The Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy (PICI) announced that John Connolly, PhD, has been named Chief Scientific Officer. In this role, Dr. Connolly will design and execute PICI’s overall research strategy in close collaboration with the institute’s leadership team, center directors, and scientific steering committee. He will also be responsible for identifying and expanding partnerships with biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies to support PICI’s research efforts.
John Connolly, PhD
“As PICI looks to the future, it is critical that we identify and target the most promising areas of cancer immunotherapy and collaborate with the right industry partners to advance our mission,” said Sean Parker, PICI founder and Chairman. “John is a globally recognized scientific leader in immuno-oncology, with a background spanning academic research and executive roles in biotechnology. I’m convinced he has the experience and energy to build on our success in bringing immunotherapy treatments from bench to bedside to market for the benefit of all patients with cancer.”
Working Together Toward New Treatments
With more than 20 years of research experience in immunotherapy, Dr. Connolly has published more than 100 papers and chapters in peer-reviewed journals. As a human immunologist, he has research interests in immune monitoring and immunometabolism.
Dr. Connolly most recently served as Chief Scientific Officer of Tessa Therapeutics, a clinical-stage cell therapy company focused on solid tumor immunotherapy, where he led a team of researchers in developing next-generation T-cell therapy treatments. In June 2017, Dr. Connolly started collaborating with PICI through its partnership with Tessa to develop novel cellular therapy and immuno-oncology combination treatments.
“The field of immunotherapy is at a maturity point with technology right now, which gives us the opportunity to create long-term, durable treatments that wouldn’t have been possible 5 years ago,” said Dr. Connolly. “I was attracted to PICI because of Sean’s powerful vision for the institute, and I am most looking forward to collaborating with PICI’s network of world-class investigators to find the fastest path forward to cure patients.”
Dr. Connolly is also Associate Professor at National University of Singapore and Adjunct Associate Professor of Immunology at Baylor University, where he served on the Board of Governors for the Institute of Biomedical Sciences. He received his PhD in immunology from Dartmouth Medical School, where he studied human dendritic cell biology.