Jaikrishna Balkissoon, M.D., is vice president of immuno-oncology in global product development and is the visionary behind the creation of the Immuno-oncology Center of Excellence at PPD.
With more than 25 years’ of experience in clinical practice and clinical research, Dr. Balkissoon is committed to capitalizing on advances in the rapidly changing therapeutic landscape to establish PPD as a world-class partner in advancing immunology-oncology studies. His personal immunology-oncology experience includes treating patients with advanced melanoma, kidney cancer and non-Hodgkin lymphoma with adoptive T-cell therapy and vaccines, either with or without gene modification. He developed one of the first immunotherapy programs in Northern California for treating advanced melanoma and kidney cancer patients with high-dose IL-2, in addition to providing National Cancer Institute-sponsored clinical trials to patients. At PPD he provides medical, scientific and product development guidance both to external clients and internal PPD clinical operations and business development teams. He also consults on investigational new drug submission and clinical input toward protocol development, including adaptive designs when feasible.
With extensive clinical oncology experience, both as a practicing physician and as a senior executive in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, Dr. Balkissoon, who joined PPD in 2013, continues to see oncology patients in his clinic. As the founder and director of the Bay Area Tumor Institute Melanoma Center he manages a multidisciplinary tumor board that evaluates patients with advanced melanoma and reviews current treatment options, which often include enrollment in clinical trials. Dr. Balkissoon has been involved with clinical trials treating pediatric patients with severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) using gene-modified cellular therapy.
Dr. Balkissoon holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from Beloit College in Wisconsin and a medical degree from Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C. He completed a surgical oncology and immunotherapy fellowship at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), working in the surgery branch with Dr. Steven Rosenberg and Dr. Suzanne Topalian.