Leading the Fight
Against Solid Tumors

About Us

Pioneering Novel Approaches
to Deliver on the Promise of TILs

At Turnstone, our mission is to develop new medicines to treat and cure patients with solid tumors.

Solid tumors present a major burden to society, with high mortality and poor outcomes associated with more advanced disease. Approved immunotherapies represent a significant advancement in the treatment of solid tumors, but many patients either do not respond or experience relapsed disease following an initial response. We believe the most significant challenge to creating curative immunotherapies in these patients is the low numbers of T cells that can recognize and attack the tumor, which we refer to as tumor-reactive T cells.

To address this problem, we are pioneering a differentiated approach to tumor infiltrating lymphocytes, or TILs, a clinically validated technology for treating solid tumors. We are developing next-generation TIL therapies by selecting the most potent and tumor-reactive T cells, which we refer to as Selected TILs. We are developing next-generation TIL therapies designed to drive therapeutic benefit and curative outcomes across multiple solid tumors.


Experienced Team of
Leaders and Innovators

Turnstone has assembled a seasoned management team, an accomplished Board of Directors and a distinguished Scientific Advisory Board whose contributions to science have meaningfully advanced the field and helped inform our understanding of the relationship between cancer and the immune system.

Our passionate team of leaders comprises world-renowned professionals with deep expertise in TILs, cell therapy, tumor immunology, innate and adaptive immunity, oncolytic viruses, and in the discovery and development, manufacturing, and business and commercial development of complex biologics.


Sammy Farah, PhD, MBA

President & Chief Executive Officer

Stewart Abbot, PhD

Chief Scientific Officer

Saryah Azmat

Chief Business Officer

Mike Burgess, MBChB, PhD

Interim Chief Medical Officer

P. Joseph Campisi, Jr., Esq.

Chief Legal Officer
Vijay Chiruvolu

Vijay Chiruvolu, PhD

Interim Chief Technology Officer

Venkat Ramanan, PhD

Chief Financial Officer

David Stojdl, PhD

SVP, Discovery Research

Chad Green, PhD

SVP, Technical Operations

TJ Langer

SVP, Cell Therapy Development and External Innovation

Adina Pelusio

SVP, Clinical Operations
Karen Major new

Karen Major

VP, Regulatory

George Smith, MBA, PhD

VP, Cell Therapy Business Operations

Jerel Davis, PhD

Chairman & Director
Versant Ventures

Mike Burgess, MBChB, PhD

Executive Director
Turnstone Biologics

Sammy Farah, PhD, MBA

Turnstone Biologics

Robert Gould

Fulcrum Therapeutics

Rishi Gupta, JD


Stefan Larson, PhD

Sectoral Asset Management

Patrick Machado

Former CFO/CBO Medivation

Santhosh Palani, PhD

PFM Health Sciences

Kanya Rajangam, MD, PhD

Senti Biosciences

Jeff Courtney

In Memoriam

Our Approach

Next-Generation Approaches
with a Clinically Validated Technology

Turnstone is pioneering a differentiated approach to tumor infiltrating lymphocytes, or TILs, a clinically validated technology for treating solid tumors. We are developing next-generation TIL therapies by selecting the most potent and tumor-reactive T cells, which we refer to as Selected TILs. Unlike other approaches that rely on standard “bulk TILs” that have demonstrated benefit only in limited tumor types, our Selected TILs are designed to extend the therapeutic benefit of TILs across the majority of solid tumors.

Tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) are a type of cell therapy that harness the patient’s own immune cells to target their own tumors. TIL therapy involves the isolation of lymphocytes from the patient’s tumor, expansion of the isolated cells outside the body, and then infusion of the cells back into the patient. TILs have the ability to penetrate, recognize, and kill cancer cells and offer potential to treat or cure solid tumors.

Turnstone’s next-generation Selected TILs have the potential to drive therapeutic benefit in a wide range of solid tumors beyond first-generation TIL approaches. Our innovative Selected TIL approach focuses on selecting and manufacturing the most potent subsets of tumor-reactive T-cells to overcome the limitations of current treatments. This approach is grounded in work conducted in academia that demonstrated promising clinical responses for selected TILs in solid tumors. We are leveraging this work to establish a standardized manufacturing process for large scale production of our Selected TILs.

Our Selected TIL approach employs the following foundational principles to yield the greatest number and proportion of tumor-reactive T-cells in our TIL products:

  • Unbiased identification of patient-specific tumor antigens.

    We seek to identify the most comprehensive set of patient-specific tumor antigens. We use an unbiased identification process that aims to find and capture the greatest diversity of antigens with the potential to drive the most robust T cell response. Our proprietary approach is unlike other TIL products that are biased toward a specific subset or class of antigen(s), which may miss relevant tumor antigens or focus on the wrong targets.

  • Selection of greatest breadth of tumor-reactive T-cells from patient extracted TILs.

    Our goal is to capture and isolate the greatest number and proportion of a patient’s tumor-reactive T cells that have the potential to attack and destroy heterogeneous solid tumors.  We aim to select the greatest diversity of T cells by using a function-based screening process that confirms reactivity to the identified patient-specific tumor antigens rather than relying on a bioinformatics-based prediction algorithm that may not be truly predictive.

  • Expansion of all tumor-reactive T-cells and removal of all non-tumor-reactive bystander cells.

    We expand our selected tumor-reactive TIL population to magnitudes consistent with bulk TIL products and actively remove unnecessary bystander cells. This selective expansion results in a significantly higher absolute number and proportion of tumor-reactive T cells in the final product, which we believe will result in more potent tumor killing.

Selected TIL Therapy diagram

Our Superior Killing Virus, or SKV Vaccinia, is derived from the Copenhagen strain of vaccinia that exhibits powerful oncolytic activity in human tumors and we have engineered the viral backbone to develop a highly potent viral immunotherapy. The SKV Vaccinia backbone modifications were specifically designed and selected to support:

  • Enhanced immune activation through removal of immunosuppressive genes
  • Highly selective tumor targeting for increased potency and safety
  • Delivery of multiple transgenes to encode for specific functions
  • Optimized viral spread and infection in the tumor
  • Systemic and intra-tumoral (IT) administration

RIVAL-01, our lead clinical stage viral immunotherapy program, being developed in partnership with Takeda, utilizes the inherent activity of the SKV Vaccinia backbone and includes a rationally selected payload combination designed to further drive oncolytic and immune-mediated killing of the tumor. The three key payloads encoded in RIVAL-01 include:

  • Flt3L, a growth factor to support the differentiation and expansion of highly relevant antigen-presenting dendritic cells which are critical for anti-tumor immune response
  • IL-12, a pro-inflammatory cytokine to promote T-cell cytotoxicity, activate innate immune cells and minimize immunosuppression
  • Anti-CTLA-4, an antibody that inhibits CTLA-4-mediated immunosuppression and downregulation of T-cell activation

We believe that Turnstone is strongly positioned to be a leader in leveraging viral immunotherapy to further potentiate the therapeutic benefit of TILs.

Viral immunotherapy is a therapeutic modality with widespread potential to drive and modulate immune responses to solid tumors. Many viruses have inherent oncolytic activity that can be modulated through genetic engineering to enhance potency and safety. These viruses preferentially infect, replicate within, and kill malignant tumor cells, and can induce broad immune responses. Viral immunotherapies are designed to convert immunologically unresponsive “cold” tumor microenvironments to more reactive “hot” tumor microenvironments and thereby enhance the activity of other immunotherapies.

We are initially evaluating viral immunotherapies in combination with our lead Selected TIL product candidate, TIDAL-01, via two approaches:

  • Administration of virus prior to TIL extraction to optimize TIL harvest and broaden applicability to additional tumor types with low immune cell infiltration, and
  • Administration of virus following treatment with TIDAL-01 to optimize TIL trafficking and infiltration into solid tumors and to support the anti-tumor functions of infiltrating immune cells.
TIL virus diagram - may 2023

Scientific Resources

Explore academic selection strategies that have demonstrated clinical proof of concept, relevant to Turnstone’s differentiated approach to TIL therapy:

Learn more about our scientific and clinical research, and the potential of Turnstone’s Selected TIL therapy in a broad range of solid tumors:


Designed to Shift the Paradigm
for the Treatment of Solid Tumors

We believe that our Selected TIL approach has the ability to drive therapeutic benefit in a wide range of solid tumors. We are developing a broad pipeline aimed at improving outcomes for patients with cancers with high unmet medical need, as illustrated in the chart below.

Program Product Overview Key Indications Preclinical Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 Next Anticipated Milestone
Selected TILs
TIDAL-01 Tumor-reactive
selected TILs
Breast Cancer,
Colorectal Cancer,
Uveal Melanoma
Clinical update
Cutaneous Melanomas,
Non-cutaneous Melanomas
Moffitt Collaboration*
Combination with
viral immunotherapy
Solid Tumors
IND submission
TIDAL-02 Selected TILs with next-
gen manufacturing and
TIL quality enhancements
Solid Tumors
IND submission
Selected TILs
PreclinicalPhase 1Phase 2Phase 3


Tumor-reactive selected TILs
Breast Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Uveal Melanoma



Tumor-reactive selected TILs
Cutaneous Melanomas, Non-cutaneous Melanomas

Moffitt Logo


Combination with viral immunotherapy
Solid Tumors


Selected TILs with next-gen manufacturing and TIL quality enhancements
Solid Tumors

*Investigator sponsored trial at Moffitt Cancer Center


Optimizing Technological Innovations
Through Strategic Partnerships

We are backed by successful top-tier life science and biotech investors committed to Turnstone’s growth, and have forged select collaborations with key academic institutions, major biopharmaceutical companies, elite researchers and prominent international cancer medical centers to accelerate the development of our next-generation Selected TIL and immunotherapy pipeline.

Together with our strategic partners, we are devoted to delivering transformative therapies to the millions of cancer patients underserved by current treatment options.

Key Collaborators

National Cancer Institute (NCI)

In November 2022, Turnstone announced a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to study TIL therapy in novel combinations with viral immunotherapy.

Moffitt Logo

In July 2022, Turnstone announced a first-of-its-kind broad strategic alliance with Moffitt Cancer Center focused on the development of Turnstone’s pipeline of tumor-reactive selected TILs targeting solid tumors.


In April 2022, Turnstone announced a TIL therapy research collaboration with CRCHUM to develop novel strategies for tumor-reactive T-cell selection in Turnstone’s TIL therapy candidates against solid tumor indications.

Select Investors



Empowering Our People
to Drive Science Forward

Turnstone is committed to true innovation, fearless execution and operational excellence. Our team work with an unrelenting sense of urgency to fulfill our mission. Our decision-making is driven by bold science and our therapeutics are designed with the patient at the forefront of our thoughts.

We continue to build a values-driven organization that embraces diversity, equity, and recognizes that the sum of our parts drives more success than any single individual. Our talented people and deeply ingrained culture are vital elements in maintaining our competitive edge in the vast biotech universe and key to unlocking the full potential of cancer immunotherapy.

If you are passionate about making a difference for patients and are excited by our mission and science, Turnstone might just be for you.

Team Opportunities

Turnstone Biologics (“Turnstone”), a privately held clinical stage biotech company, is developing breakthrough cancer immunotherapies by advancing two leading and complementary platforms that drive innate and adaptive tumor immunity, to provide benefit to the millions of cancer patients underserved by current treatment options. Turnstone’s proprietary vaccinia virus platform is engineered to drive coordinated immune activation, potent viral activity, and local expression of encoded therapeutics. The innovative Tumor Infiltrating Lymphocytes TIL cell therapy platform leverages clinically validated treatment protocols and has been specifically designed to extend beyond the use of bulk TILs to enrich for the most relevant T-cells for tumor eradication, preserving broad antigen diversity and minimizing time to treatment for patients.

At Turnstone, the science drives decision-making and our therapeutics are designed with the patient foremost in mind. We continue to build a world-class, high-performing company that embraces being a learning organization with a sense of urgency. Imagine coming to work every day where over-communication, transparency, teaching, listening, asking, thinking, working hard, and having fun are normal – actually, expected? Imagine having a coach, mentor, peers, and partners where candid feedback, self-improvement, risk taking, failing, learning from that failing, and succeeding thereafter are what we call ‘another day at Turnstone’? If you are a passionate person, and our science excites you – this opportunity may be for you.


The Human Resources Director is responsible for developing and executing human resources programs and initiatives in support of the overall business plan and strategic directions for the organization. Works with all levels of management on the implementation and administration of human resources activities including, but not limited to: recruitment, performance management, employee relations, training and development, compensation and benefits.


  • Partners with CFO and management team to ensure alignment between strategic plan and human resources
  • Assesses and anticipates HR-related business needs, by developing, planning and delivering HR programs and
  • Spearheads recruitment and hiring efforts to secure a diverse, talented and mission-focused workforce.
  • Provides leadership in developing and supporting a global organizational culture that supports sustained organizational performance and motivates and retains staff.
  • Guides leaders in the decisions/processes concerning promotions, compensation adjustments, transfers, terminations, recruitment and
  • Manages employee relations matters and provides employee and management, coaching and counseling with objectivity and
  • Develops and administers performance management and appraisal
  • Manages and participates in the development compensation and benefit plans. Works with CFO and outside benefits consultant to negotiate benefit
  • Maintains the salary and compensation
  • Prepares HR analyses and reports for
  • Develops, updates, and communicates HR policies and procedures that are consistent with organizational values and legal
  • Keeps up-to-date on existing and emerging workplace, wage, and benefits laws and regulations
  • Reviews HR policies on an ongoing basis and proposes updates and additions as appropriate.
  • Performs additional human resources duties and responsibilities as

Education and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree preferred in Business, Human Resources or related subject, or equivalent education or experience required.
  • Ten (10) years of experience in Human Resources, with knowledge of broad spectrum of HR functions.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to develop strong working relationships.
  • Knowledge of federal, state and local regulations and requirements for compliance and
  • Strong organizational and time-management skills. customer service skills
  • Proficiency in MS Office
  • Ability to deal with HR matters in confidential, objective and professional manner.
  • Experience in life sciences sector is preferred.

The anticipated salary range for this role is $160,000 – $200,000.

To Apply:

Please click here to apply!

Turnstone Biologics welcomes and encourages applications from people with disabilities. Accommodations are available on request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process.  We thank all applicants for their interest, however, only those selected will be invited for an interview.




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