Salam Shaaban, Vice President of Biology, brings over 20 years of experience in oncology and immunology drug discovery research as well as target discovery and validation at both pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Recently as VP of Research at Rubius Therapeutics, Salam led Rubius’ efforts in using red cell therapeutics expressing surface-anchored cytokines, immune ligands, and antigens for therapeutic applications in Oncology and Autoimmunity. Prior to Rubius, Salam led the Multispecifics team at Boehringer Ingelheim that built the antibody platforms used for T cell engager therapeutics and tumor-localized immune agonists, many of which have entered clinical development. Prior to Boehringer Ingelheim, Salam led the In Vitro Biology group at Abbvie that supported all the drug discovery programs in the hit-to-lead and lead optimization stages, including the Jak inhibitor Upadacatinib, currently approved as Rinvoq for multiple inflammatory diseases. Salam was one of the first in the pharmaceutical industry to target histone methyltransferases for oncology by leading drug discovery efforts on arginine and lysine methyltransferases at OSI Pharmaceuticals then by working closely with Dr. Yi Zhang on founding the epigenetics company Epizyme.
Salam obtained his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the American University of Beirut and his doctorate in Genetics at the University of Washington in Seattle. He completed two short postdoctoral fellowships at the CEA Paris-Saclay and University of Washington. Salam’s graduate and postdoctoral studies focused on the fundamental process of gene transcription and transcriptional regulation.