Dr. Maria Ascierto - Director of Translational Immunology
Director of Translational Immunology

Maria L. Ascierto, Ph.D.

Dr. M.L. Ascierto is worldwide recognized immunologist and a virologist with 16 years of work experience in the broad picture of immunotherapy, immunology, and biomarker discovery.

Her interests in the field of cancer immunology and immunotherapy started in 2005 while conducting translational research on melanoma patients enrolled at the National Cancer Institute in Naples, Italy. The desire to expand her knowledge brought her in 2008 to USA where she acquired for 9 years cutting-edge research trainings from top leader scientists working at National Institutes of Health and Johns Hopkins University.

In 2017, Dr. ML Ascierto joined AstraZeneca (AZ) to lead the Translational Medicine Strategy of IO clinical trials in early and late phase portfolio. During this time Dr. Ascierto led from preclinical phase to Phase III the Translational Strategy for the Monalizumab program, an NKG2A blocking antibody able to unleash NK and CD8 cells antitumor activity. Additionally, in a very short period also led cross functional research studies highlighting the resistance to immunotherapeutic agents in non-small-cell lung cancer patients to be driven by functional STK11 mutations leading to exhausted innate immunity.
In 2021 Dr. ML Ascierto joined Saint John Cancer Institute to lead the Translational Cancer Immunology program.