Dr. Heller is a physician-scientist and drug developer with over 20 years of experience in oncology research in academia and industry. Experience spans across all stages of oncology drug development from discovery (academia) and pre-IND through commercialization and business development. He received his Bachelor’s degree in molecular biophysics and biochemistry from Yale University and his medical degree from George Washington University before training first in pediatrics and then pediatric hematology/oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Following fellowship, Dr. Heller joined the faculty of the Rockefeller University as Instructor and subsequently Chief Clinical Scholar of Clinical Investigation in the laboratory of Ralph Steinman. During this time, he served as principal investigator on clinical trials, including conducting research into T-cell mediated immune responses among patients with EBV-mediated lymphomas.
Dr. Heller began his industry experience at BMS where he led early development programs and was responsible for authoring and managing first-in-human clinical trials. Later as US medical lead for ipilimumab, he led the writing of the FDA approved label and the REMS-Side Effect Guidelines for ipilimumab. In this role he also represented BMS in the negotiation of payer policies. He later served as Global Lead for Oncology Search and Evaluation in the strategic transactions group at BMS where he was responsible for leading due diligence activities and prepared recommendations for possible acquisitions. At AstraZeneca, Dr. Heller was the medical lead for programs in which he presented end of Phase 2 development plans to EMA and led the filing processes in China and Japan. At Incyte, he served as head of antibody clinical development where he led the IND submissions of four novel immunotherapies and coordinated immunotherapy clinical development strategies for multiple programs. Dr. Heller also served as the Chief Medical Officer at NextCure, and he was recently an adjunct professor in medicine at the Yale Medical School.