Dana Farber: Inventors, Investors and Innovation

I just came back from Boston in the wee hours of the morning after attending the Dana Farber  I3 Evening of Scientific Innovation. Dr Hodi, spoke of the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway as it relates to the treatment of cancer. The use of the body’s own immune system to combat various diseases has been the focus for many years by various researchers. The information that we now have and that continues to expand not only in this area but others, will allow the medical/scientific community to expand its arsenal in the treatment and understanding of how our bodies work. If you are interested in his work in this area, I would reach out to Dr. Prem Das at Dana Farber for Dr. Hodi presentation which discussed in detail these Pathways.

Speaker Bios:

F. Stephen Hodi Jr., M.D. is an Associate of Medicine at harvard Medical School and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.  He is a graduate of Cornell university Medical College, completed a residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and Fellowship in Medical Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute where he has been on staff since 1998.  Dr. Hodi has focused his translational research efforts in melanoma therapeutics and has led clinical investigations of autologous vaccination strategies in combination with CTLA-4 blockade.  This work represented one of the first reports on the clinical use of CTLA-4 blockade in patients.  Dr. Hodi has contributed to the development of CTLA-4 blockade as a therapy with assessment of novel patterns of clinical responses and clinical trial contributions that has led to the FDA registration of this treatment as a first in a novel class of cancer therapeutics. Dr Hodi has also investigated the role o the oncogene KIT in mucosal, acral, and chronically sun damaged melanomas.  Publications include articles in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, Journal of Clinical Oncology, and the New England Journal of Medicine.  He currently serves as the Disease Center Leader of the Melanoma Program at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.


Richard Anders is a seasoned entrepreneur.  He founded the legal software publishing company Jurisoft, which he sold to Lexis/Nexis, published newspapers including Boston Digital Industry and New York Digital Industry and is currently managing director of Rubin/Anders Scientific, which places scientists as consultants in patent projects.  He served for many years as a member of the Institutional Review Board at the Dana Farber Cancer Center, and was a long-time trustee of the Museum of Science, where he currently is an overseer.  Richard founded and currently runs Mass Medical Angels (MA2), one of the country’s leading angel groups focused exclusively on life sciences.  He founded the angel group Launchpad, the nationally renowned Science on Screen event at the Coolidge Corner Cinema, and was a founding trustee of the Massachusetts Interactive Media Council.  He is a board observer at Avaxia Biologics and Sialix.  Richard teaches medical device entrepreneurship at the Harvard/MIT HST program.  Richard is a graduate Summa Cum Laude in Mathematics from Harvard and holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

James E. Bradner, M.D. is a Staff Physician in the Division of Hematologic Malignancies at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute as well as an Assistant Professor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School.  The present research focus of the Bradner laboratory concerns the discovery and optimization of prototype drugs targeting cancer gene regulation.  The clinical objective of the Bradner group is to deliver novel therapeutics for human clinical investigation in hematologic diseases.  Dr. Bradner’s awards and honors include the Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovation Award, the Smith Family Award for Excellence in Biomedical Research, the Dunkin Donuts Rising Star Award and the HMS Distinguished Excellence in Teaching Award.  He is a member of the American Society of Hematology, and the American Chemical Society and the American Society of Clinical Investigation.  His recent research has been published in Nature, Cell, Nature Chemical Biology, and the Journal of the American Chemical Society.  He has authored more than twenty-five United States Patent applications and is a scientific founder of Acetylon Pharmaceuticals, SHAPE Pharmaceuticals, Tensha Therapeutics and Syros Pharmaceuticals.  Dr. Bradner received his AB from Harvard University, his MD from the University of Chicago, and an MMS from Harvard Medical School.  He completed his postgraduate training in Internal Medicine at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, followed by fellowships in Medical Oncology and Hematology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.  Following additional postdoctoral training in Chemistry with Prof. Stuart Schreiber at Harvard University and the Broad Institute, Dr. Bradner joined the research faculty of Dana-Farber in 2008.

Dana Callow is a founder and Managing Partner of Boston Millennia Partners, a private equity investment management organization with approximately $750 million under management among several multistage private funds.  Prior to forming Boston Millennia Partners, Mr. Callow co-founded Boston Capital Ventures in 1982 and is a partner in four of its investment partnerships.  Prior to that, he worked as a Senior Consultant at Braxton Associates, an international strategic planning firm that was organized by professionals from Boston Consulting Group and Bain & Co. Prior to his activity in the management consulting business, Mr. Callow worked in sales and marketing for Tymshare, Inc. a venture funded and subsequent public company in the cloud and remote computing sector which was acquired by McDonnell-Douglas.  In 1986, he was the founding institutional investor in PAREXEL International Corporation, and continues as its Presiding Director and Chair of the governance committee.  He is a lead investor in, or has served as, a Director of a number of other public and private companies.  Mr. Callow is a past Director of Jobs for Massachusetts, a Massachusetts based non-profit organization comprised of business and political leaders including Governors Mitt Romney and Deval Patrick.  Dana is a member of the National Board of Directors of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and chairs its Therapeutic Acceleration Program Committee.  He is a member of the Board of Trustees and the Chairman of the Investment Committee at Tufts University and on the Board of Overseers at Tufts University Medical School.  he is a member of the Advisory Board of the Amos Tuck Center for Private Equity and Entrepreneurship at Dartmouth College.  Mr. Callow is a graduate of Tufts University and holds an MBA from the Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth College.

O. Prem Das, Ph. D. (moderator) is Chief Research Business Development Officer at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) and heads DFCI’s Office of Research and Technology Ventures (ORTV).  ORTV is responsible for patenting and licensing discoveries made by DFCI researchers to outside company to create income.  ORTV also works with DFCI faculty and Integrative Research Centers to enhance relationships with the corporate sector, generating sponsored research agreements and collaboration opportunities in both clinical and preclinical research.  Prem’s background includes around eight years of experience in managing academic technology transfer offices, twelve years in biotechnology business development, and fifteen years in basic research.  Prior to joining DFCI in 2012, Prem was involved in starting up companies and consulting for biotechnology companies and the NCI.  From 2006 to 2007, he served as Senior Vice President for Technology Alliances at Praecis Pharmaceuticals, where his business development efforts led to the acquisition of the company by Glaxo SmithKline.  Prem directed the Office of Technology Licensing at Harvard Medical School from 2003 to 2006 and the Office of Industrial Affairs at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center from 2000 to 2003.  He co-founded Heartland BioTechnologies and was Director of Business Development at Cadus Pharmaceuticals in the ’90’s.  During his academic research career, Prem has published in diverse areas of biology and chemistry.  He received his MSc in chemistry from IIT/Kanpur in India and his PhD in biological chemistry from MIT.

Dana Farber Presenters