SCIENTIFIC AND INDUSTRY ADVISORS

Frank McCormick, PhD, FRS, DSc

Dr. McCormick is Professor Emeritus of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. Prior to joining the UCSF faculty, Dr. McCormick pursued cancer-related work with several Bay Area biotechnology firms and held positions with Cetus Corporation (Director of Molecular Biology, 1981-1990; Vice President of Research, 1990-1991) and Chiron Corporation, where he was Vice President of Research from 1991 to 1992. In 1992 he founded Onyx Pharmaceuticals, a company dedicated to developing new cancer therapies, and served as its Chief Scientific Officer until 1996. At Onyx Pharmaceuticals, he initiated and led drug discovery efforts that led to the approval of Sorafenib in 2005 for treatment of renal cell cancer, and for liver cancer in 2007, and the approval of ONYX-015 in 2006 in China for treatment of nasopharyngeal cancer. Sorafenib is being tested in multiple indications worldwide. In addition, Dr. McCormick’s group led to the identification of a CDK4 kinase inhibitor. Dr. McCormick's current research interests center on the fundamental differences between normal and cancer cells that can allow the discovery of novel therapeutic strategies. 

Dr. McCormick holds the David A. Wood Chair of Tumor Biology and Cancer Research at UCSF. Dr. McCormick is the author of over 285 scientific publications and holds 20 issued patents. He also served as President, 2012-2013 for the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). More recently, he has taken a leadership role at the Frederick National Lab for Cancer Research, overseeing an NCI supported national effort to develop therapies against Ras-driven cancers. These cancers include most pancreatic cancers, and many colorectal and lung cancers, and are amongst the most difficult cancers to treat. 

Ron Levy, MD

Dr. Levy is the Robert K. Summy and Helen K. Summy Professor of Medicine and Director of the Lymphoma Program at Stanford University School of Medicine. He is also the Associate Director of Translational Science for the Stanford Cancer Institute. For more than 25 years his research has focused on monoclonal antibodies and the study of malignant lymphoma, currently using the tools of immunology and molecular biology to develop a better understanding of the initiation and progression of the malignant process. He was the first to successfully treat cancer with a monoclonal antibody, and went on to help develop rituximab (Rituxan®) for the treatment of patients’ lymphomas. His research concentrates on Dr. Levy is using lymphocyte receptors as targets for new therapies for lymphoma, and is currently conducting clinical trials of lymphoma vaccines. Dr. Levy has published over 300 articles in the fields of oncology and immunology.

In 1982, Dr. Levy he shared the first Armand Hammer Award for Cancer Research, and was later awarded the Ciba-Geigy/Drew Award in Biomedical Research, the American Society of Clinical Oncology Karnofsky Award, the General Motors Charles Kettering Prize, the Key to the Cure Award by the Cure for Lymphoma Foundation, the Medal of Honor by the American Cancer Society, the Evelyn Hoffman Memorial Award by the Lymphoma Research Foundation of America, the 2004 Damashek Prize from the American Society of Hematology and in 2009 he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences and he won the King Faisal International Prize in Medicine.

James Ford, MD

Dr. Ford is a medical oncologist and geneticist at Stanford, devoted to studying the genetic basis of breast and GI cancer development, treatment and prevention in families and populations.  Dr. Ford graduated in 1984 from Yale University where he later received his M.D. degree, and trained in internal medicine and oncology fellow at Stanford.  He is currently Associate Professor of Medicine (Oncology) and Genetics, and Director of the Stanford Cancer Genetics Clinic and the Cancer Genomics Program at the Stanford University Medical Center.

Dr. Ford’s clinical interests include the diagnosis and treatment of patients with a hereditary pre-disposition to cancer.  He runs the Stanford Cancer Genetics Clinic, that sees patients for genetic counseling and testing of hereditary cancer syndromes for prevention and early diagnosis of cancer in high-risk individuals and populations.  He has recently been named the Director of Stanford’s new Cancer Genomics Program, performing next-generation tumor profiling to identify novel genetic targets for personalized targeted therapies.

Michael D Prados, MD

Michael Prados began his career in Neuro-Oncology as a Fellow at the University of California San Francisco in 1985.  Following a two year training program, he was recruited to the Faculty in 1988 and has remained at UCSF since that time, and is now Professor-in-Residence and the Charles B Wilson Chair of Neurosurgery.  His career interests center around patient care, and clinical and translational research.  He became the Project Leader of the North America Brain Tumor Consortium (NABTC) and led that group for 15 years.  When the NABTC merged with the NABTT (and became the Adult Brain Tumor Consortium) he was named co-Project Leader until stepping down from this multi-institutional early phase clinical trials group in early 2014.  In 2009, he was awarded the Project Leadership of what is called the Ivy Foundation Early Phase Clinical Trials Consortium, a group of now 7 major academic centers who conduct clinical and translation research in adults with brain cancer.  In 2014 he was awarded the Victor Levin Award for lifetime clinical research excellence from the Society of Neuro-Oncology.

He was the Institutional site Principal Investigator for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium (PBTC) for over 10 years, ending that role in 2012.  At that time he formed the Pacific Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Consortium (PNOC), a multi-institutional consortium of now 15 major academic centers across the United States, conducing early phase, precision-focused, clinical trials in young children and adolescents.

His major interests are early phase clinical trials research, and the translational studies that precede and inform those trials in both adults and children.  He has published over 300 articles since 1985 and is part of the Editorial board of Neuro-Oncology, Journal of Neuro-Oncology and Journal of Clinical Oncology.