Sean Parker’s cancer institute keeps growing with some “mind blowing” new research projects

Sean Parker Image: Shutterstock

Eighteen months after social media mogul Sean Parker anted up $250 million to launch a new cancer institute devoted to groundbreaking research work, the group is still absorbing labs and top investigators into its swelling network. This week, the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy welcomed a string of labs at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute led by some of the best-known scientists in oncology.

These scientists include Stephen Hodi, who led the first human study of Yervoy (ipilimumab), a pioneering CTLA-4 checkpoint drug that has been playing a primary role in immuno-oncology combo studies. Hodi has been focusing on breaking down resistance to the new checkpoints sweeping the field. The list also involves Catherine Wu, an antigen expert whose been working on identifying new targets that can whip up a more effective immune response to cancer. Philip Kranzusch — studying the cGAS-STING pathway to control immune signaling and antitumor immunity — and Nick Haining, concentrating on T cells, are also signing up.

Jeff Bluestone

PICI CEO (and UC San Francisco professor) Jeff Bluestone tells me that they have more than 60 labs in the network now, including more than 300 scientists in the front ranks of a global army of investigators who are pushing oncology R&D on to…