Scientific Advisory Board

Nohla Therapeutics appreciates the esteemed contribution of some of the most distinguished innovators in the cord blood transplant arena, the top minds in oncology, immunology, and cellular therapy.

Colleen Delaney, MD Chief Medical Officer

Colleen Delaney is the Chief Medical Officer at Nohla Therapeutics. She is also an Associate Member and recipient of the Madeline Dabney Adams Endowed Chair of the Fred Hutch Clinical Research Division and an Associate Professor at the UW Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology. Colleen is a member on the Advisory Council on Blood Stem Cell Transplantation of the Health Resources and Services Administration. She also serves on the Boards of Directors of the American Society of Bone Marrow Transplant and the Cord Blood Association.

In 2006, she established and became the Director of the Cord Blood Transplant Program at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center/Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, which has grown to be one of the busiest such programs in the country and the coordinating center of several multicenter clinical trials. She is the sponsor-investigator of three Investigational New Drug FDA files and has been the Principal Investigator of nine ongoing and completed clinical trials and several ancillary studies.

Colleen is also the Principal Investigator of a research laboratory focused on the role of the Notch signaling pathway in hematopoietic stem cell regulation and ex-vivo expansion of umbilical cord blood stem and progenitor cells for clinical applications. Her group at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center developed novel and clinically feasible methods for the ex vivo expansion of cord blood derived hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells in the presence of Notch ligands. This work was translated into a pilot study investigating the use of ex vivo expanded cord blood progenitors to augment conventional cord blood transplantation. She has since extended this work to investigate the potential of cryopreserved, non-HLA matched “off the shelf” ex vivo expanded cord blood progenitor cells to provide rapid but transient myeloid reconstitution in the setting of cord blood transplant and following dose-intensive chemotherapy.

Colleen received her MD from Harvard Medical School in 1996, and went on to complete a residency in Pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco followed by a Fellowship in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center/University of Washington.

Shelly Heimfeld, PhD Advisory Board Chair and Executive Vice President, Manufacturing and Research

Shelly Heimfeld is a Full Faculty Member at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and serves as Scientific Laboratory Director for the cGTP Cellular Therapy Laboratory and cGMP Therapeutic Manufacturing Facilities. These facilities are responsible for all minimally and more extensively manipulated cell components used for treatment of patients at the Center. His primary responsibilities are to ensure the safety, quality, and effectiveness of each product, but also include implementation of new technologies, translation of basic science procedures into appropriate clinical protocols, product development, process improvement, and regulatory compliance.

Shelly is internationally recognized for his research in hematopoietic-derived stem cells and the development of cell processing technologies for improved cancer therapy. His long-term goals have a direct therapeutic focus, many involving the “engineering” of transplant products to improve clinical outcomes. Pre-clinical translation activities include identification of better markers for characterization of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells, improvements in isolation/purification technologies, and development of ex vivo manipulation strategies that can enhance the therapeutic potential of cells such as T-cell-based immunotherapy for treatment of various diseases.

Shelly is a Past-President for International Society of Cellular Therapy (ISCT), and is a leading authority in the FDA regulations and lab practices needed for clinical cell therapies, including Good Laboratory Practice (GLP), Good Tissue Practice (GTP), and Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP). Shelly continues to work with the FDA and other organizations to facilitate the exchange of ideas and best practices in the rapidly evolving area of Cell Therapy.

Shelly received his PhD in Cell Differentiation from the University of California, Irvine and completed postdoctoral studies with Dr. Irving Weissman at Stanford before going into industry to work as a founding scientist at SyStemix and later at CellPro, Inc., the first company to develop an FDA-approved device for CD34+ cell enrichment.

Irwin D. Bernstein, MD Advisory Board Member

Irwin D. Bernstein, MD, is chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant at Seattle Children’s Hospital and professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Irwin holds the John R. Hartmann Endowed Chair in Pediatric Oncology/Hematology at Seattle Children’s and is an American Cancer Society professor. He is director of the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology in the Department of Pediatrics and Member and head of the Pediatric Oncology Program at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC) where he also heads NIH-supported grants for career development in pediatric and medical oncology.

His past appointments include a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for the University of Minnesota Cancer Center and board membership for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Irwin’s research interests have focused on developmental aspects of hematopoiesis, including normal and leukemic hematopoietic stem cells. Studies conducting in Dr. Bernstein’s lab were credited with the identification of maturation-linked cell surface antigens used to develop Mylotarg as a targeted anti-CD33 therapy for AML and for the development of stem cell transplantation using isolated CD34+ cells. Additional studies of normal hematopoiesis in his lab are aimed at determining methods to direct primitive hematopoietic precursors to commit to a particular maturational pathway or to self-renew. These studies, focused on the role of Notch signaling, demonstrated that constitutive Notch1 signaling can enhance self-renewal and lead to the immortalization of cytokine-dependent pluripotent murine hematopoietic stem cells. This in turn led to the finding that Notch signaling induced by exogenously presented engineered Notch ligands enhances the ex vivo generation of primitive multipotent precursors and has served as the basis for the development of novel clinically relevant expansion methods of human cord blood stem and progenitor cells now being developed by Nohla Therapeutics.