Driving the development of microbiome-based biomarkers of patient response to immunotherapy

Published: 8 June 2021
Interview
Ricardo Fernandes,
Ricardo Fernandes
Medical Oncologist, London Regional Cancer Program and Assistant Professor, The Department of Oncology, Western University
John Lenehan,
John Lenehan
Medical Oncologist, London Regional Cancer Program and Assistant Professor, Department of Oncology, Western University and Adjunct Scientist, Lawson Health Research Institute.
Saman Maleki
Saman Maleki
Assistant Professor, Departments of Oncology, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and Medical Biophysics, Western University and Scientist, London Regional Cancer Program, Lawson Health Research Institute

Ricardo Fernandes is a medical oncologist at the London Regional Cancer Program in London-Ontario and an assistant professor within The Department of Oncology at the Western University. He previously completed an early phase clinical trial/drug development fellowship within the oncology department at the Oxford University in the United Kingdom and a clinical research fellowship in genitourinary malignancies and bone oncology at the University of Ottawa. His interests are genitourinary malignancies, early phase drug trials, immunotherapy, predictive biomarkers and microbiome studies.

John Lenehan is a medical oncologist at the London Regional Cancer Program who specializes in treating melanoma and GI cancers such as pancreatic cancer. He is an assistant professor in the Department of Oncology at Western University and an adjunct scientist with the Lawson Health Research Institute.

Saman Maleki is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Oncology, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and Medical Biophysics at Western University. He is also a Scientist at Lawson Health Research Institute. Saman obtained his Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in Microbiology from Arak Azad University in Iran in 2004. He then completed his Master’s degree in Microbiology in 2008 at the University of Isfahan in Iran. For his Master’s degree, Saman studied the effect of Helicobacter pylori (H.pylori) on suppressing human innate and adaptive immunity. As part of his MSc degree, he spent several months as an exchange student studying the effect of various H.pylori strains on human neutrophils at the University of Freiburg in Germany. In 2014, Saman obtained his Ph.D. degree from The Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Western University. During his post-doctoral training at Western and Lawson, Saman worked on several novel Immuno-Oncology drugs at the pre-clinical stage before those drugs entered the Phase 1 clinical trial in patients. His studies also helped inform the design of some of the arms in those clinical trials.

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