Kirk Tanner, PhD, an oncology research leader with two decades of experience in drug discovery and development, has been named as National Brain Tumor Society’s (NBTS) new Chief Scientific Officer.
In this role, Dr. Tanner will lead NBTS’ Research Programs team in the strategic development and tactical execution of initiatives that aim to catalyze new treatment development through the identification and active cultivation of transformative scientific efforts. Dr. Tanner will be tasked with engaging stakeholders from across the brain tumor landscape, from researchers and clinicians, to industry and government officials, as well as patients and their care partners, in the NBTS research programs.
“Kirk brings to NBTS and, indeed, the entire brain tumor community, a set of skills, experience, and leadership that will be important for pursuing our strategy to advance research toward treatments that dramatically improve survival and quality of life for brain tumor patients,” said David Arons, Chief Executive Officer, National Brain Tumor Society.
Dr. Tanner joins NBTS following an 18-year career that spanned multiple positions from Staff Scientist to Senior Director at Boston-based Vertex Pharmaceuticals, a leading global biotechnology company. At Vertex, Dr. Tanner was an Oncology Disease Area Expert, providing strategic and tactical guidance and leadership to the Vertex Oncology Discovery Program. Dr. Tanner led programs and projects in discovery and clinical-stage oncology research and helped advance multiple therapeutic candidates into clinical testing. His work included the discovery and development of molecularly-targeted inhibitors of cancer growth and DNA repair mechanisms, which were evaluated for use both as stand-alone treatments and in combinations with chemotherapy and radiation.
Prior to his time at Vertex, Dr. Tanner completed a postdoctoral fellowship and training at Oregon Health Science University. He holds several scientific patents and has published more than 20 papers in scientific and medical journals. Additionally, he serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of OncoKids Biosciences.
Dr. Tanner received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and Biochemistry from California State University, Fullerton and his PhD in Chemistry and Biochemistry from the University of California, San Diego.
He lives in Newton, Massachusetts with his wife and two children.