EMERYVILLE — Gritstone Oncology, a cancer immunotherapy company developing next-generation, personalized cancer therapeutics, has appointed Karin Jooss, Ph.D., as chief scientific officer. Dr. Jooss joins Gritstone from Pfizer, where she served as head of Cancer Immunotherapeutics and Immunopharmacology for seven years.
“We are thrilled that Karin has chosen to join Gritstone at this vital stage and help us build a best-in-class neo-antigen cancer vaccine company,” said Andrew Allen, M.D., Ph.D., Gritstone Oncology co-founder, president and CEO. “She is a seasoned researcher with highly relevant scientific experience, an extensive cancer immunotherapy network, and a proven ability to lead cross-functional teams that effectively move cancer vaccines into clinical development.”
Dr. Jooss has more than 20 years of experience in oncology and immunology research. While at Pfizer, she built and led immuno-oncology teams within the Vaccine Immunotherapeutics department, was a member of the Vaccine Immunotherapeutics leadership team and served as the head of the Immunophamacology team. Her duties included overseeing the assessment of all cancer vaccine in-licensing opportunities, and launching Pfizer’s first clinical cancer-vaccine program deploying a variety of vaccine platforms and immune modulators to build a multi-component vaccine-based immunotherapy regimen. Prior to joining Pfizer, Dr. Jooss served as vice president of Research at Cell Genesys, Inc.
“I am very excited to be joining this innovative and fast-moving team,” said Jooss. “The science of tumor-specific neo-antigens is foundational to cancer immunotherapy, and I am delighted to be able to apply my skills and experience to this new domain alongside the founders and scientists of Gritstone.”
The company launched in October 2015 with a Series A financing of $102 million from leading biotechnology investors, including Versant Ventures, The Column Group and Clarus Ventures.