Mark Yarmarkovich, PhD
NYU School of Medicine
Dr. Mark Yarmarkovich is focused on developing safe and effective cancer immunotherapies through innovations in biotechnology. He has worked in industry at Genentech and completed his PhD at the University of Pennsylvania and postdoctoral work with John Maris at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, working across a number of disciplines including oncology, protein chemistry, immunology, and computational biology, applying these experiences to addressing the major challenges in developing the next generation of immunotherapies.
He has led the development of new technologies for the discovery of tumor-specific targets and the engineering of target-specific receptors. He has discovered novel immunotherapy targets derived from previously undruggable oncoproteins and engineered CAR T cells capable of specifically killing tumor cells.
He led the discovery of cross-HLA recognition of Peptide-Centric (PC)-CAR T cells, allowing for significantly expanded application of immunotherapies. Collectively, the application of his efforts has resulted in a PC-CAR T cells entering first-in-class clinical trial in pediatric neuroblastoma in 2023 and a pipeline of PC-CARs being additional cancers. His work has led to the formation of two companies and his lab is focused on developing the next generation of immunotherapies to help cancer patients in need.
Maxence completed his BSc and MSc. in Bioengineering at EPFL, Switzerland where he initially trained with Prof. Jeffrey Hubbell’s, developing fusion proteins with enhanced ECM affinity for controlled growth factor delivery. He then joined Prof. David Mooney’s group at Harvard University, where he completed his PhD in Bioengineering. His thesis work focused on the development and application of spontaneously assembling Mesoporous Silica Rods (MSR) scaffolds as a cancer vaccine platform. Using the ability of the MSR’s 3D micro-environment to recruit dendritic cells and locally deliver them with immunostimulatory molecules, he studied and optimized the system for the generation of robust and long-lasting T and B-cell responses against small peptides and protein domains. In collaboration with Prof. Kai Wucherpfennig at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, they investigated the effect of MSR immunization against MICA/B, a stress-inducible membrane-bound NKG2D ligand that is abnormally shed from cancer cells as an immune escape mechanism. Vaccine-induced anti-MICA/B antibodies stabilized the ligand at the cell surface and rescued NK and T-cell mediated cytotoxicity in vivo. Compared to monoclonal antibody therapy, the vaccine approach could engage multiple arms of the immune system, drastically altering the tumor microenvironment and improving therapeutic benefits in various solid tumor models. After graduating, he became the Immunology Team Lead at a Boston-based biotech startup where he worked 2 years on the development of iPSC-derived cell therapies. In 2023, Maxence joined the Yarmarkovich lab as a Senior Scientist where he’s using his experience to contribute to the lab’s mission of translating research into safer and more efficacious cancer immunotherapies.
Guangyuan (Frank) Li
email to be determined
Guangyuan is a computational biologist specializing in algorithm and pipeline development within the field of cancer immunotherapy. He's completed his PhD in the Biomedical Informatics Program at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC) between 2019 and 2023. Guangyuan's career goal is to combine his computational training with his enthusiasm for cancer biology. Outside of work, you can find him indulging in rock climbing, basketball, and all things outdoorsy.
Omar Uriel Guzman-Bringas
Uriel double majored in Pharmaceutical-Biological Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Biology at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in 2017. His degree at the UDIBI lab from Instituto Politécnico Nacional focused on obtaining human CDRH3 from healthy donors, to generate a semi-synthetic library called “ALTHEA Gold Libraries”. As an analyst chemist he's worked in the development and validation of new libraries based on the "ALTHEA Gold Libraries", discovery of novel therapeutic antibodies against different target (TNF alfa, Chikungunya Virus, CD20, CD36, hPD1), and in the development of therapeutic antibodies against COVID-19 in Mexico. Afterwards, as the "Head of Discovery of Therapeutic Antibodies Area", he worked internationally in finding antibodies against interest protein. Currently, his research interest is in developing novel techniques in panning and screening to find antibodies with high therapeutic potential. Personal interests: find/visit new places to enjoy the connection with the nature. Meet new people to share experiences and stories. Learn to cook new dishes, as well as going out dancing with friends.
Assistant Research Technician
Minkyung graduated from University of Florida in 2018 majoring in Biology with a concentration in veterinary medicine. She's worked as a veterinary and nurse technician where she grew her passion for working in medicine. After working in inpatient rehabilitation working with variety of patients with different comorbidities such as oncological, neurologic, cardiac, and musculoskeletal injuries and through working closely with pediatric oncology patients, she wishes to pursue a doctorate degree in pediatric oncology. With the Yarmarkovich Lab, she wishes to learn and pursue her interest in cancer immunotherapy. In her spare time, Minkyung likes to cuddle with her cats Dwight and Mo with a nice book, or go to the gym to lift weights with her friends.
Student Research Intern
Zachary is currently attending Pine Crest High School in Florida. He is passionate about applying computer science and machine learning to biology. Currently, he is working on a novel target discovery software for CAR T cells. Zachary's last project was also a target discovery project, where he utilized AI to identify new targets for Glioblastoma Multiforme. He works for the Yarmarkovich lab virtually over the school year and has a summer internship in the lab to learn from our scientists.
Michele Palamenghi graduated in 2017 in “Pharmaceutical Biotechnology” at the University of Pavia, Italy. Here, Michele started to grow interest in the combined use of cell and gene therapy to treat different types of diseases. This led him to enroll to the “Regenerative and Molecular Medicine” PhD program at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy, under the supervision of Professor De Luca, where in 2021 he graduated. During his PhD, Michele participated to the development of novel safety assays and gene therapy approaches to tackle rare genetic epithelial disorders, such as epidermolysis bullosa and ectrodactyly-ectodermal dysplasia clefting syndrome (EEC). In this time, he was able to use his passion for art to draw several of the scientific article illustrations that were published by De Luca’s lab.
Hong Duck Kim
Dr. Kim is widely experienced in government, biotechnology, and academia. He’s received his Ph.D. in Cancer Biology, Immunology, Pharmacology, and Chemotherapy at the Laboratory of Biomedical Research in the Department of Pharmaceutical Science, University of Tokyo, Japan in 1991 through 1996. His post-doctoral fellowship investigated PSD95 and its interaction with NMDA receptor subtype during synaptogenesis from the National Institute of Bioscience and Human Technology, Department of Biomolecular Engineering (today known as Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST)) in Tsukuba, Japan. You can find his published studies from 1999 in Nature Neuroscience. Dr. Kim has also worked at the University of Rochester (UR), UAB in Alabama, and UIC at IL, in the USA in 2000 through 2008, where he’s joined an NIH-funded study that focused in the development of a detection and evaluation system of pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine- a CRM conjugate vaccine for geriatric patients in clinical immunology. In addition, he’s participated in an NIH-funded project, “Alzheimer vaccines, Non-invasive vaccination by DNA-based vectors,” which focused on cellular aging in Alzheimer's disease and CNS vaccine development. A couple of his other experiences include biotech research in gene therapy, adjuvant development in sendal virus and new drug discovery using fermentation with pharmaceutical companies in Korea, and cell therapy by utilizing a multi-discipline strategy by exploring neoantigen and a delivery system to improve the Quality of Life in patients. Dr. Kim is happy to carry his robust background in research and R& D work, biomedical science, and translational research to working with the Yarmarkovich Lab in CAR-T cell development.
Xinya is from Wuhan, China. He did his undergraduate studies in biotechnology at Guangdong Technion before attending the biotechnology M.S. program at NYU Tandon School of Engineering. His previous research was about nanoplasmonic immunoassay microarray chips, where he accumulated relevant knowledge of cancer treatment and CAR T therapy. He's interested in CAR T therapy, and his current project is developing a logic-gated CAR/BiTE platform. Outside of work, his interests are working out and video games.
Rotating PhD Student
Eli Graduated 2021 in Cell Biology and Genetics from the University of Maryland College Park. At this time he worked at Hopkins to develop a diagnostic test for cervical cancer as well as his thesis work on determining the role of super enhancers on LINE-1 expression and retrotransposition. During his time at UMD he got experience in immunology leading him to apply to NYU's Tumor Immunology PhD program. His project in the lab is focused on developing CAR T cells to target therapy resistant tumors. He is also the president of Jewish graduate life at NYU.
Ashley Ye is a freshman at NYU on the pre-med track. She's from Westchester, NY and she's previously done research in Dr. Neel's Lab at Langone. Ashley is passionate about immunopeptidomics and eager to learn more about immunotherapy as a whole. Outside of school and research, Ashley likes to rock climb, read novels, and travel.