Igor Puzanov, MD is a Professor of Medicine, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University at Buffalo, Professor of Medicine, Director of Early Phase Clinical Trials Program and Melanoma Section Chief in the Department of Medicine at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Buffalo, New York (USA). After finishing medical school at Charles University in Prague (Czech Republic), he spent six years in the early 1990s developing animal models of natural killer cell development in the laboratory of Dr. Vinay Kumar at UT Southwestern in Dallas, Texas, establishing IL-15 as the most important cytokine for NK cell development. He served his medicine residency at UT Southwestern (Parkland Hospital) in Dallas and subsequent fellowship at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. He has focused both on developing precision medicine agents as well as immunotherapies for patients with cancer. These included breakthrough trials with PLX4032/vemurafenib the first in class/ first in human FDA-approved BRAF inhibitor, dabrafenib + trametinib, vemurafenib + cobimetinib and first successful “basket” trial with vemurafenib in patients with BRAF mutated tumors. Immunotherapy trials including Phase I-III trials with both CTLA-4 and PD1/PDL-1 checkpoint inhibitors including ipilimumab, nivolumab, pembrolizumab and atezolizumab. His input was instrumental in the development of talimogene laherparepvec, the first in human oncolytic virus therapy for patients with melanoma as well as in subsequent immunotherapy combinations with targeted agents as well as combinations of oncolytic viruses with checkpoint inhibitors .Dr. Puzanov served on the immunotoxicity task force panels for Society of Immunotherapy in Cancer (SITC), American Society of Clinical Oncology, developing guidelines for management of immuno-toxicities of checkpoint inhibitors. He is an author on more than 100 manuscripts, including in New England Journal of Medicine, Cell, Nature, Lancet, Journal of Clinical Oncology, JAMA. He is a member of American Society of Medical Oncology, Society of Immunotherapy in Cancer, ACP, AACR and Society of Melanoma Research and serves as an editor and reviewer for several peer reviewed journals.
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