Blackwell Inaugurated as VP of Early Phase Development and Immuno-Oncology at Lilly

December 14, 2017
Samantha Hitchcock
Samantha Hitchcock

Eli Lilly and Company has announced that Kimberly L. Blackwell, MD, a pioneer in breast cancer research, will serve as its vice president of early phase development and immuno-oncology. She will begin her new role on March 12, 2018.<br /> &nbsp;

Kimberly L. Blackwell, MD

Eli Lilly and Company has announced that Kimberly L. Blackwell, MD, a pioneer in breast cancer research, will serve as its vice president of early phase development and immuno-oncology. She will begin her new role on March 12, 2018.

Blackwell is currently a professor of medicine and assistant professor of radiation oncology at Duke University Medical Center. In this new role, she will report to Levi Garraway, MD, PhD, senior vice president of global development and medical affairs at Lilly Oncology.

"We are pleased and honored to welcome Dr Blackwell to Lilly," Sue Mahony, PhD, senior vice president and president of Lilly Oncology, said in a statement. "She is highly regarded for her leadership in cancer research, especially metastatic breast cancer, where she has led programs that resulted in numerous groundbreaking regulatory approvals in the oncology sector."

One of the top breast cancer researchers and clinicians in the country, Blackwell served as principal investigator for trials which lead to the approval of 2 revolutionary cancer agents, lapatinib (Tykerb) and ado-trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1; Kadcyla).

In 2012, Blackwell presented the plenary address for the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting, where she announced the pivotal results of the study that led to the FDA approval of T-DM1. She later went on to coin it as, “…the first of many antibody drug conjugates to follow that will link a potent anticancer agent to a targeted delivery system with an antibody.”

Blackwell also serves as co-director of the Duke Women’s Cancer Program, associate director for strategic relations for the Duke Cancer Institute, research scholar for Susan G. Komen, senior strategist for the Duke Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program, and the Steering Committee Chair for Collaborations for Health Improvements in HER2+ Breast Cancer.

Her promising work has led to her inclusion inTIMEMagazine’s 2013 list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Additionally, she is a past recipient of the Young Investigator Award in breast cancer from Duke University’s Specialized Program of Research Excellence, the Duke Cancer Center Malek Family Award for outstanding cancer investigation, and the Joseph Greenfield Award for Mentorship of Clinical Research.

She has also authored or co-authored more than 70 articles or book chapters appearing in journals such as theNew England Journal Medicine, Clinical Cancer Research, Molecular Cancer Therapeutics,theJournal of Clinical Oncology,andLancet Oncology.

Her clinical and research interests include breast cancer angiogenesis, breast cancer in younger women, endocrine therapy and HER2-targeted therapy for breast cancer. Her clinical practice focuses on young women with breast cancer and has served as the principle investigator or co-principle investigator on more than 50 clinical trials in breast cancer.

She is currently working on novel therapies for the treatment of triple-negative breast cancer using knowledge gained through the treatment of HER2-positive breast cancer and applying similar approaches.

"She has been on the forefront of research in oncology vaccines, immuno-oncology and biosimilars, giving her the unique expertise that will be pivotal in helping us continue to develop and advance novel treatments for people living with cancer," said Mahony in a statement.

Blackwell received her undergraduate degree in bioethics at Duke University. She later completed her medical degree at Mayo Clinic Medical School. Her internal medicine internship and residency and hematology/oncology fellowship were completed at Duke University Medical School, where she later joined the staff in 2000.