Veteran Oncology Researcher to Guide Investment in Breakthrough Cancer Treatments
LOS ANGELES – July 10, 2023 – Stand Up To Cancer® (SU2C) today announced that Julian Adams, Ph.D., a longtime oncology researcher and retired pharmaceutical industry chief executive, was named the organization’s first Chief Science Officer.
In this newly created position, Dr. Adams will lead the development of strategic research priorities to enhance SU2C’s research portfolio and will work closely with the SU2C Scientific Advisory Committee to steer funding to the most promising translational research opportunities. Dr. Adams will also support the securing of gifts, grants and sponsorships that advance SU2C’s distinctive brand of cutting-edge and disruptive research.
“Since SU2C’s launch in 2008, we have funded 142 team science grants and awards across a wide range of cancer types and the time is right to add a deeply knowledgeable and experienced leader to guide our research priorities and investment decisions,” said Russell Chew, president and CEO of Stand Up To Cancer. “Dr. Adams has been an integral member of SU2C’s Scientific Advisory Committee since the beginning and his commitment to our organization, along with his unrivaled combination of research and business acumen, makes him precisely the expert we need to guide and grow our research portfolio.”
In addition to leading the strategy and operational effectiveness of SU2C’s grants program, Dr. Adams will work to build and strengthen SU2C’s external relationships across the cancer research community, including with the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the Scientific Partner of SU2C, as well as with funding partners, research institutions, government entities, and other key stakeholders. As Chief Science Officer, Dr. Adams joins Stand Up To Cancer’s senior leadership team, reporting to the CEO, and will oversee SU2C’s prestigious Scientific Advisory Committee and SU2C’s scientific staff.
“During my long affiliation with Stand Up To Cancer, I’ve seen firsthand the tremendous impact of its collaborative approach to high-risk, high-reward research,” said Dr. Adams. “The opportunity to lead SU2C’s science organization and advance new, life-saving cancer treatments is the culmination of a career devoted to investigating how to defeat this insidious disease.”
Until his retirement in October 2022, Dr. Adams served as Chief Executive Officer of Gamida Cell (NASDAQ:GMDA), a commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company working to develop cell therapies for blood cancers and rare, serious blood diseases. Prior to joining Gamida Cell, Dr. Adams was President of R&D at Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where he oversaw development of small molecule drugs to treat cancer. He earlier served in senior research leadership roles at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Boehringer Ingelheim, LeukoSite, Inc., and ProScript. He holds more than 40 patents and has authored more than 130 papers and book chapters in peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Adams received his B.S. from McGill University and his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the field of synthetic organic chemistry. He also received the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa, from McGill University in 2012.
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Stand Up To Cancer® (SU2C) raises funds to accelerate the pace of research to get new therapies to patients quickly and save lives now. SU2C is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and was initially launched as a division of the Entertainment Industry Foundation. Established in 2008 by media and entertainment leaders, SU2C utilizes these communities’ resources to engage the public in supporting a new, collaborative model of cancer research, to increase awareness about cancer prevention, and to highlight progress being made in the fight against the disease. As of April 2023, more than 3,000 scientists representing more than 210 institutions are involved in SU2C-funded research projects.
Under the direction of our Scientific Advisory Committee, led by Nobel laureate Phillip A. Sharp, Ph.D., SU2C conducts rigorous competitive review processes to identify the best research proposals to recommend for funding, oversee grants administration, and ensure collaboration across research programs.
Current members of the SU2C Founders and Advisors Committee (FAC) include Katie Couric, Sherry Lansing, Kathleen Lobb, Lisa Paulsen, Rusty Robertson, Sue Schwartz, Pamela Oas Williams, and Ellen Ziffren. The late Laura Ziskin and the late Noreen Fraser are also co-founders. Russell Chew serves as SU2C’s president and CEO.