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Anthony W. Tolcher, MD, FRCPS(C), FACP

Dr. Tolcher is CEO and Founder of NEXT Oncology™ , San Antonio, Texas, a Phase I group that seeks to transform early clinical trials. NEXT Oncology’s mission is to accelerate the next breakthrough medicines for cancer and the vision is to be the most successful and respected Phase I program in oncology research. NEXT has grown to 4 sites worldwide with Phase 1 units in San Antonio and Austin Texas, and two sites in Spain including Madrid and Barcelona with the addition of Fairfax, Virginia and Dallas, Texas in 2020. Previously Dr. Tolcher served as President and Co-Founder of START LLC from 2008-2018, locations in San Antonio Texas; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Madrid Spain; and Shanghai China.

Dr. Tolcher is a medical oncologist who has over 25 years experience in early drug development and clinical trials. He has been involved in many of the initial phase I studies of new agents that subsequently were FDA approved for the treatment of cancer including pembrolizumab (Keytruda®), abemiciclib (Verzenio®) copanlisib (Aliqopa®), cemipilimab (Libtayo®), Durvalumab (Imfinzi®) trastuzumab emtansine (Kadcyla®), regorafenib (Stivarga®), liposomal vincristine (Marqibo®), cabazitaxel (Jevtana®), carfilzomib (Kyprolis®), gefitinib (Iressa®), erlotinib (Tarceva®), temsirolimus (Torisel®), pemetrexed(Alimta®), panitumumab (Vectibix®), ixasbepilone (Ixempra®), and eribulin (Halaven®). He is currently the principal investigator on over 20 phase I clinical studies, is a reviewer for the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Clinical Cancer Research, and Annals of Oncology. He has chaired the Developmental Therapeutics Review Committee for the American Association of Clinical Oncology Annual Scientific Program. Dr. Tolcher has over 130 peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals including Nature, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA), Journal of Clinical Oncology and Clinical Cancer Research, as well as an author of nine book chapters.

Junji Furuse, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Furuse is a renowned global expert in gastrointestinal medical oncology with speciality in hepatobiliary and pancreatic cancer. He is currently the current president of the Kanagawa Cancer Center in Yokohama Japan. Previously he was professor of in the Department of Medical Oncology, Kyorin University School of Medicine. Prior to this he was the Chief physician, Inpatient Division, National Cancer Center Hospital East and a Research fellow at Thomas Jefferson University (Philadelphia, PA). He graduated from Chiba University School of Medicine and obtained his Ph.D there.

He is on the council for the Japanese Society of Medical Oncology and the Japan Pancreas Society and a board-certified specialist and supervisor in the Japanese Society of Internal Medicine and the Japanese Society of Gastroenterology. Dr Furuse is active at the forefront of oncological research. He sits on a variety of expert committees guiding oncological approaches in Japan and his laboratory at Kyorin University School of Medicine has contributed widely to investigatory and combinatorial approaches for the treatment of cancer. He is a member of American Society of Clinical Oncology; the European Society for Medical Oncology; and the International Liver Cancer Association (ILCA). He has also been a technical advisor to the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency of Japan.

Dr. Darren Tyson, Ph.D.

Dr. Tyson has pioneered the development of experimental and computational approaches to assess the dynamics of cancer therapeutic response at the single-cell level to better understand the mechanisms of anticancer drug action and the progression to treatment resistance. His recent research has focused on evaluating the role of biochemical networks and signaling mechanisms controlling stochastic cell fate decisions—including phenotypic plasticity—as they relate to mechanisms of resistance to anticancer therapies. He also has extensive knowledge on the assessment and quantification of synergy of drug combinations in the preclinical setting.

Dr. Tyson received his Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology from Saint Louis University, received postdoctoral training at the University of California, Irvine, and is currently a Research Associate Professor of Biochemistry with a joint appointment in Pharmacology in the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He is also a member of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, the Center for Cancer Systems Biology, and the Quantitative Systems Biology Center at Vanderbilt University. He has been part of a U.S. National Cancer Institute Consortium for Cancer Systems Biology for nearly 15 years.

Neetu Singh, Ph.D.

Dr. Singh is Associate Professor, Department of Molecular Biology, Center for Advance Research, King George’s Medical University (KGMU). Dr. Singh received her Ph.D. and Post-Doc from Endocrinology Division, Central Drug Research Institute (CSIR-CDRI), Lucknow. She was instrumental in creating Center for Advance Research at KGMU, which has high-end infrastructure related to molecular and cell biology.

She was selected for ‘Halifax Project (Getting to known cancer)’, among world's 300 renowned cancer researchers and physicians. Dr. Singh has been conferred with several awards, including the Women-Scientist (WOS-A), Fast Track Young-Scientist Fellowship Award and Early Career Research Award. She also awarded the accomplished Affymetrix Tumor Grant Profiling Award, USA, Terry Fox Foundation Fellowship. Her primary focus is on understanding the dynamics of adult and pediatric cancer transcriptomics in relation to diagnosis, transition from indolent to metastasis stages and development of therapeutics, using cutting edge long and short read technology. Her research has also included significant work in the field of metagenomics and 16srRNA profiling of chronic inflammation predisposition to cancer. Her extensive knowledge in coding and noncoding transcriptomics and data modeling through Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence algorithms has paved pathway for precision medicine in clinical settings. Dr. Singh was instrumental in writing several reviews on Hallmarks of Cancer. She has is author on more than 76 scientific publications in peer reviewed journals of high impact factor.

Shailesh Deshpande, Ph.D.

Dr. Shailesh Deshpande has extensive expertise in NCE discovery, with over two decades of industrial experience in various capacities. He initiated his career with Torrent Pharma Ltd., where he was instrumental in establishing primary cell based in-vitro screening and mechanism of action of lead compounds, in indications such ischemic stroke, acute kidney injury and CKD anaemia. During his tenure at Torrent, he played a pivotal role in progressing two lead candidates to clinical development and has experience in diverse therapeutic areas such as metabolic disorders, respiratory, gastroenterology, and dermatology. In his last association, as General Manager - Discovery Biology, he was responsible for the companies preclinical discovery portfolio. He is currently serving as consultant to drug discovery companies.

Dr. Deshpande received his Ph.D. from Tata Memorial Center (TMC), Mumbai, where his early work was focussed on identifying tools of early cancer detection and its possible chemoprevention (experimental carcinogenesis). His post-doctoral training at Johns Hopkins University, U.S.A. involved identification of novel disease mechanisms, with cellular and molecular tools to identify the mechanisms behind cardiovascular diseases such as heart failure and myocardial infarction.

Vivek Trivedi, Ph.D., MRSC, MAPS

Dr. Trivedi is a formulation scientist with several years of experience in both industry and academia. His primary research interests include solubility improvement of BCS II drugs and the non-invasive delivery of biomolecules. Vivek’s research strongly revolves around the use of green processing techniques, such as supercritical carbon dioxide (scCO2) to develop suitable strategies for drug delivery. He has developed a platform known as Solid Core Drug Delivery System (SCDDS) for the oral delivery of biomolecules to ensure the safe passage of the active to the lower intestine and provide sustained release. He has also been working on the nasal delivery of small and large molecules via non-aqueous matrices to avoid issues related to aqueous sprays. One of his current industrial projects involves the development of nasal formulations for the nose-to-brain delivery of nucleic acid-based drugs.

ver the years, Dr. Trivedi has worked with various small and large pharmaceutical companies, as well as attracted funding from the European Union, Royal Society, and Royal Society of Chemistry, etc. and has published numerous scientific manuscripts in high-impact journals. Dr. Trivedi received his Ph.D. from the University of Kent, United Kingdom.


Dr. Mandhare is drug development professional with over 27 years of expert hands on knowledge in computation chemistry, advanced molecular modeling, pharmacophore mapping and molecular docking methodologies. He was involved in developing predicative hypothesis models, virtual screening, designing of novel backbones, prediction of physicochemical properties and toxicities. He has applied various advanced in-silico techniques and knowledge based artificial intelligence concepts in the lead identification and lead optimization processes.

Dr. Mandhare received his Ph.D. from National Chemical Laboratory (NCL), following he was associated with Core Healthcare Ltd, where he was instrumental in setting up a CADD. As a Senior scientist at Torrent Research center (TRC), he has participated in development of leads in several therapeutic areas such as hypertension, metabolic disorders, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. To his credit, he is also recipient of national and international scientific publications and product patents. He collaborates with several national research institutes, and corporates, as a consultant.