John Connolly joined the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy (PICI) as its new chief scientific officer. He was most recently CSO at Singaporean clinical-stage cell therapy company Tessa Therapeutics, which in 2017 struck up an alliance with PICI to develop next-generation cancer treatments. Connolly is an associate professor at National University of Singapore and an adjunct associate professor of immunology at Baylor University.
He succeeds former Fred Ramsdell, who left the organization with founding CEO Jeff Bluestone to start Sonoma Biotherapeutics, which launched in February with $40 million to develop cell therapies for autoimmune disorders.
PICI founder and chairman Sean Parker, the billionaire Silicon Valley entrepreneur who served as the first president of Facebook (NASDAQ: FB), launched the organization in 2016 with $250 million to back and conduct R&D into immunotherapies for cancer.