Cancer drug company founder and CEO Brian Slingerland will give the keynote address at the Pamplin College of Business commencement ceremony on Friday, May 13, at 3:30 p.m. at Cassell Coliseum.

Slingerland, a Virginia Tech alumnus who received a bachelor’s degree in finance in 2000, co-founded Stemcentrx, a biotechnology company in San Francisco that is doing research to develop new types of cancer treatments.

Stemcentrx, which has five cancer drugs in human clinical trials, is being acquired by drugmaker AbbVie Inc. in a $10.2 billion deal that is one of the 10 biggest biotechnology deals in history.

Stemcentrx won the "Best New Drug Developer" award at the 2015 World ADC Awards, which recognize excellence in research in “antibody drug conjugates,” a class of drugs intended to target cancer cells. The company, which employs nearly 200 scientists and technicians, was also recognized this year as one of the “Bay Area Best Places to Work” by the San Francisco Business Times.

Slingerland was co-valedictorian of the class of 2000, Pamplin’s Outstanding Senior, and chief investment officer of SEED, the student-run investor group that manages a multimillion-dollar stock portfolio for the Virginia Tech Foundation.

Upon graduation, Slingerland moved to California to work for Credit Suisse First Boston as an analyst and later joined Goldman Sachs as vice president. In 2008, he left Goldman Sachs to co-found two companies: Qatalyst Partners, an investment bank focused on the technology sector, and Stemcentrx.

On the West Coast, Slingerland also has served as an ambassador for Virginia Tech, serving as president of the university’s Bay Area alumni chapter for several years.

He served a three-year term on the university’s Alumni Association board of directors. He was Pamplin’s 2009 Outstanding Recent Alumnus, an honor bestowed annually on one alumnus from each college    

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