Bryan (Bo) Barnhart, Ph.D.

Bryan (Bo) Barnhart, Ph.D.

Senior Director

Immuno-Oncology, Discovery


Bo serves as a senior director of Immuno-Oncology (I-O) at Bristol-Myers Squibb, leading a team of scientists responsible for multiple biologics programs at various stages of preclinical and early clinical development within the I-O portfolio. Bo's research team focuses on targeting pathways that enhance the immune system's ability to recognize or attack tumor cells.


Bo has over two decades of experience in immunology and oncology. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rutgers University, he went on to earn his Ph.D. in Immunology from the University of Chicago and complete his post-doctoral studies at the University of Pennsylvania before joining Bristol-Myers Squibb in Lawrenceville, N.J. He took the opportunity to merge his backgrounds in cancer and immunology when he joined the team led by Nils Lonberg and Alan Korman, pioneers in the field of I-O discovery research, in Bristol Myers-Squibb’s Redwood City labs.


Watch videos featuring Bo:

Microbiome: The Connection Between Gut Microbiome and the Immune System 


Engineering Antibodies for Cancer Immunotherapy 

Interests and Expertise

Bo is passionate about science and literature, and holds undergraduate degrees in both biology and English literature. In school, Bo loved Herman Melville's classic novel Moby Dick, ultimately realizing that the science Melville wove into Ishmael’s perspective and narration was the aspect of the novel that most appealed to him. Literature also allowed him to develop his facility for language, which he found integral to the sciences as well. At Rutgers, a professor piqued Bo's interest in immunology and taught him that it was a language that must be mastered before you can move forward. This concept of the language of science has stayed with him to this day. 


Bo's motivation to discover became more personal after he lost his father to pancreatic cancer. While experiencing the journey as a caregiver highlighted the sometimes formulaic nature of cancer treatment, it also reinforced the potential of his I-O research to help increase understanding of how each disease is different and potentially treatable by different therapies.


Bo lives in California with his wife and two children – both of whom already share their father’s aptitude for science. 

Related Content

Speaking the Language of Science

Speaking the Language of Science

For Bo Barnhart, senior director of immuno-oncology, communication is key for advancing research.

Scientists on the Move

Scientists on the Move

Mike is back in Redwood City to lead a translational team focused on understanding mechanisms of I-O resistance.