundant sequence used by reverse transcriptase to “jump” from one end to the other during DNA synthesis. I have also worked on the mechanism of viral recombination, how retroviruses acquire oncogenes and the nature of endogenous proviruses that make up a large part of our genomes. More recently, I turned my attention to the HIV-host interaction, becoming founding Director (part time) of the NCI’s HIV Drug Resistance Program, to which I now serve as consultant. I am also a farmer, having owned a cranberry operation since 1980. In 1997, I was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.
Nancy Colburn, Ph.D.
Center for Cancer Research
I received my Ph.D. with Roz Boutwell in McArdle in 1967. After 8 years in academia followed by 36 years at the NIH, I retired in January 2013. At the time of my retirement I was Chief of the Laboratory of Cancer Prevention (10 principal investigators each with a lab) and Chief of the Gene Regulation Section mentoring my own fellows.
Janet Embretson, Ph.D., J.D.
Patent Attorney and a Principal at
Schwegman, Lundberg & Woessner, P.A.
1600 TCF Tower, 121 South Eighth Street
Minneapolis, MN 55402
After receiving my Ph.D. with Howard Temin from McArdle in 1987, I was a post-doctoral fellow with Dr. John Coffin at Tufts University School of Medicine and then with Dr. James Mullins at Harvard University School of Public Health, and a post-doctorate associate with Dr. Ashley Haase at University of Minnesota Medical School. During my tenure in Dr. Haase’s laboratory, I was a first author on a paper published in Nature that has been cited more than 1000 times and was recently awarded a place on the University of Minnesota Medical School’s "Wall of Scholarship". I attended Hamline University of School of Law, and have been practicing patent law for over 20 years with an emphasis on biotechnology, including diagnostics and therapeutics, and have been very fortunate to work with small and large companies as well as many different top tier universities.
Raymond L. Erikson, Ph.D.
American Cancer Society Professor of Cellular and Developmental Biology
Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology
The Biological Laboratories
16 Divinity Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
I received a B.Sc. and Ph.D. in Molecular Biology with Waclaw Szybalski in McArdle Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1963. I held a postdoctoral fellowship with Richard Franklin at the University of Colorado Medical School, where I became a member of the faculty. My early studies focused on RNA-containing viruses, and led to the identification of the avian sarcoma virus transforming gene product, Src, and characterization of its protein kinase activity. Since the discovery of the protein kinase Src, I have focused my attention on the structure and function of protein kinases that play critical roles in cell proliferation. I am currently American Cancer Society Professor of Cellular and Developmental Biology, in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University.
Elsa R. Flores, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Molecular & Cellular Oncology
Co-Director, Metastasis Research Center
U.T. M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
1515 Holcombe Blvd., Unit 1000, S9.8316B
Houston, TX 77030
I received my B.S. in Chemical Engineering from M.I.T. and my Ph.D. in Cancer Biology from the McArdle Laboratory in the laboratory of Dr. Paul Lambert at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1999. I did a postdoc sponsored by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of America in Dr. Tyler Jacks’ laboratory at M.I.T. I am currently an Associate Professor with tenure and serve as the Co-Director for the Metastasis Research Center at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX. Recent work in my laboratory includes deciphering the functions of p63 and p73 in multiple biological processes using conditional knock out mouse models and genome-wide analyses. We have identified key functions of p63 and p73 in aging, stem cells, cancer, and metastasis and have identified a novel therapy to treat p53 deficient and mutant tumors. I am a scholar of the American Cancer Society, the Rita Allen Foundation, the V Foundation for Cancer Research, and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of America.
William A. Gahl, M.D., Ph.D.
Clinical Director, NHGRI
Director, NIH Undiagnosed Diseases Program
Building 10, Room 10C-103
10 Center Drive, MSC 1851
Bethesda, MD 20892-1851
I received my undergraduate degree from MIT in 1972 and my M.D. and Ph.D. with Henry Pitot in McArdle in 1981 from the University of Wisconsin. I completed a residency in pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin and a postdoctoral fellowship in genetics at the National Institutes of Health. I am certified in Pediatrics, Clinical Genetics, and Clinical Biochemical Genetics. I am past president of the Society for Inherited Metabolic Disorders, and a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians and an international expert in cystinosis, Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome, alkaptonuria, and disorders of free sialic acid metabolism. I am currently Clinical Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, Director of the intramural program of the Office of Rare Diseases, and Director of the NIH Undiagnosed Diseases Program. In 2011, I received the Service to America Award. Disclaimer: I am serving on the McArdle Alumni Advisory Board in my personal capacity.
Larry Green, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer
464 Hill Street
San Francisco, CA 94114
I received a B.S. with honors in chemistry from the University of Kentucky, my Ph.D. in 1988 working in McArdle with Dr. William Dove at the UW-Madison, and conducted post-doctoral work at the University of Colorado-Boulder and Stanford University. I began my professional career at Cell Genesys in 1992 and was a scientific founder of its spin-out, Abgenix, serving in an executive leadership role at the time of Abgenix's $2.2 billion acquisition by Amgen in 2006. I am a co-inventor of Abgenix's (now Amgen's) XenoMouse® technology and led the successful design and creation of multiple enhancements to that technology platform. I am a globally-recognized expert in the development and use of transgenic mice for the discovery of human therapeutic antibodies. I am an inventor of more than 60 issued and pending U.S. patents on antibody discovery technologies, antibody development technologies and therapeutic product candidates. In 2008, I became CEO of Aliva Biopharmaceuticals, which in 2009 became a subsidiary of Ablexis.
Carol A. Gross, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Cell and Tissue Biology
Vice-Chair, Department of Microbiology & Immunology
University of California, San Francisco
Genentech Hall, Suite S372E
600 16th Street
San Francisco, CA 94143-2200
I was a postdoc and Scientist with Dick Burgess in McArdle until 1981 and then a faculty member at UW-Madison Dept. of Bacteriology. I am Professor at UCSF and am very active in the graduate programs, especially teaching and mentoring students. For most of my career, I used molecular approaches to study transcriptional regulation and stress responses in the bacterium E. coli. Recently the laboratory has switched to functional genomics, where we are developing high throughput phenotyping approaches to rapidly discover gene function and cellular networks. It is very exciting, both because we are learning so many new things, and also because we are creating resources to advance research across the bacterial community. My other passion is increasing diversity in STEM. I spearhead efforts at UCSF to increase enrollment of graduate students from underrepresented groups, and to develop programs to make UCSF welcoming for all. We are making progress but it is slow. I am honored to have received the AAAS mentorship award, the NAS Selman Waksman Award for achievement in Microbiology and to have served on the Council of the NAS, where I became aware of the wonderful work of IANAS. My two children, Miriam and Steve and my other families--biological and chosen, enrich my life.
Marie H. Hanigan, Ph.D.
Professor of Cell Biology
University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
Biomedical Research Center, Room 264
975 N.E. 10th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73104
I was a graduate student in the laboratory of Dr. Henry Pitot, and received my Ph.D. from McArdle in 1981. I spent three years as a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Norman Drinkwater’s laboratory, until 1985, then accepted a faculty position in the Department of Cell Biology at the University of Virginia. After eleven years in Virginia I moved to the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center when I am a Professor of Cell Biology and former Associate Director for Basic Sciences of the OU Cancer Center. My research has focused on the gamma-glutamyl transferase family of enzymes and their role in normal physiology and in disease. GGT1 activity increases the resistance of tumors to treatment with platinum-based therapy and alkylating agents, it is essential for reperfusion injury and has been implicated in asthma. We have identified a novel class of compounds that inhibit the enzyme. We recently solved the crystal structure of human GGT, the first structure to be determined for any eukaryotic gamma-glutamyl transferase. We are now using Structure-Based Drug Design to develop our GGT inhibitors for clinical use.
Shiu-Lok Hu, Ph.D.
Milo Gibaldi Endowed Professor of Pharmaceutics, School of Pharmacy
Adjunct Professor of Microbiology, School of Medicine
Head, AIDS-Related Research Division
Washington National Primate Research Center
University of Washington
3000 Western Avenue
Seattle, WA 98121
I received my B.A. (University of California, Berkeley), Ph.D. with Waclaw Szybalski in McArdle in 1978, and was a post-doc at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. My current research focuses on design and preclinical evaluation of vaccines against HIV and related primate lentiviruses; structural, functional, and immunogenic studies of HIV-1 envelope proteins; and host-pathogen interactions in primate lentivirus infections.
Monika De Arruda Indig, Ph.D., MBA
Director, Clinical and Contract Research
BloodCenter of Wisconsin
I am a trained scientist with extensive experience in product development, commercialization and business development. I received my Ph.D. in Biochemistry from University of São Paulo, Brazil and did my postdoctoral training at the Whitehead Institute in Cambridge, MA. I was a scientist in Dr. Burgess' Lab at McArdle and have held management positions at BASF Bioresearch Corporation, Third Wave Technologies and Scarab Genomics. I currently lead the strategic and tactical commercialization of the clinical trial services for BloodCenter of Wisconsin.
Jerry Jendrisak, Ph.D.
VP Cellscript LLC,
726 Post Road
Madison, WI 53713
I received my B.S. at the University of Akron in 1970, Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison 1974, and was a NIH post doc with Dick Burgess in McArdle until 1976. I was Assistant (1976-1978) and Associate Professor (1978-1981) in Botany at the University of Minnesota. Industrial experience: I was Research Director, Promega Corporation 1981-1987; VP R&D Epicentre Biotechnologies 1987-2011; Distinguished Scientist, Illumina Corporation 2011-2013; VP, Cellscript LLC 2013-present; CSO, mRNA Ribotherapeutics 2013-present.
Kit S. Lam, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor and Chair, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine
Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology & Oncology
University of California Davis Cancer Center
Director, Center for Biophotonics
Harold Albin Johnson Endowed Chair in Biomedical Research
University of California Davis
2700 Stockton Boulevard
Sacramento, CA 95817
I am a physician-scientist and an expert in combinatorial chemistry, peptide chemistry, chemical biology, drug discovery and development, molecular imaging, nanotherapeutics and medical oncology. I was born and raised in Hong Kong and obtained my B.A. in Microbiology in 1975 at the University of Texas at Austin, my Ph.D. in Oncology with Charles Kasper in 1980 from McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research, University of Wisconsin, and my M.D. in 1984 from Stanford University School of Medicine. I completed my Internal Medicine residency training and Medical Oncology Fellowship training at the University of Arizona and am board certified in both Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology. I am currently Chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, University of California Davis School of Medicine, Professor of Hematology and Oncology, and a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. I have made a seminal scientific contribution through the development of the one-bead-one compound (OBOC) approach to combinatorial chemistry. I was a founding scientist of the Selectide Corporation, one of the first start-up companies to specialize in combinatorial chemistry. I have published over 315 peer-reviewed scientific publications and holds 17 patents on inventions.
David Largaespada, Ph.D.
American Cancer Society Research Professor
Associate Director for Basic Science
Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota
3-129 Cancer Cardiovascular Research Building
2231 6th Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
I received my Ph.D. with Rex Risser and Bill Sugden in McArdle in 1992. My laboratory is working to exploit insertional mutagenesis for cancer gene discovery and functional genomics in the mouse. We have invested heavily in the use of a vertebrate-active transposon system, called Sleeping Beauty (SB). SB is being used as a tool for forward genetic screens for cancer genes involved in osteosarcoma, hepatocellular carcinoma, gastro-intestinal tract and nervous system cancers. Other projects include development of mouse models of Neurofibromatosis Type 1 (NF1) associated cancer and testing new therapies in these models.
Scott Lesley, Ph.D.
Director of Protein Sciences and Biotherapeutics
Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation
10675 John Jay Hopkins Drive
San Diego, CA 92121
I received my Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the UW-Madison with Dick Burgess and a B.S. in Microbiology from the University of Illinois. Since joining GNF in 1999 as one of the founding scientists, I have established research programs in biotherapeutics, protein engineering, protein structure and function, and high-throughput technologies. I am a co-PI for the Joint Center for Structural Genomics, a premier HT-structural biology consortium with over 1400 protein structures solved to date. Prior to 1999, I was a Sr. Research Scientist and Project Manager at Promega Corporation and have had postdoctoral positions at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Scott E. Lindner, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Center for Malaria Research
Pennsylvania State University
W230B Millennium Science Complex
University Park, PA 16802
I received my Ph.D. at McArdle with Bill Sugden in 2007. My lab couples molecular parasitology with structural biology to study the malaria parasite (Plasmodium spp.). In particular, we focus upon 1) the role that translational repression plays in making and keeping the parasites infectious while they await transmission from mosquitoes, 2) the structure/function relationships of key RNA-binding proteins, and 3) comprehensive proteomics and transcriptomics to identify and validate candidates for novel vaccination strategies.
Bob Liu, Ph.D.
Scientist II at Cellerant Therapeutics
1561 Industrial Road
San Carlos, CA 94070
After receiving my Ph.D. with Caroline Alexander from McArdle in 2005, I went to UCSF for postdoctoral training in Dr. Thea Tlysty's laboratory studying methylation in human breast cancers, and transitioned to Genentech for another postdoctoral training with Dr. Paul Polakis studying Wnt signaling targeted therapeutics and antibody drug conjugates. I spent two years in Stemcentrx, developing antibody drug conjugate therapeutics, which resulted in two drugs licensed by Pfizer for treating triple negative breast cancers. I am currently at Cellerant Therapeutics with the goal of developing antibody-based therapeutics for hematological cancers. I am part of the team that is taking various antibody-based approaches including antibody drug conjugates, functional blocking antibodies, and immuno-directed therapeutics.
Stewart Lyman, Ph.D.
Lyman Biopharma Consulting LLC
1836 N. 53rd Street
Seattle, WA 98103
After I got my Ph.D. from McArdle with V. Craig Jordan in 1984, I was a post-doc at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. I then joined the biotech company Immunex as a molecular biologist and worked there for 14 years. I left when Amgen acquired Immunex, and have been consulting since 2004 for biotech and pharma companies. I cloned and/or identified many important growth factor genes during my 14-year tenure at Immunex, including the ligands for the c-kit, flt3, and elk tyrosine kinase receptors, a ligand for CD7, as well as the human growth factor TSLP. I also served as the Director of Extramural Research at Immunex for four years, during which time my group managed more than 2,500 research collaborations with over 1,000 academic investigators worldwide. This experience has led to my teaching the art of collaboration to numerous academic and industry groups. I hold 26 U.S. patents, have authored or co-authored 130 scientific publications, and am a monthly contributor of op-ed pieces on research and biotechnology for the national Xconomy website.
Tak W. Mak, OC, Ph.D., D.Sc. (Hons), FRSC, FRS
Director of the Campbell Family Institute for Breast Cancer Research
Princess Margaret Cancer Centre
Ontario Cancer Institute
University Health Network
University Professor in the Depts. of Medical Biophysics and Immunology at the University of Toronto
I was trained at the University of Wisconsin in Madison where I earned my B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees before obtaining a Ph.D. from the University of Alberta. Additional training was carried out at the Ontario Cancer Institute and McArdle Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin with Howard Temin. I am best known for cloning the genes of the human T cell receptor. My current research centers on mechanisms of immune recognition/regulation, malignant cell survival/death, inflammation in autoimmunity and cancer, and metabolic adaptation in tumour cells. I have published over 800 papers, won numerous awards, hold many patents, and serve on the scientific advisory boards of both Canadian and international organizations.
Lynne E. Maquat, Ph.D.
J. Lowell Orbison Endowed Chair and Professor
Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics
School of Medicine and Dentistry
Director, University of Rochester Center for RNA Biology: From Genome to Therapeutics
Chair, University of Rochester Graduate Women in Science
University of Rochester
601 Elmwood Avenue, Box 712
Rochester, NY 14642
I was a postdoc in the lab of Jeffrey Ross in McArdle from 1979-1982. I currently hold the J. Lowell Orbison Endowed Chair as Professor in the Department of Biochemistry & Biophysics and in Oncology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. I am Founding Director of the University of Rochester Center for RNA Biology: From Genome to Therapeutics, and Founding Chair of the University of Rochester Graduate Women in Science. Research in my lab focuses on the molecular basis of human diseases, with particular interest in mechanisms of mRNA decay. I am a member of the National Academy of Sciences and fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and was recently awarded the William C. Rose Award from the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Canada's top award for excellence in biomedical research, the 2015 Gairdner International Award.
Robert Mierendorf, Ph.D.
President & CEO
Semba Biosciences, Inc.
505 S. Rosa Road
Madison, WI 53719
I received my Ph.D. in Oncology at McArdle in 1980, with Prof. Gerald Mueller. After a post-doc in the UW Bacteriology Department, I joined Promega Corporation as Senior Scientist and became Director of R&D in 1986. I co-founded Novagen, Inc. in 1989 and managed the company through acquisitions by CN Biosciences (1998) and Merck KGaA (1999). I continued as Chief Technology Officer with the Merck affiliate EMD Biosciences until joining Semba in 2006.
Miriam C. Poirier, Ph.D.
Head, Carcinogen-DNA Interactions Section
National Cancer Institute, Bldg. 37, Rm 4032, NIH
37 Convent Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892-4255
I received an MSc in Oncology with Jim and Betty Miller in McArdle in 1964 after which I worked in the Pitot lab. I received a Ph.D. in Microbiology from Catholic University in 1977. I have worked in the National Cancer Institute since 1971. I pioneered antibody-based methodologies for determining chemical carcinogen-induced DNA damage in humans. Cell culture, animal models and human subjects have been employed to elucidate factors associated with human cancer risk. Information on DNA adduct processing in nuclear and mitochondrial DNA has been correlated with: tumorigenesis, clinical response, toxicity, and integrity of organelles. The carcinogens of intensive investigation include: the environmental polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs); the adjuvant chemotherapeutic drug tamoxifen (TAM); and the antiretroviral nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) used for therapy of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). Areas of Expertise - 1) chemical carcinogenesis 2) carcinogen-DNA damage 3) biomarker dosimetry 4) molecular epidemiology 5) mitochondrial toxicology 6) transplacental exposure.
Alex R. Shoemaker, Ph.D.
Associate Director, Oncology Discovery
1 North Waukegan Road
North Chicago, IL 60064-6117
I received my Ph.D. in 1997, training in the laboratory of Dr. William F. Dove and interrogating genetic regulators of tumorigensis in ApcMin mice. Following post-doctoral studies at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in San Diego, I joined Abbott Laboratories in 2000 where I has held a number of positions and contributed to the development of inhibitors of Bcl-2 and PARP proteins for cancer therapy. I currently hold the position of Associate Director at AbbVie (spun off from Abbott in 2013) where I head a group focused on identification and validation of oncology targets for small molecule and biologics based drug development.
Daniel L. Simmons, Ph.D.
Professor of Biochemistry
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602
I received my Ph.D. in oncology with Charles Kasper at McArdle from UW-Madison in 1986, after which I did postdoctoral work (1986-1989) at Harvard University with Professor Raymond L. Erikson on mitogen and quiescence regulated genes. My laboratory at Brigham Young University reported the discovery of COX-2 -- a new target of aspirin-like drugs -- and my research continues to address cyclooxygenases and cyclooxygenase-like proteins. From 1997-2014, I served as director of the Brigham Young University Cancer Research Center. When I was appointed as director I changed the focus of the Center from providing funding to laboratories to providing training and funding to carefully selected fellows doing cancer research. I, of course, based this on the incredible value of my training at McArdle. Thus this training has translated to funding and training hundreds of cancer research fellows at BYU during the past 17 years.
William G. Thilly, Sc.D.
Professor of Genetics, Toxicology and Biological Engineering
MIT Department of Biological Engineering
77 Massachusett Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
I grew up on a farm in Rush Township, PA. As a summer employee in 1965 in Battle Creek MI, I co invented Kellogg’s Apple Jacks. I earned my B.S. at MIT in 1967, and my Doctor of Science in 1971 in the MIT laboratory of Prof. Gerald Wogan. After a year at the McArdle Lab for Cancer Research in Madison with Profs. Charles Heidelberger and Waclaw Szybalski, I joined MIT’s faculty in 1972 as Assistant Professor of Food Toxicology. In 1976 my group developed “microcarriers” for the mass production of anchorage dependent cells such as those used to make viral vaccines and other cell-based products. The original aim of my research group was to discover the origins of disease-causing mutations in humans. We developed the first quantitative human cell mutation assays (1976), two independent means to measure mutations in human tissues (1983-93), and a protocol to scan mutations in human organs and populations 1996. Then in 2002 -08 my lab discovered that point mutations in human tissues arise in “metakaryotic” stem cells of the fetal juvenile organs mediated by “unforced errors” of DNA polymerases gamma and beta. Now we have discovered that ds RNA/DNA intermediates are used in genome replication in fetal organogenic and adult cancer stem cells. We have now identified about a dozen drugs of diverse chemical structure that preferentially kill metakaryotic cells but not eukaryotic non-stem cells in culture. Planning for clinical trials is underway with collaborators at the Medical College of Wisconsin.
Sandra K. Weller, Ph.D.
Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor and Chair of Molecular Biology and Biophysics
UConn Health, University of Connecticut Health Center
263 Farmington Avenue
Farmington, CT 06030-3205
I received my Ph.D. in 1980 with Dr. Howard Temin at the McArdle Lab at the UW-Madison. I am a University of Connecticut Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor and Chair of Molecular Biology and Biophysics. I have been on the faculty at the University of Connecticut Health Center since 1984, and my laboratory works on Herpes Simplex Virus, a major pathogen responsible for oral, genital and sight threatening ocular infections in immune-competent adults and even more severe infections in individuals with compromised immune systems. My laboratory studies many aspects of the virus life cycle including virus-host interactions, viral DNA replication/recombination and capsid assembly and encapsidation of viral genomes. I also serve as President of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Technology (CASE) and am active in teaching and mentoring at the local as well as national level.
Christine Wooddell, Ph.D.
Group Leader, Arrowhead Research Corporation
Arrowhead Madison, Suite C
465 Science Drive
Madison, WI 53711
After receiving a Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology with Richard Burgess at McArdle in 1999, I worked at Mirus Bio Corporation on development of gene therapies. Initially I applied my training in transcription mechanisms to developing expression vectors that produce high levels of stable gene expression in the liver and in muscle, followed by vectors that expressed short interfering RNA (siRNA) or short hairpin RNA for RNA interference. From 2006-2010, I worked with Jon Wolff, M.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison and Mirus Bio, to develop a gene therapy for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, funded by the Association Française contre les Myopathies. Using the mdx mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, as well as rodent and nonhuman primate models for delivery, I led the pharmacology and delivery animal studies. Mirus Bio was acquired by Hoffmann-La Roche, becoming Roche Madison, and was then transferred to Arrowhead Research Corporation. At Arrowhead I have been Group Leader responsible for pharmacology in the development of RNA interference therapeutics to treat chronic hepatitis B virus infection and liver disease due to the Z mutant form of alpha-1 antitrypsin. I lead my research teams and collaborators to demonstrate efficacy of ARC-520 in animal models of HBV infection and efficacy of ARC-AAT for treatment of Z-AAT liver storage disease in the PiZ mouse model. Both of these therapeutics are now in clinical trials.