Joseph C. Glorioso

Joseph C. Glorioso III, Ph.D.

Dr. Glorioso began his academic career at the University of Michigan Medical School where he became Professor of Microbiology and Immunology and Assistant Dean for Research and Graduate Studies.  In 1989, Dr. Glorioso moved to the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine to become the William S. McElroy Professor of Biochemistry and Chairman of the Department of Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry, a position he held until 2009.  He continues to be a professor in this department.

Dr. Glorioso has established a 40-year history of research related to the basic pathobiology, immunology and genetics of herpes simplex virus (HSV). His contributions to the field include defining antiviral immune responses to infection, the genetics of viral pathogenesis and latency, and mechanisms of viral infection.  Furthermore, he has been a pioneer in the design and application of HSV gene vectors for the treatment of nervous system diseases such as peripheral neuropathies, chronic pain, and brain tumors. He continues to be a worldwide leader in the HSV gene vector field through the creation of innovative gene vectors and the development of manufacturing methods for human clinical trials.

 Dr. Glorioso has served as a member of the Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee (RAC), NIH (1994-1996); NIH Steering Committee of the National Gene Vector Laboratory (NGVL) (1995-2006); Member, NIH Steering Committee of the National Gene Vector Biorepository (2006- ); Founder, Member of the Board of Directors, Treasurer, Vice President, President, American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT); President, Association of Medical School Microbiology and Immunology Chairs (1999); National Steering Committee for the American Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy (2006-) and Chair of ACGT Scientific Advisory Board (2014-). Dr. Glorioso was elected Fellow of the American Society of Microbiology (1991); Vectors/Pittsburgh – Man of the Year in Technology (1996); Elected to Who’s Who in America (1999); Elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2003); 2007 Elected American Men and Woman of Science, Awarded the Paradigm Builder Lectureship by International Society of Neuro-virology (2010) and Human Gene Therapy: Gene Therapy Pioneer Award (2014).

Dr. Glorioso founded the Nature Journal Gene Therapy where he served as editor for 22 years and he is a member of the editorial board of Molecular Therapy.  Dr. Glorioso co-founded several biotech companies that include Genvec Inc., Nuvovec srl and most recently Switch Bio, a neuromodulation company and Oncorus, Inc. a Cambridge based company dedicated to the use of oncolytic HSV for immunotherapy of cancer.


Paola Grandi

Paola Grandi, Ph.D.

Paola Grandi, Ph.D. is a scientific co-founder of Oncorus and is the Senior Director of Immunology and Virology.

Paola earned her PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Ferrara (Italy) in 2001 then moved to the U.S. to pursue her interests in oncolytic Herpes Simplex Virus-based vectors for treatment of recurrent malignant glioblastoma. After 4 years at Massachusetts General Hospital, Paola accepted a position as an Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh where she developed miR-controlled oHSV vectors to tailor the replication of the virus to cancer cells.

Her research interests include studies to understand the development and progression of brain tumors emphasizing the role of the effect of the tumor microenvironment on oncolytic viral therapy. She has a long-standing interest in the molecular biology of Herpes Simplex Virus, mechanisms of virus replication and neuropathogenesis and virus host cells interactions that result in innate immune responses to infection.


Dan Hicklin Photo.jpg

Daniel Hicklin, Ph.D.

Daniel Hicklin, Ph.D. is an accomplished cancer researcher and biopharmaceutical executive with over 28 years of oncology drug development experience. Dr. Hicklin co-founded Potenza in 2014 and is the company’s President and CEO. He has served as a Managing Director at the life sciences venture capital investment firm MPM Capital since 2014 and is also a board member of Tizona Therapeutics and Harpoon Therapeutics.  Previously, Dr. Hicklin served as President and Chief Scientific Officer of CoStim Pharmaceuticals, which was acquired by Novartis in 2014. From 2007 to 2013, he held several positions at Merck Research Laboratories and the former Schering-Plough Research Institute, most recently leading Biologics Strategy for Oncology and overseeing immuno-oncology discovery research at Merck Research Laboratories in Boston. 

Dr. Hicklin began his drug development career at ImClone Systems where he held several positions of increasing responsibility from 1987 - 2007, most recently serving as Vice President of Experimental Therapeutics. Dr. Hicklin’s team at ImClone supported the development and FDA approval of the cancer treatment ERBITUX® (Cetuximab) and built a diversified portfolio of antibody therapeutics including Cyramza® (ramucirumab), Portrazza® (necitumumab), and other cancer therapies that were acquired by Eli Lilly in 2008.

Dr. Hicklin has co-authored over 200 peer-reviewed publications and is an inventor on numerous issued and pending patents. Dr. Hicklin received his Master’s and PhD in Microbiology & Immunology from New York Medical College and earned his BS from the University of Iowa.


Oncorus logo placeholder for Eric C. Holland

Eric C. Holland, M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Eric Holland earned a doctorate in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of Chicago and a medical degree from Stanford University. He completed a neurosurgery residency at the University of California at Los Angeles School of Medicine and a fellowship at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md. His postdoctoral training included work with two Nobel laureates: Dr. Paul Berg, who pioneered recombinant DNA technology at Stanford, and Dr. Harold Varmus, director of the National Cancer Institute.

Dr. Holland was recruited to Seattle from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, where he directed the Brain Tumor Center and built one of the nation’s most successful research and clinical programs. As a neurosurgeon and physician–scientist, he addresses the molecular basis of brain tumors to develop new, more precise approaches to their treatment. He specializes in glioblastoma, the most common brain cancer in adults, has developed mouse versions of brain cancer that mimic how tumors behave in humans, and has identified tumor cells that are resistant to standard therapies. These research findings have led to clinical trials for new drugs and drug combinations. At UW Medicine and the Hutch, Dr. Holland and his colleagues will help usher in an era of precision treatment for cancer patients.

Dr. Holland has received the American Brain Tumor Association Research Award, among other honors. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies and a member of the editorial boards of Virology, Molecular Cancer Research, the Journal of Molecular Medicine and Neoplasia


Paul D. Robbins, Ph.D.

Paul D. Robbins, Ph.D. is a Professor of Metabolism and Aging at The Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter, Florida.  Previously he was a Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Director of Basic Research for the Molecular Medicine Institute and Co-Director of the Paul Wellstone Cooperative Muscular Research Center at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine as well as Interim Director of Molecular & Cellular Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. 

He received his B.A. from Haverford College, his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley and worked as a post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Richard Mulligan at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research at MIT.  He has co-authored over 300 peer-reviewed manuscripts and 170 book chapters and reviews and has edited four books. He was a member of the NIH PathB Study Section, Chair of the Italian Telethon Scientific Review Committee and a member of the Telethon Scientific Advisory Board.  He also was a member of the Scientific Review Board of National Gene Vector Laboratory and the Board of Directors of the American Society of Gene Therapy and currently is a member of the Interventions Testing Program supported by the National Institute on Aging. 

He has co-founded two biotechnology companies and currently serves on the Scientific Advisory Boards of four biotechnology companies.  Dr. Robbins’ research is focused on developing therapeutic approaches, including small molecules, biologics and stem cells, to extend healthspan and reduce frailty using mouse models of aging. 


Oncorus logo placeholder for Dario Vignali

Dario Vignali, Ph.D.

Dario Vignali, Ph.D. is Vice Chair and Professor of Immunology in the Immunology Department, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and co-Leader of the Cancer Immunology Program and co-Director of the Tumor Microenvironment Center in the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI). He received his PhD in 1988 from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, University of London, where he studied immunity to Schistosoma mansoni.  He then held two post-doctoral positions from 1988-1993, first at the Institute for Immunology and Genetics, German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany, with Prof. Gunter Hammerling, and then at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, with Prof. Jack Strominger. 

He then started his own independent research program in the Department of Immunology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee, rising to the rank of Vice Chair and Member (Full Professor equivalent).  After nearly 21 years at St Jude he moved to Pittsburgh in July 2014.  Dr. Vignali’s research focuses on molecular and cellular aspects of regulatory T cell function, immune regulation by inhibitory receptors, and inhibitory cytokines (IL-35) in tumor immunity, mucosal immunity and type 1 diabetes.  He also studies proximal signaling events though the T cell receptor:CD3 complex and other key signaling receptors.