Scientific Advisors

Melissa LaBonte Wilson, PhD

Dr Melissa LaBonte Wilson joined the CV6 Therapeutics team in 2014 as a consultant in the biological validation of candidate small molecule inhibitors in our drug development pipeline. Melissa has over 14 years experience in the preclinical evaluation of small molecule and biologic-based cancer therapeutics having identified and characterized several first-in-class small-molecule and antibody-derived inhibitors to varied cancer-related targets including cytokines and growth factors. Dr LaBonte Wilson was awarded her PhD in Systems Biology and Disease from the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles where she was part of a translational research initiative at the Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center aiming to accelerate the transition of key laboratory discoveries to advances in clinical medicine. During her PhD, Dr LaBonte Wilson worked in the laboratory of Dr Robert D. Ladner who remains one of the world’s foremost authorities on uracil-DNA repair and mechanisms of resistance to thymidylate synthase-targeted therapies and collaborated closely with Dr Heinz-Josef Lenz, a world expert in mechanisms of clinical drug resistance in cancer treatment. During her PhD, Melissa identified novel and promising therapeutic drug combinations for gastrointestinal cancers that incorporated both novel and conventional chemotherapeutics and subsequently characterized the mechanisms of action and drug resistance that underpinned these new approaches. Dr LaBonte Wilson then accepted a Post-doctoral Fellowship with Dr Lenz and went on to identify key therapeutic targets and both small molecule and antibody-based inhibitors within the promising new field of the tumour microenvironment. In 2012, Dr LaBonte Wilson accepted an Assistant Professorship in the School of Biology and Chemistry at Azusa Pacific University in 2012 where she continued her drug development program up to April 2015, when she was appointed to the post of Lecturer in Molecular Oncology at the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology at Queen’s University Belfast. Dr LaBonte Wilson continues to drive a research program to develop novel therapies targeting both DNA synthesis and cytokine and growth-factor-driven pathways in cancer.