The Antibody Society, Inc., an international non-profit trade association focused on the advancement of antibody research and development, is pleased to announce the election of Prof. E. Sally Ward as President, Dr. Janine Schuurman as Vice President, and Prof. Paul Parren as Chair of the Board of Directors. They will assume these roles on January 1, 2022.
Prof. Ward, Dr. Schuurman and Prof. Parren bring substantial experience and expertise to their new roles. They each have made seminal contributions to the field of antibody discovery and development, and have critical experience with building successful external collaborations, partnerships, and alliances, which are essential to the Society’s future growth. Prof. Parren is succeeding Dr. James S. Huston who founded the Society in 2007 and served as Chair of the Board until his passing in 2020.
Prof. Ward served as the Society’s Vice President during 2020-2021. On her election as President, she said, “I am delighted to be given the opportunity to serve as President for The Antibody Society. It is a particular pleasure to be following in the footsteps of my friend and colleague, Dr. Paul Carter, who has made enormous contributions to the Society during his term. I am very enthusiastic about working with our newly elected Vice President, Dr. Janine Schuurman, on the Executive Committee. The antibody field continues to deliver an ever-expanding repertoire of novel classes of therapeutics to treat human disease, and it is great to be involved in this exciting area!”
Dr. Schuurman stated, “The Antibody Society plays a key role in representing individuals and organizations involved in the antibody research and development and it is a great pleasure to be elected as Vice President of this important association. I’m looking forward to elevating the awareness of antibody science and therapeutics, our beloved field of research, which is getting more and more interdisciplinary and interconnected. I’m also excited about this opportunity to work with Prof. Sally Ward and Dr. Janice Reichert as part of the Society’s Executive Committee.”
Prof. Parren remarked, “I am honored to be elected as the Chair of the Board of The Antibody Society and serve to support the business of antibody therapeutic development by stimulating the interchange of ideas and education as well as by working with opinion leaders and policy makers to forward this exciting field.”
Sally Ward, Ph.D., Professor in Molecular Immunology and Director of Translational Immunology in the Centre for Cancer Immunology at the University of Southampton.
Prof. Ward’s research takes an interdisciplinary approach involving a combination of antibody/protein engineering, fluorescence imaging and in vivo studies to inform the design of antibody-based therapies for autoimmunity and cancer. In 1996, her laboratory identified the Fc receptor, FcRn, as a global regulator of IgG levels, leading to half-life extension and FcRn antagonist (Abdeg) technologies. These technologies have been licensed to biopharma, resulting in engineered, antibody-based therapeutics that are approved or are pending approval. Recent work in her laboratory has also described the generation of antibody-drug conjugates with engineered variable domains that have improved lysosomal delivery behavior.
Janine Schuurman, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Head Antibody Research & Technology, Genmab
Dr. Schuurman is an expert in antibody biology and translational research. Following her passion to develop innovative antibody therapeutics, Dr. Schuurman joined Genmab in 2000. She currently heads the Research & Technology division, focusing on antibody biology research, the creation of novel antibody formats and their translation to antibody therapeutics. She is a co-inventor multiple antibody technology platforms including DuoBody®, HexaBody® and HexElect® technologies that enable the generation of bispecific and effector-function enhanced antibodies. These technologies are being applied to antibody therapeutics discovery programs at Genmab, as well as many leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies located worldwide. In addition, she is a co-inventor of several antibody therapeutic products in various stages of development and approved treatment options for patients.
Paul Parren, Ph.D., Executive Vice President and Head of R&D, Lava Therapeutics; Professor of Molecular Immunology at the Leiden University Medical Center
Prof. Parren is dedicated to translating antibody biology and immunotherapy knowledge into innovative therapeutics and technologies. He has a passion for investigating and understanding structure-function relationships and their application in antibody drug discovery and development. He was a postdoc and faculty member at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA. From 2002-2017, he served in the position Scientific Director heading Genmab’s preclinical R&D, where he developed the scientific concepts and translation of the DuoBody® and HexaBody® technologies. He is an inventor of five marketed therapeutic antibodies, including canonical human antibodies, an antibody-drug conjugate and a bispecific antibody, approved for the treatment of various cancers and autoimmune inflammatory diseases. He is a tenured Professor of Molecular Immunology at the Leiden University Medical Center in Leiden, the Netherlands. He heads R&D at LAVA Therapeutics since 2018. Under his leadership, LAVA grew to a clinical stage biotechnology company with a successful initial public offering and Nasdaq listing in the US in March of 2021. He also provides drug development, patent, and investment advice as an independent consultant to (start-up) biotech and pharma and contributes to the program of leading scientific conferences in the antibody field.
About The Antibody Society
The Antibody Society, Inc. is an international non-profit trade association representing individuals and organizations involved in antibody research and development. The Society is an authoritative source of information about antibody therapeutics development, which is disseminated via our website, presentations, and publications. In addition, the Society organizes conferences and webinars on antibody research and development and related topics. The Society also serves as the home for the Adaptive Immune Receptor Repertoire Community, which focuses on developing standards and protocols for curating, analyzing and sharing antibody B and T cell receptors. As a business association, the Society can engage with government and international agencies such as the World Health Organization to discuss topics that are important to the antibody community, such as international naming conventions.