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The Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy Appoints Seasoned Health Care Leader Frederic Pla as Chief Operating Officer

SAN FRANCISCO – The Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy (PICI) announced today that Frederic Pla, Ph.D., has been named chief operating officer (COO). In this role, Pla will lead day-to-day operations and work with PICI’s leadership team to establish comprehensive goals for performance, expansion and sustainable growth of the organization. He will have a sharp focus on business development to expand PICI’s external partnerships, and will oversee PICI’s business operations, legal, strategic alliances and communications areas.

“Frederic embodies all of the qualities we were looking for in a COO,” said Sean Parker, PICI founder and chairman. “His operational expertise, deep industry knowledge and focus on revenue generation are the perfect complement to the esteemed scientific leadership we have in place. Frederic has a proven track record of building and launching global businesses for more than 25 years, and I look forward to seeing how PICI will thrive and evolve with his leadership.”

The addition of the COO to PICI’s current leadership team will be instrumental in supporting future growth and innovation. Pla will drive operational excellence to position PICI for future collaborations and revenue diversification, all to support PICI’s goal to bring immunotherapy treatments from bench to bedside to market to benefit cancer patients across the globe.

“My passion and strengths are building high-impact organizations in health care technologies through innovative combinations of science, technologies and business models,” said Pla. “I feel humbled and incredibly fortunate for the opportunity to become a part of PICI’s vision, boldness and expertise as we take the institute to the next stage and continue to improve cancer care for all patients.”

Pla has helped organizations navigate change and transformation as they grew both in size and revenue. He most recently served as COO at Genomic Health, a company that transformed care for early breast cancer patients. Under his leadership, the company implemented “Genomic Health 2.0,” putting in place new operating processes, tools and workstreams to support its rapid growth. In 2019 Genomic Health served its one millionth patient, reaching over $450 million in revenue with more than 900 employees.

His previous experience also includes leadership roles at Life Technologies, GE Healthcare and NASA. He holds an engineering degree from the Universite de Technologie de Compiegne, an M.S. in Sound and Vibration Studies from University of Southampton and a Ph.D. in Acoustics from Penn State University.

In another recent leadership transition, Jeffrey Bluestone, Ph.D., stepped down from his role as president and CEO. He remains committed to PICI’s mission and has joined its board of directors as vice chairman and a member of the executive committee. PICI is actively looking for his replacement.

About the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy

The Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy (PICI) is radically changing the way cancer research is done. Founded in 2016 through a $250 million gift from Silicon Valley entrepreneur and philanthropist Sean Parker, the San Francisco-based nonprofit is an unprecedented collaboration between the country’s leading immunotherapy researchers and cancer centers, including Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Stanford Medicine, the University of California, Los Angeles, the University of California, San Francisco, the University of Pennsylvania and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. The institute also supports top researchers at other institutions, including City of Hope, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Institute for Systems Biology and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. By forging alliances with academic, industry and nonprofit partners, PICI makes big bets on bold research to fulfill its mission: to accelerate the development of breakthrough immune therapies to turn all cancers into curable diseases. Find out more at


Contact Information
Jennifer Haslip
Vice President, Communications
Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy
(628) 899-7592