Linnea Olson, Patient Advocate & Activist; Jeff Legos, Executive Vice President, Global Head of Oncology and Hematology Development, Novartis; Chris Boshoff, Chief Development Officer, Pfizer, Oncology


Linnea Olson is a patient advocate, activist, blogger and artist. She has been a participant in six phase I clinical trials for ALK-mutant non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) – three of which led to FDA approval of new targeted therapies. Her experiences and wisdom have made her a trusted source of insight for countless patients, researchers, clinicians, biotech and pharmaceutical companies, and learners at Harvard Medical School.

In this special event, we premiered a brief video outlining Linnea Olson’s remarkable journey. This is followed by a panel discussion in which Linnea was joined by two senior drug development leaders whose therapies have played such an important part in Linnea’s story. This webinar features a wide-ranging discussion on patient-centric drug discovery and development, exciting advances in cancer treatments, and living with cancer.

About the Presenters

Linnea Olson, Patient Advocate & Activist

Linnea Olson was diagnosed with non-small cell lung cancer in April of 2005. In addition to being a vocal advocate for cancer patients, Linnea is a mother, artist, writer, friend, adventurer. She refers to herself as a terminal optimist; someone who is living (each day to the fullest) with stage 4 lung cancer. Learn more about Linnea's incredible journey on her blog.

Jeff Legos, Executive Vice President, Global Head of Oncology and Hematology Development, Novartis

Dr. Jeff Legos is currently Executive Vice President and Global Head of Oncology and Hematology Development. Jeff is responsible for leading the development, registration, approval and life cycle management for Oncology and Hematology across 4 major platforms.  This includes a clinical pipeline of approximately 60+ targeted therapy, immuno-oncology, radioligand therapy (including Advanced Accelerated Applications drug development), cell & gene therapies and established product assets across a broad range of cancers and blood disorders. Dr. Legos is also the Head of Global Precision Medicine for Novartis responsible for translational medicine and diagnostic development across all therapeutic areas, including general medicine.  He has a proven track record of successfully leading large multinational teams across all functions and stages of drug development, which has resulted in more than 30 global regulatory drug and companion diagnostic approvals, including new molecular entities, product line extensions, and premarket approvals for devices. 

Prior to joining Novartis in 2015, Dr. Legos was the Vice President and Global Medicines Development Leader in Oncology at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) where he developed Tafinlar® (dabrafenib; BRAF inhibitor) and Mekinist® (trametinib; MEK inhibitor) as single agent and combination therapy for patients with BRAF V600 cancers, and  Promacta®/Revolade® (eltrombopag; TPO agonist) for patients with thrombocytopenia across a range of diseases.  He also previously held senior leadership positions in clinical development, translational medicine, and was the head of Oncology Strategy, where he was instrumental in the creation and growth of the GSK Oncology Business Unit.
Dr. Legos holds a PhD in physiology from Temple University School of Medicine, an MBA in Finance from the Villanova University School of Business, and completed his post-graduate fellowship training in pharmacology and pharmaceutical medicine. He is an author of more than 40 manuscripts and numerous abstracts published in peer-reviewed journals, and has presented at major scientific and investment conferences. Dr. Legos is also a scientific advisor to the Melanoma Research Alliance and the recipient of several government grants, academic and corporate awards.

Chris Boshoff, Chief Development Officer, Pfizer, Oncology

Chris Boshoff, FRCP, FMedSci, PhD, is the Chief Development Officer for Oncology at Pfizer where he is responsible for overseeing clinical research and development activities for all promising cancer medicines. Formerly he was the Head and Senior Vice President for Immuno-Oncology, Early Development and Translational Oncology, directing strategies for early cancer drug development, precision medicine and immuno-oncology. Dr Boshoff obtained his PhD from the Institute of Cancer Research in London and trained as a medical oncologist at the Royal Marsden and Royal Free Hospitals in London. Before joining Pfizer in 2013, he was the Director of the University College London (UCL) Cancer Institute (2007-2013). He was appointed Adjunct Professor at Yale University in 2014, and has published more than 150 original articles covering cancer biology, tumor virology, and experimental cancer medicine.