Alissa Kerner

Associate Director, New Product Planning at F1 Oncology

What do you do and why?

I work for a biotech startup company, F1 Oncology, developing innovative therapies to treat solid tumor malignancies. We work in the field of CAR-T, which uses a patient’s own T cells as a “living drug” to kill their cancer. My background is in science and engineering but currently I do corporate strategy, new product planning, and financial forecasting for F1 (or as I like to say, I’ve gone to the dark side). Working at F1 has been extremely intense and incredibly meaningful. Every day we try to push a little harder so that we can potentially cure one more person of cancer–or prolong one more life–and this gives me an immense sense of purpose to push through all of the long days and constant travel.

What change would you like to enact in the world?

As I work in cancer therapeutics, obviously finding cures for cancer is top of mind. However we will likely never get to a place where people don’t get cancer, but we can get to a place where the treatment will be as easy as a quick stop to the doctor’s office, and I truly believe this is doable in our lifetime. So I hope we can develop therapies that are good enough so that everyone can live a long, full, and happy life, sitting on the porch getting old and complaining about millennials (and millennial’s children… and their children…).

Tell us a fun fact about yourself.

I am a pretty serious runner and have trained for about 10 half marathons and various 5Ks and 10Ks, and plan to run more full marathons and ultra marathons in the future. I have also run a half marathon with the only underwater mile in the world. Ask me about it! 🙂

Why did you join IVY?

I joined IVY to meet interesting people and have transformative experiences and my membership has paid off in spades. I was a member of the Boston chapter for about two years and have been a Miami member for about two years as well. I have made many lasting friendships in both cities and gone on several trips (Cuba, Amalfi, Summer Camp) and hope to continue traveling and meeting awesome IVY members across the US.

What has been your most memorable IVY Experience?

This is a tough one! It’s a tie between the East Coast Summer Camp and the IVY Cuba trip. Camp because of the friendships that I made there, and Cuba because of the overall experience. We went to Cuba right after hurricane Irma and even though it was a difficult time for the country cleaning up after the hurricane, our hosts were incredibly hospitable and welcoming. It was a such a unique experience as well–to visit a country living under communism and to learn about and discuss the perspectives they have on their lives in Cuba, on the US, and on historical events between the two countries, was invaluable.

To connect with Alissa Kerner and thousands of inspiring IVY members, 
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To connect with Alissa Kerner and thousands of inspiring IVY members, 
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