Exploring approaches for tackling the complexity of the tumor microenvironment: multi-parametric methods, new biomarkers & serial testing

Immuno-Oncology Insights 2022; 3(9), 441–447

DOI: 10.18609/ioi.2022.047

Published: 2 November 2022
Laura Benjamin, Mark Uhlik

Roisin McGuigan, Editor, Immuno-oncology Insights, speaks to OncXerna Therapeutics’ Laura Benjamin, Founder and CEO and Mark Uhlik, Vice President, Head of Research and Biomarker Discovery about their work on enabling tools and technologies for exploring and understanding the tumor microenvironment, and OnXerna’s clinical pipeline.

Laura Benjamin received a PhD in Molecular Biology at the University of Pennsylvania in 1995, and BA in Biology from Barnard College, Columbia University in 1987. For her PhD thesis, she characterized a pediatric cancer-driving fusion protein and methodologies to extract and amplify that chromosomal fusion from paraffin-embedded tissues, an early foray into molecular pathology. Following a 20+ year career in academic research and pharmaceutical R&D, Laura followed her mission to driving change in cancer drug development and was the sole founder of OncXerna Therapeutics, a global precision medicine company with headquarters in Boston. The company is aiming to deliver next-generation precision medicine strategies for cancer patients currently underserved by today’s approaches.

Mark Uhlik is a seasoned leader in translational oncology and drug discovery/development with over 15 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Mark earned his BSc in Microbiology from Colorado State University and his PhD in Microbiology and Immunology at Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine. He performed post-doctoral work at University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and at University of North Carolina School of Medicine. Mark has authored over 35 peer-reviewed publications in addition to book chapters and patents.