Carl H. June, MD
Richard W. Vague Professor in Immunotherapy, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine; Director, Center for Cellular Immunotherapies; Director, Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine Abramson Cancer Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
A pioneer in the emerging field of immunotherapies, Dr. June has led groundbreaking work in engineering chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells for the treatment of refractory and relapsed chronic lymphocytic leukemia. This technology, which involves the genetic re-engineering of a patient’s own T cells to combat his or her disease, represents the first gene transfer therapy technique that has demonstrated sustained success in patients. This form of precision medicine has shown tremendous promise for the treatment of hematologic malignancies and has recently received breakthrough therapy designation for the treatment of pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Dr. June was the first to utilize leukapheresis and subsequent genetic reengineering of isolated T cells to specifically recognize antigens overexpressed in B cell malignancies such as the B cell antigen CD19 (cluster of differentiation 19). He in turn named these modified T cells CART-19 cells on account of their specificity for identifying and targeting CD19-expressing B cells for T-cell mediated cell death. Response rates for patients receiving such CAR T-cell therapy have approached 90% for both adult and pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia and nearly 50% for chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients. Given the success of these preliminary results, additional ongoing studies have been devoted to utilizing CAR T-cell technology for the treatment of other hematologic malignancies including various forms of lymphoma and myeloma.
Dr. June’s ongoing research continues to be centered on further understanding lymphocyte activation mechanisms and T cell signaling in an effort to design novel immunotherapy-based treatments for viral infections as well as cancer.
2017 David A. Karnofsky Memorial Award and Lecture, American Society of Clinical Oncology2016 Novartis Prize in Immunology 2015 Award for Distinguished Research in Biomedical Sciences, Association of American Medical Colleges 2015 AACR-Cancer Research Institute Lloyd J. Old Award in Cancer Immunology 2015 E. Donnall Thomas Prize, American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation 2015 Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize, Paul Ehrlich Foundation 2014 Elected Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences 2014 Hamdan Award for Medical Research Excellence 2014 Karl Landsteiner Memorial Award, AABB 2013 Philadelphia Award 2012 William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Basic and Tumor Immunology, Cancer Research Institute 2012 Elected Member, Institute of Medicine 2008 Joan Miller and Linda Bernstein Gene Therapy Ovarian Cancer Award, Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy 2005-2009 Bristol-Myers Squibb Freedom to Discover Award 2005 Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer, Federal Laboratory Consortium 2002 Lifetime Achievement Award, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of America