Speaker Profile

Ph.D., Staff Scientist, Bioinformatics, Thermo Fisher Scientific

Dr. Looney is an accomplished computational biologist and immunologist with expertise in methods and applications of B and T cell receptor sequencing, including biomarker discovery and assay development. He is currently a Staff Scientist and Informatics Lead for Immune Repertoire Sequencing within the Clinical Sequencing Division at Thermo Fisher Scientific. Dr. Looney’s interests and specialties are centered around repertoire analysis for immuno-oncology, autoimmunity and infectious disease translational research.

Session Abstract – PMWC 2019 Silicon Valley

Session Synopsis: Immunotherapy is proving to be an effective therapeutic approach in a variety of advanced and metastatic cancers. However, despite the clinical success of the first wave of checkpoint inhibitors, only a subset of unselected patients exhibits durable responses. Furthermore, the field is witnessing notable failures in Phase III trials when these drugs are tested in unselected or sub-optimally selected patient populations. Finally, preliminary data indicate that the combinations of these agents, although promising in certain settings, are associated with increased toxicity and cost. Therefore, the development and implementation of novel clinical-grade biomarkers able to guide the selection of agents with complementary mechanisms of action targeting multiple mechanisms of resistance and immune escape are required.

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