Featured Researcher: Ashley Koegel – Bristol Myers Squibb
Ashley Koegel, MD
Medical Director, Early Clinical Development
San Francisco, California
Ashley Koegel, MD, is medical director and Early Clinical Development lead at Bristol Myers Squibb’s San Francisco R&D site, where she leads the design and implementation of clinical studies to assess the safety and efficacy of potential medicines in the company’s pipeline. In her role, Ashley leverages her clinical and scientific background to support the Early Clinical Development leadership team's strategic priorities and advance promising assets through clinical trials to produce innovative therapies for patients.
Working collaboratively across teams, Ashley ensures that various business units feed into the discovery, development, implementation and access that is required to bring potential new therapies forward, allowing for the rapid execution and commercialization of innovative treatment options — which ultimately gives more patients access to life-changing medical care. Ashley has been a key contributor to Bristol Myers Squibb’s discovery and early development strategy with next-generation CAR T products, including “off-the-shelf” cell therapies and next-generation T cell engineering approaches.
At Bristol Myers Squibb, Ashley assumed clinical leadership of multiple NEX TTM programs, which seek to optimize CAR T cell design and manufacturing processes to produce drug products in a shorter amount of time, with a less-differentiated composition and increased product quality and control. The process is also designed to encourage the growth of a more uniform and potent T cell phenotype, which may prompt a deeper and more durable response in patients. Ashley has served as the global clinical lead for these programs working closely with investigators to enroll patients in Phase 1 studies and deliver critical data to further program development.
Ashley graduated from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and participated in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute undergraduate research program. She earned her MD from Stanford University and subsequently trained in pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School, completing her clinical fellowship in pediatric hematology and oncology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Ashley was a Damon Runyon Physician Scientist awardee in the lab of Wendell Lim, a world-class CAR T scientist and biotech founder, where she engineered next-generation CAR T cells to treat acute myeloid leukemia.
Interests and Expertise
Ashley says she loves her work because of its impact on patients. A pediatric oncologist by training, she knows what kind of difference her work can make for children with cancer. While working at Bristol Myers Squibb, Ashley has maintained a volunteer faculty appointment at UCSF as a pediatric hematologist and oncologist, where she continues to provide care to children fighting cancer. When Ashley steps into the lab, she’s reminded of the patients she’s cared for over the years. The memories of following young cancer survivors into adulthood put a smile on her face and fresh determination in her heart.
Ashley has also worked to promote diversity in science and medicine throughout her career, including organizing a panel for women’s career advancement and a women and medicine networking program. She earned the Women for Change Student Leadership award while at UCLA.
When not at work, Ashley loves spending time with her family, including her husband, new baby boy, and wild puppy. She also loves cooking, enjoying the many Bay Area outdoor activities and soaking up the sun at the beach in Southern California where she grew up.