Francesco Marincola, M.D.

Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Marincola leads development of Refuge’s intelligent cell therapy platform and investigation of its lead therapeutic programs. He most recently served as a distinguished research fellow and strategist for immune oncology discovery at AbbVie. Prior to this, he developed and led a genetic research institute at Sidra Medical and Research Center in Qata where he played a pivotal role in the Qatar Genome Project. He also trained in surgical oncology under Steven Rosenberg, M.D., Ph.D., at the National Cancer Institute and subsequently was a tenured investigator and chief of the infectious disease and immunogenetics section at the NIH Clinical Center. Dr. Marincola has spent his career studying tumor immunology and was a pioneer in the development of technologies for studying in real-time the dynamics of the tumor microenvironment adaptations during immune therapy. He described the mechanisms leading to cancer immune rejection describing the immunologic constant of rejection as  a conserved process shared responsible for other forms of immune-mediated tissue-specific destruction such as allograft rejection, graft versus host disease, flares of autoimmunity and clearance of pathogen during acute infections. He is currently leading worldwide efforts to understand the mechanism of cancer immune resistance such as the Society for the Immunotherapy of Cancer Task Force on Immune Responsiveness aimed at involving different areas of expertise besides immunology. Dr. Marincola graduated summa cum laude at the University of Milan, Medical School, Italy, and completed a general surgery residency with a focus in immunology at Stanford University. He was president of the Society for the Immunotherapy of Cancer and is the founding and current editor-in-chief of the Journal of Translational Medicine.

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