About Us

Antoni Ribas, M.D., Ph.D.

photo: Sanjiv (Sam) Gambhir, MD, PhDAntoni Ribas, M.D., Ph.D. is Professor of Medicine, Professor of Surgery, and Professor of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Director of the Tumor Immunology Program at the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center (JCCC), Director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy (PICI) Center at UCLA, and Chair of the Melanoma Committee at SWOG. Dr Ribas is a physician-scientist who conducts laboratory and clinical research in malignant melanoma, focusing on gene engineered T cells, PD-1 blockade and BRAF targeted therapies. His National Cancer Institute (NCI), State of California and private foundation-supported research laboratory develops models of disease to test new therapeutic options, studies mechanism of action of treatments in patients and the molecular mechanisms of therapy resistance. Dr. Ribas is an elected member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation (ASCI), has a Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Buenos Aires, the recipient of the 2014 AACR Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Award, the 2018 AACR-CRI Lloyd J. Old Award in Cancer Immunology and a NCI Outstanding Investigator Award.


Daniel D. Von Hoff, M.D., F.A.C.P.

photo: Sanjiv (Sam) Gambhir, MD, PhDDaniel D. Von Hoff, M.D., F.A.C.P., is currently Physician in Chief, Distinguished Professor Translational Research at TGen (Translational Genomics Research Institute) in Phoenix, Arizona. He is also Senior Consultant, Clinical Investigations for the City of Hope; Chief Scientific Officer for HonorHealth Research Institute; Medical Director of Research, Chief Scientific Officer, US Oncology, and Professor of Medicine, Mayo Clinic.

Dr. Von Hoff's major interest is in the development of new anticancer agents, both in the clinic and in the laboratory.  He and his colleagues were involved in the beginning of the development of many of the agents we now use routinely, including:  mitoxantrone, fludarabine, paclitaxel, docetaxel, gemcitabine, irinotecan, nelarabine, capecitabine, lapatinib, vismodegibm, nab-paclitaxel, nal-IRI, and others.  At present, he and his colleagues are concentrating on the development of molecularly targeted therapies for patients with pancreatic and other advanced cancers.

Dr. Von Hoff has published more than 690 papers, 140 book chapters and over 1400 abstracts.  Dr. Von Hoff received the 2010 David A. Karnofsky Memorial Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology for his outstanding contributions to cancer research leading to significant improvement in patient care.

Dr. Von Hoff was appointed to President Bush's National Cancer Advisory Board in 2004-2010. Dr. Von Hoff is the past President of the American Association for Cancer Research (the world's largest cancer research organization), a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, and a member and past board member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.  He is a founder of ILEX Oncology, Inc. (acquired by Genzyme after ILEX had two agents, alemtuzumab and clofarabine, approved by the FDA for patients with leukemia).  Dr. Von Hoff is founder and the Editor Emeritus of Investigational New Drugs - The Journal of New Anticancer Agents; and, past Editor-in-Chief of Molecular Cancer Therapeutics. He is a co-founder of the AACR/ASCO Methods in Clinical Cancer Research Workshop.   He is also proud to have been a mentor and teacher for multiple medical students, medical oncology fellows, graduate students, and post-doctoral fellows.


David Mankoff, M.D., Ph.D.

photo: Peter Senter, PhD

Dr. David Mankoff is Gerd Muehllehner Professor of Radiology, Vice-Chair for Research in Radiology, and Director of the PET Center at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.  Dr. Mankoff is board-certified in Nuclear Medicine and holds a PhD in Bioengineering focusing on PET instrumentation. He practices Nuclear Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, with a special interest in oncologic applications of molecular imaging and radionuclide treatment of endocrine tumors and other cancers.  Dr. Mankoff’s research focuses on molecular imaging of cancer, primarily on breast cancer, and emphasizes therapeutic monitoring, identifying factors mediating therapeutic resistance, and the translation of new methods to clinical trials.   He also focuses on imaging methodology and quantitative imaging methods related to molecular cancer imaging.  Dr. Mankoff is a Komen Scholar for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. He also Chairs the Experimental Imaging Sciences Committee and serves as Co-Chair of the Scientific Program Committee of ECOG-ACRIN.  Dr. Mankoff is a past member and President of the American Board of Nuclear Medicine.  Dr. Mankoff is on the editorial boards of Nuclear Medicine and Biology, Breast Cancer Research, Journal of Nuclear Medicine, The Breast Journal, and Clinical Cancer Research and serves as an Associate Editor for Breast Cancer Research and the Journal of Nuclear Medicine.


James P. Allison, Ph.D.photo: Peter Senter, PhD

Dr. James Allison is the Chair of the Department of Immunology, the Vivian L. Smith Distinguished Chair in Immunology, Director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, and the Executive Director of the Immunotherapy Platform at MD Anderson Cancer Center. He has spent a distinguished career studying the regulation of T cell responses and developing strategies for cancer immunotherapy. Among his most notable discoveries are the determination of the T cell receptor structure and that CD28 is the major costimulatory molecule that allows full activation of naïve T cells and prevents anergy in T cell clones. His lab resolved a major controversy by demonstrating that CTLA-4 inhibits T-cell activation by opposing CD28-mediated costimulation and that blockade of CTLA-4 could enhance T cell responses, leading to tumor rejection in animal models. This finding paved the wave for the emerging field of immune checkpoint blockade therapy for cancer. Work in his lab led to the development of ipilimumab, an antibody to human CTLA-4 and the first immune checkpoint blockade therapy approved by the FDA. Among many honors, he is a member of the National Academies of Science and Medicine and received the Lasker-Debakey Clinical Medical Research award in 2015. His current work seeks to improve immune checkpoint blockade therapies currently used by our clinicians and identify new targets to unleash the immune system in order to eradicate cancer.


Padmanee Sharma, M.D., Ph.D.photo: Peter Senter, PhD

Dr. Padmanee Sharma is a trained medical oncologist and immunologist whose research work is focused on investigating mechanisms and pathways within the immune system that are responsible for tumor rejection and clinical benefit. She is the Principal Investigator of multiple immunotherapy clinical trials and conducts translational laboratory studies related to these trials. Her studies enable development of novel immunotherapy strategies for the treatment of cancer patients. She is a Professor in the departments of Genitourinary Medical Oncology and Immunology, and the Scientific Director for the Immunotherapy Platform at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. She is also the Co-Director of Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at MD Anderson Cancer Center. She received the Emil Frei III Award for Excellence in Translational Research in 2016 and was inducted into the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI) in 2018.


Ramy Ibrahim, MDphoto: Peter Senter, PhD

Dr. Ramy Ibrahim currently serves as vice president and chief medical officer at the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy. He is a recognized leader of clinical development in immunotherapy and helped develop some of the first breakthrough treatments in the field during his tenure at Bristol-Myers Squibb and MedImmune/AstraZeneca. As a member of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Immuno-oncology program, he served on the Yervoy (ipilimumab) clinical team supporting the program from early phase II through multiple global launches of the first FDA-approved immune checkpoint inhibitor. In addition, he played a key role in early development for nivolumab (PD-1), PD-L1 and CD137 antibody. At AstraZeneca, Dr. Ibrahim was the vice president of clinical development for Immuno-oncology, leading the team developing multiple immunotherapies. Molecules developed under his leadership included durvalumab (anti-PD-L1 antibody) and tremelimumab (anti-CTLA-4 antibody) both with single drug and combination therapies with a focus on registrational studies in multiple indications including lung cancer, bladder cancer and head and neck cancer.