Dr. Certel received his Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of Iowa and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT, where he studied the molecular and cell biological basis of tumor progression and metastasis in the context of human melanoma. Prior to moving to his current role as the Head of External Innovation, Oncology at Sanofi, Dr. Certel was a Group Leader in the Therapeutic Discovery Sciences group at X-Chem Pharmaceuticals, where he was instrumental in new venture creation efforts. In this capacity, Dr. Certel played a key role in establishing the first X-Chem spinout dedicated to small molecule drug discovery in immunooncology. In addition to helping efforts to shape the multi-target pipeline, he also led the immunooncology research portfolio, overseeing activities from target production and early discovery to preclinical animal model studies. Prior to joining X-Chem, Dr. Certel led antibody discovery efforts in oncology and autoimmune disease therapeutic areas at X-Body Biosciences, which is now a part of Juno Therapeutics.