Jonathan Bramson, PhD
Chief Executive Officer and Chief Scientific Officer
Jonathan is a founding scientist of Triumvira. He is a Professor in the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine and the Assistant Dean, Research Infrastructure of the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario He holds a Tier I Canada Research Chair in Translational Cancer Immunology and the John Bienestock Chair in Molecular Medicine. Jonathan also founded and served as the inaugural Director of the Fraunhofer Project Centre for Biomedical Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing at McMaster University (BEAM), which is an international joint venture with the Fraunhofer Society of Germany. Situated in Hamilton, BEAM is focused on commercialization of promising technologies in the areas of diagnostics, cell therapies and biomaterials. Previously, he was the Director of the McMaster Immunology Research Centre, home to 12 independent faculty members and 131 research staff members including trainees. Jonathan has been conducting basic research in immuno-oncology for over 20 years, and his lab has been focused on engineered T cells since 2010. Jonathan earned a BSc in biochemistry and PhD in Experimental Medicine from McGill University.
Christopher Helsen, PhD
Director, R&D and Head, Platform Development
Chris is a founding scientist of Triumvira, and as a post-doctoral fellow in Jonathan Bramson’s laboratory, he was the primary architect of the TAC platform. Chris brings to Triumvira a comprehensive background in protein chemistry, having worked with a variety of different proteins, ranging from spider silk to chaperones to yeast prions. While working with prions, Chris developed novel assays for in vitro characterization of the chaperone catalyzed prion-fiber formation process. The development of these assays highlights Chris’s ability to think out of the box and use various seemingly unrelated tools to create innovative new ideas and designs. Chris combines creativity and a high level of initiative with an in-depth knowledge of protein chemistry and cell biology. He is currently applying this skill set in the development of novel T-cell engineering technologies. Chris holds an MS in biochemistry from the Technical University Munich, Germany and a PhD in biochemistry from the University of Toronto, Canada.
Using TAC Technology to Attack Cancer Cells
At Triumvira Immunologics, we are reprogramming the immune system to attack cancer cells. In order to do this, we use genetic engineering to redirect T cells, an important component of the immune system, to recognize proteins found on the surface of cancer cells. We use T cells taken from a patient, engineer them to express our T cell-Antigen Coupler (TAC), then expand them and then administer the modified cells back to patients, where they will find the cancer cells and kill them. Triumvira’s TACs are a completely novel and innovative approach to reprogramming T cells, which we believe offer important advantages over the approach taken by other companies.