NEW CANAAN, CT, January 30, 2006—The Board of Trustees of the Albert B. Sabin Vaccine Institute (Sabin) announced personnel changes made to strengthen the Institute’s efforts in the area of cancer vaccines. At a January 12 meeting in New York, the Board elected Axel Hoos, MD, PhD, as a trustee and approved the appointment of Robert Allen, MD, as vice president for cancer programs.
Hoos was recently recruited as group director for global clinical oncology at Bristol- Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute in Wallingford, Connecticut, where his posts include medical lead for the investigational cancer drug ipilimumab, an immunostimulatory human antibody for the potential treatment of melanoma, prostate, breast, renal and other cancers, as well as HIV infection. Hoos is former senior director of clinical development at the New York biotechnology firm Antigenics, Inc., where he was responsible for developmental strategy and clinical trials in all phases of product development.
Hoos studied medicine at Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany and received his PhD in molecular oncology for work in molecular biology and tumor immunology at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg. He trained in surgery with a focus on surgical oncology at the Technical University in Munich and worked in surgery, molecular pathology and cancer immunology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.
For the past eight months Hoos has served on the Executive Council of the Sabin-sponsored Cancer Vaccine Consortium, an association of researchers in academia and industry dedicated to the advancement of vaccines to cure and prevent cancer. He will continue in this capacity while adding his expertise to the Sabin Board of Trustees.
The Sabin Board simultaneously announced the appointment of Robert Allen, MD, to the position of vice president for cancer programs. He will work closely with Sabin Chairman H.R. Shepherd in the organization’s New Canaan, Connecticut, office. Prior to joining Sabin, Allen was on the attending staff of the Stamford Hospital since 1981, where he served on the Radiation Safety Committee, Medical Board Committee, the Stamford Hospital Board of Directors, and the Community Health Assessment Committee. Allen also served as a member of the negotiations committee of the Stamford Independent Physicians Association, representing the 250 members in negotiating contracts with HMOs.
Commissioned in 1974, Allen is a Vietnam War veteran and served as head of the medical department aboard the USS Detroit AOE-4, a fast combat support ship stationed in Norfolk, Virginia and deployed to the Mediterranean Sea. He was responsible for the medical care of the 550-man crew, 7 hospital corpsmen, a 17-bed hospital and provided backup medical assistance to the aircraft carrier taskforce. He retired from the Navy Reserves in 2001 with the rank of commander. Allen completed his medical training at Howard University in Washington, DC in 1974, his internship in general surgery at the Navy Regional Medical Center in Portsmouth, Virginia in 1975, and his residency in diagnostic radiology at Yale New Haven Hospital in 1980.
“The addition of Dr. Hoos and Dr. Allen to the Sabin Institute significantly bolsters our cancer programs,” said Dr. H.R. Shepherd, chairman of the board of Sabin. “In the next few years we hope to see the introduction of cancer vaccines into the standard of care for various types of cancers. Vaccine therapies hold great promise to combat cancer cells, while avoiding the traumatic side effects associated with surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy.”
Since 1999, Sabin has sponsored an annual scientific colloquium on cancer vaccines and immunotherapy. In 2002, Sabin launched the Cancer Vaccine Consortium, which now comprises 50 member organizations, including industries such as Bristol-Myers Squibb and research institutions such as Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
The mission of the Albert B. Sabin Vaccine Institute is to save lives by advancing development of new vaccines and global immunization. Founded in 1993, the Institute pursues Dr. Albert Sabin’s vision of a world protected from disease by vaccines.