Session Chair Profile

Developed CAR-T therapy, the world’s first gene-based cancer therapy
M.D, Ph.D., Richard W. Vague Professor of Immunotherapy; Director, Center for Cellular Immunotherapies; Director, Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Carl June studies mechanisms of lymphocyte activation that relate to immune tolerance and adoptive immunotherapy for cancer and chronic infection. In 2011, his research team published findings detailing a new therapy in which patients with refractory and relapsed chronic lymphocytic leukemia were treated with genetically engineered versions of their own T cells, CAR-Ts. The treatment has also now been used with promising results to treat children with refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia. His work led to the development and commercialization of tisagenlecleucel, the first FDA-approved gene therapy. In the 1980s, his lab discovering the CD28 molecule as the major control switch for T cells. He has published more than 350 manuscripts and is the recipient of numerous prizes and honors, including election to the Institute of Medicine in 2012 and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2014, the William B Coley award, the Richard V Smalley Memorial Award from the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer, the AACR-CRI Lloyd J. Old Award in Cancer Immunology, the Philadelphia Award, the Taubman Prize for Excellence in Translational Medical Science, the Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize, the Novartis Prize in Immunology, the Karl Landsteiner Memorial award, the Debrecen Award and a lifetime achievement award from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. June received his Bachelor of Science in Biology from the United States Naval Academy and his M.D. from Baylor College of Medicine.

Session Abstract – PMWC 2019 Silicon Valley

Session Synopsis: Carl June is a pioneer in precision medicine and immunotherapy of human immunodeficiency virus and cancer. He was the driving force behind the first FDA approved gene therapy – Kymriah, a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells to treat B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. This session will review the key conceptual and technical challenges that had to be overcome to make the CAT-T therapy a reality, and an insight what the next generation of immune therapies will look like for cancer.

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