Scientific Advisory Board

Mark Levis, MD

Dr. Levis is actively involved in the pre-clinical and clinical development of small molecule kinase inhibitors targeting the Fms-like Tyrosine Kinase 3 (FLT3) signaling pathway in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). His expertise is in AML, acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), chronic lymphoblastic leukemia (CLL), chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), leukemia, medical oncology, and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). He is a well-known physician-scientist whose expertise includes signal transduction biology, molecular pharmacology, and the clinical management of leukemia. His interests include the use of agents targeting receptor tyrosine kinases for the treatment of acute leukemia, primarily AML.  His laboratory research focuses on how these agents can be successfully incorporated into existing treatment regimens. He is interested in three compounds in particular: AC220, a FLT3/KIT inhibitor, crenolanib, a selective FLT3 inhibitor with activity against resistant point mutations, and PLX3397, another inhibitor of KIT and FLT3. The active projects in his lab include: 1) characterization of cytotoxic responses of different hematologic malignancies to FLT3 and KIT kinase inhibition; 2) examination of the interaction of bone marrow stroma and stroma-derived cytokines on the efficacy of these inhibitors;  3) examination of the differential effect of FLT3 inhibition versus combined FLT3/KIT inhibition on AML and bone marrow progenitor cells; and 4) correlative laboratory studies using blood and marrow samples from patients treated with FLT3 inhibitors, with the aim of developing predictive models for clinical response. Dr. Levis has over ten years of experience conducting correlative laboratory studies on clinical trial specimens and directly coordinating clinical trials in AML.

·   Medical School: UCSF Medical Center and Hospital

·   Residency: Johns Hopkins University Hospital

·   Fellowship: Johns Hopkins University Hospital

Alexander Perl, MD, MS

Dr. Perl specializes in the care of patients with acute leukemias (AML and ALL), myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), and chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). He also studies oncogenic signal transduction in acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). His research focuses upon the phosphotidylinositol 3' kinase (PI3K)/AKT/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway as well as the Fms-like Tyrosine Kinase 3 (FLT3). He has designed and performed clinical trials examining the strategy of inhibiting mTOR to promote chemotherapy response in AML, as well as FLT3 inhibitors to treat patients with kinase activating FLT3 mutations. The laboratory correlation science on these studies was also performed by Dr. Perl, leading to improved methods for measuring mTOR activation in clinical samples via phospho-specific flow cytometry of fixed, unfractionated blood and marrow. Dr. Perl is currently exploring the use of flow cytometry for pharmacodynamic monitoring of signal transduction inhibitor response in hematologic malignancies as well as preclinical drug screening in cellular and murine xenotransplantation models.


·   Medical School: Mount Sinai School of Medicine

·   Residency: UCSF Medical Center and Hospital

·   Fellowship: Johns Hopkins University Hospital

Richard M. Stone, MD

Dr. Stone has performed numerous laboratory and clinical studies on acute leukemia and related disorders, and frequently participates in grand rounds worldwide. He is currently the Director of the Adult Acute Leukemia Program at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, serves on the Medical Oncology Board of the American Board of Internal Medicine, and is Vice Chair of the Leukemia Core Committee for the national cooperative trials group Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB). He is engaged in developmental therapeutics for patients with bone marrow stem cell disorders including the acute leukemias, myelodysplasia, and the myeloproliferative disorders. The areas of differentiation-based therapy, as well as cell signal modification therapy (kinase inhibitors) currently with agents which act on protein kinase-C and immunologically-based therapy involving transduction of pro-inflammatory genes into leukemia cells and dendritic cell/leukemia cell fusions, represent an important current translocational focus. From a clinical standpoint he is involved in several large trials designed to improve the care of patients with acute leukemia: including immunotherapy with IL-2 as late post-remission therapy for the adults with AML (CALGB) and use of a bcl-2 antisense oligonucleotide in older adults with AML. He is also testing the feasibility of adding a FLT3 inhibitor to chemotherapy in newly diagnosed patients with AML and using a pediatric-like regimen to treat adults with ALL.

·   Medical School: Harvard Medical School

·   Residency: Brigham and Women's Hospital

·   Fellowship: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute