EMD Serono, USA
Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
Department:  Translational and Biomarker Research, Oncology Platform
Title: Group Leader
Start Date: May 16, 2011
Education: B.A. Biology, College of the Holy Cross (1991), Ph.D. Molecular Biology, Princeton University (1996), Postdoctoral: Whitehead Institute, MIT (2001)
What initially drew you to EMD Serono?
I was drawn to EMD Serono by the world-class science and excellent portfolio of oncology programs in R&D, which include small molecules, antibodies and protein therapeutics.
What do you like about working for this organization?
I enjoy collaborating with and learning from top cancer researchers and oncologists in a global organization.
What makes EMD Serono unique?  
EMD Serono’s R&D organization is willing to take risks on more challenging targets and therapeutic modalities that require innovative solutions.
What do you enjoy most about working as a researcher?
I enjoy communicating with and learning from people with a wide range of different backgrounds and expertise in the areas drug discovery, biomarkers and clinical development.
Please describe your career path. 
During my Ph.D. work, I studied the mechanisms by which the p53 tumor suppressor, the most frequently mutated gene in human cancer, transforms cells.  I then did postdoctoral research in the laboratory of Dr. Robert Weinberg at the Whitehead Institute where I developed a genetically-defined model of breast cancer with a set of 3 oncogenes and found an important role for the tumor stroma in cancer development in this model.  I then worked in the Oncology Department at Biogen Idec for 10 years where I led a Raf kinase inhibitor project from early discovery into a Phase I clinical trial that began in 2011.


During his PhD thesis work, Brian became fascinated with the underlying genetic mechanisms of cancer.  Later, he decided to choose a career that allowed him to use this knowledge to develop new drugs for cancer patients. Ultimately, Brian wants to be able to use his experience to help teams bring new targeted cancer therapies into Phase 1 trials, select biomarkers that identify the patients most likely to respond to the drug, and hopefully contribute to the approval of a breakthrough new drug for cancer patients.