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Ismael Samudio, PhD

Dr. Ismael Samudio is Senior Director of Research & Development at Virogin Biotech Limited.

Ismael Samudio obtained his Ph.D. in genetics from Texas A&M University (2002) and received postdoctoral training in pharmacology and toxicology at the Institute of Biotechnology in Houston. Ismael then worked as a scientist and research instructor in the Section of Molecular Hematology at MD Anderson Cancer Center where he led and supported various pre-clinical and clinical studies on the anti-leukemic and anti-tumor effects of various targeted agents, including the recently approved BH3 inhibitor Venetoclax. In addition, in collaboration with Dr. Michael Andreeff and Dr. Frank Marini, he demonstrated the therapeutic efficacy of gene-modified mesenchymal stromal cells in animal models of pancreatic and ovarian cancer.

From 2013 until 2015, while receiving additional postdoctoral training in immunotherapy at the BC Cancer Agency, Ismael reported in the prestigious journal Blood that HSV-1 is a potent activator of immune cell function and can be an adjuvant in the setting of bone marrow transplantation for the treatment of leukemia. These findings also support the notion that HSV-1 could be broadly used to potentiate solid tumor immunotherapy. In 2015, Ismael was recruited to the Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) to lead a nascent immunotherapy initiative and eventually became Director of Biologics for CDRD.  Ismael’s Biologics team developed several novel anti-tumor biotherapeutics of various formats, including CAR-T, antibody drug-conjugates (ADC), and functional antibodies. In 2019, Ismael assumed the role of Senior Director of R&D for Virogin where he is responsible for overseeing the development of an oncolytic virus pipeline and supporting the clinical translation of the lead program VG-161.

Ismael has published over 70 peer reviewed articles and various book chapters on the use of small molecules, cellular therapeutics, and immunotherapy strategies for the treatment of cancer, and is a leading expert on tumor metabolism.

Contact Ismael at isamudio@virogin.com