Neil C. Sheppard, D.Phil
Director of the Therapeutic Innovation in Natural Killer cells (THINK) Lab, and Adjunct Associate Professor of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
Dr Sheppard joined the Center for Cellular Immunotherapies in October 2019 bringing with him a wealth of drug research and development experience from big pharma and biotech. At CCI Dr Sheppard leads the Therapeutic Innovation in Natural Killer cells (THINK) lab and combination strategy for the clinical stage Mesothelin-specific CAR-T program.
Dr Sheppard obtained a bachelor’s degree in Immunology with Study in Industry from the University of Bristol (UK) in 2002. He subsequently obtained his D.Phil in Vaccine & Adjuvant Research from the University of Oxford in 2007. Dr Sheppard subsequently joined the Pharmaceutical Industry working for Pfizer in the UK and California, for GSK in Philadelphia and Sydney, Australia, and at Tmunity Therapeutics a CCI Spinout company. During his time in industry Dr Sheppard held positions from Senior Scientist to Executive Director and lead drug development programs through internal investment milestones and into the clinic, opening Investigational New Drug (IND) applications and leading Ph1 – 1b First Time in Human, and combination clinical trials. He also led teams of lab-based scientists, established and managed biotech and academic collaborations, and supported business development deals.
The THINK lab focuses on improving the therapeutic application of NK cells in cancer via optimized NK expansion and cryopreservation, as well as by gene editing, transgene design and regulation to address immune checkpoints and other tumor resistance mechanisms. The THINK lab also works on new CAR development and screening for both T and NK cells, as well as combination immunotherapies