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
Carl June is the Richard W. Vague Professor in Immunotherapy in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. He is currently Director of the Center for Cellular Immunotherapies and Director of Translational Research in the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, and is an Investigator of the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute. He is a graduate of the Naval Academy in Annapolis, and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, 1979. He had graduate training in Immunology and malaria with Dr. Paul-Henri Lambert at the World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland in 1978 and 1979, and post-doctoral training in transplantation biology with E. Donnell Thomas and John Hansen at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle from 1983 to 1986. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology. He maintains a research laboratory that studies various mechanisms of lymphocyte activation that relate to immune tolerance and adoptive immunotherapy for cancer and chronic infection. In 2011, his research team published findings which represented the first successful and sustained demonstration of the use of gene transfer therapy to treat cancer. Clinical trials utilizing this approach, in which patients are treated with genetically engineered versions of their own T cells, are now underway for adults with chronic lymphocytic leukemia and adults and children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Early results in that group show that 90 percent of patients respond to the therapy, and more recently, trials of this approach have begun for patients with other blood cancers and solid tumors including pancreatic cancer, mesothelioma, and the brain cancer glioblastoma. In 2014, it became the first personalized cellular therapy for the treatment of cancer therapy to receive the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s prestigious Breakthrough Therapy designation.
He has published more than 450 manuscripts and is the recipient of numerous prizes and honors, including election to the Institute of Medicine in 2012, 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 Hamdan Award for Medical Research Excellence, and the Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize. In 2014, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.