2017 IO Featured Talks » Translational Oncology & Biomarker Development for the Era of Combination Cancer Immunotherapy



Translational Oncology & Biomarker Development for the Era of Combination Cancer Immunotherapy

Terri McClanahan, PhD
Merck Research Labs

Part 1


Part 2






Terri McClanahan, PhD
Executive Director, Profiling & Expression Group
Translational Oncology, Biologics Discovery
Merck Research Labs


Dr. McClanahan is currently the Executive Director of the Profiling & Expression group in Biologics Discovery at Merck Research Laboratories. Her group combines multiple molecular, cellular and tissue-based approaches to interrogate disease mechanisms, working closely with discovery biologists and drug development teams to provide mechanistic data, disease association and biomarkers of drug response. She oversees and integrates the work of several key areas utilizing multiple tissue-based methodologies including histopathology, flow cytometry, cell sorting and molecular profiling, to support projects spanning from the earliest novel discovery projects to IND-enabling mechanistic studies, tissue, cell type and disease tissue expression profiling, and translational biomarker discovery, with a specific emphasis on immune regulation and immune-oncology.

Dr. McClanahan and her group provided important molecular insights in the discovery and characterization of Th17 cells, the mechanism of action of IL-23/IL-23R, IL-17 and additional targets involved in autoimmune diseases, and provided key data to progress these molecules towards development. Her group has contributed to the molecular understanding of immune regulation in anti-tumor responses to anti-PD-1 and additional immunomodulatory pathways, including biomarkers associated with response to immune therapy in oncology.

During her career, she has contributed to over 95 published scientific articles, contributed to IND filings for anti-IL-10, anti-IL-17, anti-IL-23, anti-TSLP, anti-PD-1, anti-GITR, anti-LAG3 and is a co-inventor on numerous patents. She received her Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry from University of California, Los Angeles, and conducted postdoctoral research fellowships at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL and at DNAX Research Institute in Palo Alto, CA.