Jenny Holt is an experienced researcher and program manager with over 15 years of industry experience working with gene therapy, oncolytic viruses and small molecular inhibitors in cancer and immunotherapy. Her industry experience includes R&D roles at Novartis, Onyx and Berlex/ Schering.

Jenny got her start working in gene therapy at the Gladstone Institutes of Cardiovascular Disease, at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Working with adenovirus, her research focused on the use of gene therapy in atherosclerotic arties. Jenny’s experience with adenovirus led her to Onyx Pharmaceuticals, where she worked with oncolytic adenovirus as a novel cancer therapy, and where she generated proprietary oncolytic adenoviruses through “directed evolution” (virus mutagenesis followed by selection). At Onyx Pharmaceuticals she worked with David Kirn, co-founder of 4D Molecular Therapeutics and IGNITE Immunotherapy. Jenny also worked at Berlex/Schering Pharmaceuticals (later acquired by Bayer), where in the Hermiston lab she performed “directed evolution” and bioselection of novel adenoviruses in colorectal cancer.

Jenny then spent 7 years conducting cancer research at the Novartis Institutes of Biomedical Research. Her research was on small molecular inhibitor discovery and characterization. She researched synthetic lethality in DNA damage and repair in cancer, and studied the sensitivity of ATM loss of function cancers to ATR inhibition. She also evaluated the mechanisms of resistance in BRAFV600 melanoma after treatment with small molecular inhibitors. Jenny’s work at Novartis gave her the opportunity to identify and validate oncology targets, as well as develop and validate biomarker assays.

Jenny graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a Bachelor of Science in Aquatic Biology.

Jenny’s relevant scientific publications include:

  • A Synthetic Lethal Screen Reveals Enhanced Sensitivity to ATR Inhibitor Treatment in Mantle Cell Lymphoma with ATM Loss-of-function. Menezes*, D. L., Holt*, J., Tang, Y., Feng, J., Barsanti, P., Pan, Y., … Taricani, L. Molecular Cancer Research : MCR. 2014 *equal contribution by co-authors
  • Developing Novel Oncolytic Adenoviruses through Bioselection. Yan, W., Kitzes, G., Dormishian, F., Hawkins, L., Sampson-Johannes, A., Watanabe, J., Holt, J…, Shen, Y. Journal of Virology, 2003; 77(4), 2640–2650.
  • Gene Delivery from the E3 region of Replicating Human Adenovirus: Evaluation of the 6.7K/gp19 K region. Hawkins, L.K., Johnson, L., Trown, P., Bauzon, M., Holt, J, … & Hermiston, T. Gene Therapy, 2001; 8, 1123–1131.