Knut Niss, Ph.D

Chairman, Scientific Advisory Board

Dr. Niss was elected chairman of the scientific advisory board in November 2015. He has over 20 years’ experience in stem cell research, regenerative medicine and cell therapy development. He is currently the the Chief Technology Officer at MustangBio.

Dr. Niss completed his doctoral work at the Max-Delbrueck Center in Berlin, Germany, working on developmental pathways involved in leukemic cell transformation. He holds a PhD in molecular biology and a Master’s degree in biology. Following his doctoral work, Dr. Niss performed his postdoctoral studies at Children’s Hospital and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, where he analyzed genes involved in hematopoietic stem cell maintenance and differentiation. Upon completing his postdoctoral work, Dr. Niss joined Pfizer’s Immunology group, first in Connecticut and later in St. Louis, to serve as a team leader for hematopoiesis. In this role, he directed the implementation of various small molecule and biologics programs into Pfizer’s preclinical pipeline. Dr. Niss was then appointed as the research team leader for adult stem cells in Pfizer’s Regenerative Medicine unit in Cambridge, Massachusetts, responsible for managing research activities to support clinical programs with adult stem cells. Dr. Niss joined EMD Millipore in 2011 as a Senior R&D program manager for the Stem Cell Initiative, where he led the efforts on large scale stem cell expansion in bioreactors. In 2013, Dr. Niss transitioned to Novartis Pharmaceuticals in Morris Plains, New Jersey, where he directed the implementation of a CAR T process as well as the technology transfer activities to various sites. In 2015, Dr. Niss became the Asset Leader for Biogen Cell Therapies Division, where he was responsible for end-to-end CMC development, supply and life cycle management of Biogen’s cell therapy program assets.