How do we accelerate the discovery of life saving therapies through cancer cell authentication?

The GBSI BioPolicy Summit is an annual forum to discuss science policy. Many issues and decisions that arise in biomedical research need to be discussed among all stakeholders in order to enact industry wide policies, and the BioPolicy Summit is that forum.

Our 2014 inaugural Summit focused on cancer research by recognizing the transformative impact cell authentication can have in improving cancer study replication. We shared key recommendations developed by GBSI’s Cancer Cell Authentication and Standards Task Force, including the role public and private funders can have on improving the quality and efficacy of research.

Leaders from academia, government agencies, industry, patient advocacy groups, publishing, and the funding community joined together to discuss new policies and best practices to fuel the development of life-saving treatments. It featured an interactive panel discussion that was moderated by Richard Harris, NPR Science Correspondent, who also led a question-and-answer session about how new policies and best practices will promote breakthroughs in cancer research.

Watch the Summit


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Keith Yamamoto

Keith Yamamoto, PhD, Vice Chancellor for Research, University of California, San Francisco, and Executive Vice Dean, UCSF School of Medicine

Keith Yamamoto is vice chancellor for research, executive vice dean of the school of medicine, and professor of cellular and molecular pharmacology at UCSF.  His research is focused on signaling and transcriptional regulation by nuclear receptors, which mediate the actions of several classes of essential hormones and cellular signals.

Dr. Yamamoto has led or served on numerous national committees focused on public and scientific policy, public understanding and support of biological research, and science education. He has also chaired or served on many committees that oversee the process of peer review and the policies that govern it at the NIH.

Dr. Yamamoto is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Academy of Microbiology, and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Richard Harris

Richard Harris, NPR News Science Correspondent

Award-winning journalist Richard Harris has reported on a wide range of topics in science, medicine and the environment since he joined NPR in 1986.

In early 2014, his focus shifted from an emphasis on climate change and the environment to biomedical research. Over the course of his career, Harris has been the recipient of many prestigious awards. Those include the American Geophysical Union’s 2013 Presidential Citation for Science and Society. He shared the 2009 National Academy of Sciences Communication Award and was a finalist again in 2011. In 2002, Harris was elected an honorary member of Sigma Xi, the scientific research society. Harris shared a 1995 Peabody Award for investigative reporting on NPR about the tobacco industry. Since 1988, the American Association for the Advancement of Science has honored Harris three times with its science journalism award.

Harris is co-founder of the Washington, D.C., Area Science Writers Association, and is past president of the National Association of Science Writers. He serves on the board of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

Veronique Kiermer

Veronique Kiermer, PhD, Executive Editor, Nature Publishing Group

Véronique Kiermer is Executive Editor and Head of Researchers Services for Nature Publishing Group. She obtained her PhD in molecular biology from the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium. Her postdoctoral work was in the laboratory of Dr Eric Verdin at the Gladstone Institute of Virology and Immunology, University of California, San Francisco, studying the transcriptional regulation of HIV.

She then worked on gene therapy projects at the biotechnology company Cell Genesys before moving to Nature Publishing Group in 2004.

At NPG, she was the founding Chief Editor of Nature Methods and subsequently took on publishing responsibility for the title and other online products.

In October 2010, she became Executive Editor, overseeing editorial policies and editorial quality assurance for Nature and the Nature journals. She also heads NPG’s Researchers Services, developing initiatives to benefit scientists in their roles as researchers, authors and referees.

Jon Lorch

Jon Lorsch, PhD, Director, National Institute of General Medical Sciences

Dr. Lorsch became NIGMS director in August 2013. In this position, he oversees the Institute’s $2.359 billion budget, which funds basic research in the areas of cell biology, biophysics, genetics, developmental biology, pharmacology, physiology, biological chemistry, biomedical technology, bioinformatics and computational biology as well as selected areas of clinical research. NIGMS supports more than 4,500 research grants—about 10.5 percent of those funded by NIH as a whole—as well as a substantial amount of research training and programs designed to increase the diversity of the biomedical research workforce.

Lorsch’s early efforts at NIGMS have included initiating the development of a new strategic plan for the Institute and analyzing its grant portfolio. He is committed to supporting investigator-initiated research and to ensuring that the Institute is investing the taxpayers’ money in the most effective and efficient way possible.

Lorsch came to NIGMS from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he was a professor in the Department of Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry. His research on RNA biology, which he continues at a lab housed in another part of NIH, was supported by grants from NIGMS, other NIH institutes, and additional funding organizations.


Richard Neve, PhD, Scientist, Discovery Oncology, Genentech

Dr. Neve has 20 years’ experience in the Life Sciences spanning academia and industry. After earning a PhD studying the ERBB2 oncogene at the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research, Basel, Switzerland he was a postdoctoral fellow at UCSF and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories where he utilized genomics to identify therapeutic targets in breast cancer.

Dr. Neve is currently a Scientist in Discovery Oncology, Genentech where in addition to his target discovery group he built a centralized cell bank to deliver quality assured cell lines with the Research organization.

Howard Soule

Howard Soule, PhD, Chief Science Officer, Prostate Cancer Foundation and Senior Fellow, Milken Institute

Howard Soule, PhD, coordinates global academic, government and biopharmaceutical sector research activity and is responsible for the implementation of PCF’s global research strategies. From 1997 to 2004, he was Executive Vice President and Chief Science Officer of PCF. He is also a member of the Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Program Integration Panel. Most recently, he was Managing Director of Knowledge Universe Health and Wellness Group, a private investment firm focused on companies in the general areas of disease prevention and treatment. Dr. Soule has been with the Foundation for 11 years.

Prior to joining PCF in 1997, Dr. Soule was a senior R&D executive for nine years at Corvas International, Inc., a public biotechnology company. He was responsible for the discovery and development of innovative products for the treatment of life-threatening cardiovascular diseases. Dr. Soule has considerable experience in medical diagnostic and device industries as well.

Dr. Soule received a PhD from Baylor College of Medicine in Virology and Epidemiology and was a Post Doctoral Fellow in Immunology and Vascular Biology at the Scripps Research Institute.