Fred Hutch, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, and UW Medicine Complete Restructure of Partnership

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Symposium Speakers

Opening Address and Keynote Speaker

Carl June, M.D.

Carl June, M.D.

University of Pennsylvania

Opening Address
Dr. June maintains a research laboratory that studies various mechanisms of lymphocyte activation that relate to immune tolerance and adoptive immunotherapy targeting 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. The June laboratory has published >500 publications, and has a Google Scholar h-index of 155 with >100,000 citations. He currently serves as the Richard W. Vague Professor in Immunotherapy in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and as the Director of the Center for Cellular Immunotherapies at the Perelman School of Medicine, as well as the Director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including his election into the National Academies of Medicine and Science and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Presentation Abstract: The Development and Applications of Adoptive T Cell Therapy

Rainer Storb

Rainer Storb, M.D.

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center

Keynote Speaker
Dr. Storb is one of the pioneers who established allogeneic, or donor, blood stem cell transplantation as a cure for diseases like leukemia and aplastic anemia, and holds the Milton B. Rubin Family Endowed Chair at Fred Hutch. Over his career, his research has established more effective, less toxic transplant approaches and his lab continues to explain and eliminate major barriers to successful transplantation. One of Dr. Storb’s major scientific contributions is the non-myeloablative transplant, sometimes called "mini-transplant," which involves minimal pre-transplant radiation. It has extended the lifesaving benefits of transplantation to older or more-infirm patients who are not eligible for traditional protocols.

Presentation Abstract: Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation: From Lab to Clinic and Back

Symposium Speakers

Bruce Blazar, M.D.

Bruce Blazar, M.D.

University of Minnesota

Dr. Bruce Blazar received a B.S. degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an M.D. degree from Albany Medical College, following which he obtained clinical training in pediatrics and hematology/oncology/blood and marrow transplantation at the University of Minnesota. He is a Regents Professor and founding Director of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute and the Center for Translational Medicine. He has directed preclinical basic and translational immunology and stem cell research and early phase clinical studies with particular emphasis in the blood and marrow transplantation immunobiology. Over the years, his laboratory has brought forward cells, antibodies, proteins, and drugs, several of which have been FDA-approved.

Presentation Abstract: Toward Advance in GVHD Therapy

Catherine Bollard, M.D., M.B.Ch.B.

Catherine Bollard, M.D., M.B.Ch.B.

Children's National
George Washington University

Dr. Bollard is the Director of the Center for Cancer and Immunology Research, and the Director of the Program for Cell Enhancement and Technologies for Immunotherapy at Children’s National. She is a Professor of Pediatrics and Immunology at The George Washington University and the Associate Center Director for Translational Research and Innovation at the GW Cancer Center. Dr. Bollard is a past president of the International Society for Cellular Therapy, and is the current President of the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy. She was a member of the Cellular, Tissues, and Gene Therapies Advisory Committee of the Food and Drug Administration from 2015 to 2019, and in 2019 she became a member of the Frederick National Laboratory Advisory Committee for the NIH. She is currently Editor in Chief of Blood Advances. She has >200 peer reviewed publications and has been independently NIH funded for over a decade. Her bench and translational research focuses on improving outcomes for patients after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and on the development of novel cell therapies for cancer and virus-associated diseases.

Presentation Abstract: Broadening Applicability of Antigen-Specific T Cells Post-BMT

Chiara Bonini, M.D.

Chiara Bonini, M.D.

University Vita-Salute San Raffaele
IRCCS Ospedale San Raffaele

Chiara Bonini, M.D., is a Professor of Hematology at the University Vita-Salute, San Raffaele. She trained in Milano (Ospedale San Raffaele - OSR, C. Bordignon), New York (MSKCC, R. O’Reilly) and Seattle (FHCRC, P.D. Greenberg). Since 2008, she has been the Head of the Experimental Hematology Unit of OSR; since 2013, she has been Deputy Director of the Division of Immunology, Transplantation and Infectious Diseases of OSR. She has been a member of the boards of ESGCT, ASGCT and EBMT. She is currently a member of the ASH Global Research Award Subcommittee, the Board of ESH and of EHA, and the Program Committee of ASGCT. Her main research focus is the development, preclinical and clinical validation of cell and gene therapy approaches to treat cancer. 

Presentation Abstract: T-Cell Genome Editing for Cancer Immunotherapy

Dirk Busch Ph.D.

Dirk Busch Ph.D.

Technical University of Munich (TUM) School of Medicine

Prof. Dirk Busch, M.D., is a clinician-scientist and specialist in medical microbiology and immunology. He is Director of the Institute for Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Hygiene at the Technical University of Munich. His research is focused on the investigation of T cell immunity, especially to isolate or engineer antigen-specific T cells for (adoptive) immunotherapies to treat infections or cancer.

Presentation Abstract: Advanced TCR Engineering for Repertoire Analysis and Adoptive T Cell Therapy

Aude Chapuis, M.D.

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center

Dr. Aude Chapuis is an expert in blood stem cell transplantation and immunotherapy and holds the John C. and Karyl Kay Hughes Foundation Endowed Chair at Fred Hutch. She cares for patients undergoing these treatments and leads clinical trials of new immunotherapies in which patients receive immune T cells that can detect and destroy diseased cells. In her research laboratory, she and her team investigate the factors that make T cell therapy successful and use that knowledge to develop new immunotherapies that are even safer and more effective. Her ongoing projects are advancing T cell therapies for patients with leukemias or certain solid tumors.

Justin Eyquem, Ph.D.

Justin Eyquem, Ph.D.

University of California, San Francisco

Justin Eyquem is an Assistant Professor at the University of California, San Francisco, who uses synthetic immunology to improve adoptive cell therapy. He received his PhD from the University of Paris-Diderot and the biotech company, Cellectis. There, he used gene editing tools, including meganucleases and transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALEN), to identify genomic locations for safe integration of transgenes. In 2014, he joined Michel Sadelain’s lab at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where he optimized the first CRISPR/Cas9-based protocol to insert CAR transgenes into specific genomic locations and showed that integrating CAR sequences under the TCR alpha promoter offers optimal CAR expression and superior antitumor activity. He also designed novel CAR architectures with increased sensitivity to low tumor antigen density. In 2019, he received the Parker Fellow Award and opened his lab in the Department of Immunology at UCSF, where he is developing a gene editing platform and novel CAR architectures to enhance T and NK cell functions against solid and hematological malignancies.

Presentation Abstract: Improving Adoptive T Cell Therapies With Synthetic Immunology

Todd A. Fehniger, M.D., Ph.D.

Todd A. Fehniger, M.D., Ph.D.

Washington University

Todd A. Fehniger, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine, is a physician-scientist with interests that span basic, translational, and clinical aspects of immunology, immunotherapy, and blood cancers. He co-leads the Lymphoma Program of the Siteman Cancer Center, and serves as Laboratory Director of the Center for Gene and Cellular Immunotherapy and the Director of the Biological Therapy Shared Resource of the Siteman Cancer Center. His research program focuses on understanding basic mechanisms of innate immunity, translational approaches to elucidate new ways to enhance natural killer (NK) cell anti-lymphoma activity, and clinical studies applying advances in NK cell biology as novel immunotherapy for patients with hematologic malignancies, especially lymphoma.  In addition, his laboratory group seeks to understand the role of NK cells in the lymphoma microenvironment and designing rationale approaches to enhance NK cell anti-lymphoma responses. Additional interests include defining the impact of somatic mutations on lymphoma pathogenesis, clinical outcomes for lymphoma patients, and their potential as immunotherapy targets.

Presentation Abstract: Translating Innate Natural Killer Cell Memory as Cancer Immunotherapy

Geoffrey Hill, M.D., F.R.A.C.P., F.R.C.P.A.

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center

Dr. Geoffrey Hill is the Director of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation, Scientific Director of the Immunotherapy Integrated Research Center and holds the José Carreras/E. Donnall Thomas Endowed Chair for Cancer Research at Fred Hutch. Focused on the immunological mechanisms that initiate acute and chronic forms of graft-vs.-host disease (GVHD), his research team’s findings have led to new GVHD-blocking therapies and helped establish new standards of care for transplant patients. Ongoing collaborative work is aimed at developing methods to integrate transplantation with other forms of cancer immunotherapy, including T-cell therapy. 

Dan Kaufman, M.D., Ph.D.

Dan Kaufman, M.D., Ph.D.

UC San Diego School of Medicine

Dr. Kaufman's research group has pioneered the use of human pluripotent stem cells to provide a key resource for cellular immunotherapies. Studies have demonstrated that natural killer (NK) cells can be efficiently derived from both human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). These cells can be routinely genetically engineered to derive immune cells with improved anti-tumor activity.  Specifically, iPSCs serve as a platform to express chimeric antigen receptors and other modifications to enhance anti-tumor activity. iPSC-derived NK cells can be expanded to clinical scale in current GMP-compatible conditions. We have also produced engineered iPSC-derived macrophages, including expression of macrophage-specific CARs that improve killing of tumor cells. Together, these approaches provide important new strategies to use human iPSCs to efficiently produce targeted, “off-the-shelf” cell therapies to better treat and cure refractory malignancies.

Presentation Abstract: Engineering Human Pluripotent Stem Cells To Produce Immune Cells With Improved Anti-Tumor Activity

Leslie Kean, M.D., Ph.D.

Leslie Kean, M.D., Ph.D.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Leslie S. Kean, M.D., Ph.D., is the Stranahan Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, Director of the Pediatric Stem Cell Transplant Program at Boston Children’s Hospital/Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Chair of the Pediatric Transplantation and Cellular Therapies Consortium (PTCTC).  Dr. Kean’s research program is focused on the immunology of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, tolerance-induction for solid organ transplantation through cellular therapeutics, and immune tolerance in allo- and auto-immune diseases. The overarching goal is to understand mechanisms underlying immune tolerance, with a specific focus on graft-versus-host disease (GvHD), mixed-chimerism induction for solid organ transplantation, transplant rejection, the immunology of gastrointestinal auto-immune diseases, and the reconstitution of protective immunity after transplantation. Her team has used the animal models, clinical trial-linked mechanistic studies and state-of-the single-cell transcriptomic and computational methodologies to investigate the cellular and molecular mechanisms of immune reconstitution, GvHD, transplant rejection and Inflammatory Bowel Disease, and to test the impact that novel immunomodulatory therapies can make on these processes. Dr. Kean’s work has led to the creation of multiple novel, non-human primate models of both engraftment and GvHD, several first-in-disease clinical trials, and the recent FDA approval of abatacept for GVHD prevention, which represents the first FDA approval for this indication.

Presentation Abstract: From Bench to Bedside to the FDA: T Cell Costimulation Blockade for the Prevention of Acute GVHD

Donald Kohn, M.D.

Donald Kohn, M.D.

UCLA Broad Stem Cell Research Center

Donald B. Kohn M.D. is a Distinguished Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a pediatric bone marrow transplant physician. He performs laboratory and clinical studies of gene therapy for blood cell diseases, especially primary immune deficiencies and hemoglobinopathies. His research is focused on developing improved methods for adding or editing genes in human hematopoietic stem cells and evaluating these approaches in early phase clinical trials.

Presentation Abstract: Hematopoietic Stem Cell Gene Therapy

Leonido "Leo" Luznik, M.D.

Leonido "Leo" Luznik, M.D.

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Dr. Luznik is an Associate Professor in the Department of Oncology Hematologic Malignancies at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The Luznik lab's main focus is the immunobiology of graft-versus-leukemia responses and graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (alloHSCT). They are studying the cellular and molecular mechanisms governing T cell-dendritic cell interactions after alloHSCT, the mechanisms that are critical for inducing and maintaining tolerance and how these two fundamental processes can be therapeutically modulated in allogeneic chimeras, and the mechanisms behind drug-induced immunologic tolerance as a method to suppress GVHD without causing global immune incompetence. They use a wide range of GVHD animal models and relevant transgenic strains, as well as  evaluating human immune responses after alloHSCT.

Presentation Abstract: Post-Transplantation Cyclophosphamide: The Knowns and Unknowns

Alexander Marson, MD, Ph.D.

Alexander Marson, M.D., Ph.D.

University of California, San Francisco

Dr. Alex Marson is Director of the Gladstone-UCSF Institute of Genomic Immunology and Professor in the UCSF Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases. He serves as the Scientific Director for Human Health at the Innovative Genomics Institute (IGI) and is a member of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy and a Chan Zuckerberg Biohub investigator. Work in Dr. Marson’s lab aims to understand the genetic programs controlling human immune cell function in health and disease, with an emphasis on developing and applying CRISPR genome engineering tools to primary immune cells, especially T cells. Combining genomics and gene editing approaches, the lab works to assess the consequences of coding and noncoding genetic variation on immune cell function and autoimmune disease risk and to genetically engineer human immune cells to target cancer, autoimmunity, and infectious diseases.

Presentation Abstract: Programming Cell Therapies with CRISPR

Luigi Naldini, M.D., Ph.D.

Luigi Naldini, M.D., Ph.D.

San Raffaele Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy,
University Vita-Salute San Raffaele 
IRCCS Ospedale San Raffaele

Luigi Naldini, M.D., Ph.D., is the Director of the San Raffaele Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy and Professor at the San Raffaele University in Milan, Italy. He developed the safe and effective deployment of gene therapy for several inherited diseases and some types of cancer, and contributed to advancing targeted genome editing in cell and gene therapy. He is also co-founder of three innovative biotech start-up companies: Genenta (recently listed on Nasdaq), Epsilen Bio (now acquired by Chroma Medicine) and Genespire. He is a member of EMBO, past President of ESGCT, and received the Outstanding Achievement Award from ASGCT and ESGCT, the Beutler Prize from ASH and the 2019 Jeantet-Collen Prize for Translational Medicine.

Presentation Abstract: Advanced Genetic Engineering of Hematopoiesis To Treat Inherited Disease and Cancer

David Rawlings, M.D.

David Rawlings, M.D.

Seattle Children's Hospital
University of Washington

Dr. Rawlings is a Professor of Pediatrics and Immunology at the University of Washington. He directs the Center for Immunity and Immunotherapies (CIIT) at Seattle Children’s Research Institute and is Chief of the Division of Immunology at Seattle Children’s Hospital (SCH). The SCH Immunology program serves as the major referral center for pediatric and adult patients from the Pacific Northwest with genetic immune disorders. As part of these efforts, Dr. Rawlings leads CIIT’s basic and translational immunology research programs (with 14 independent investigators), focused on human immune disorders. He also leads the Program for Cell and Gene Therapy, developing gene replacement and gene editing approaches to treating genetic immune diseases. Most recently, his group established methods to generate engineered regulatory T cells and drug-secreting B cells and are working to leverage these approaches to develop novel cell therapies.

Presentation Abstract: Generation of Engineered Tregs and B Cells for Novel Therapeutic Applications

Pavan Reddy, M.D.

Pavan Reddy, M.D.

Baylor College of Medicine

Dr. Pavan Reddy is the Director at the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer at Baylor College of Medicine and a physician-scientist who does both bench and translational research, his work is focused on understanding the role of immune cells in blood diseases, cancer and transplantation. His groundbreaking research is supported by funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and other foundations. He is the author or co-author of over 140 journal articles and book chapters. Dr. Reddy has received many honors, including the Jerome Conn Award from department of medicine, awards from national societies including the election to honorary societies such as American Society of Clinical Investigation (ASCI), Association of American Physicians (AAP), and American Clinical and Climatological Association (ACCA). He holds leadership roles in multiple scientific committees for the American Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation and serves on NIH panels. He is an associate director for the journals Hematologica, Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation, and Bone Marrow Transplantation. He is the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (ASBMT) President Elect. In the laboratory, Dr. Reddy focuses on the immunobiology of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), a devastating immune response that can occur after a stem cell or bone marrow transplant in which the newly transplanted donor cells attack the transplant recipient’s body. Dr. Reddy hopes to translate the knowledge he gains through his research into powerful, lifesaving treatments for patients everywhere. His research has been continuously funded by the NIH with multiple grants for over 15 years.

Presentation Abstract: Tissue Metabolic Adaptations in Regulation of Immunotoxicities

Judith Shizuru, M.D., Ph.D.

Judith Shizuru, M.D., Ph.D.

Stanford University

Dr. Shizuru is a Professor of Medicine and of Pediatrics at Stanford Medicine,  where she is member of the Blood and Marrow Transplantation faculty, the Stanford Immunology Program and the Institute of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine. Her current clinical efforts and basic research focus on improving the safety and efficacy of hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). Her research lab has developed novel ways to achieve engraftment of blood forming stem cells, aiming to replace chemotherapy and radiation, and developed the tools and methods that will enable engrafting of pure blood forming stem cells, with the goal to eliminate potentially harmful passenger cells contained in a blood stem cell graft. 

Presentation Abstract: Antibody-Based Conditioning: From Biology to Patients

Warren Shlomchik, M.D.

Warren Shlomchik, M.D.

University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute

Warren Shlomchik received his undergraduate degree from Harvard College and his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He did his residency in Internal Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical Center/New York Hospital in New York City, followed by a fellowship in Hematology and Oncology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined the faculty of the Yale University School of Medicine in 1999, where he became a tenured professor and remained until 2015. He then moved to the University of Pittsburgh to become the Director of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation and Cell Therapies, and leader of the program in hematologic malignancies at the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. Dr. Shlomchik’s research has focused on understanding the basic biology of allogeneic stem cell transplantation, including: 1) antigen presentation; 2) mechanisms of graft-vs-leukemia resistance; 3) roles of donor naïve and memory T cells; and 4) how graft-vs-host disease is maintained within target tissues. His work in mouse models has been translated to the clinic, specifically testing the depletion of naïve T cells from donor allografts and treating post-transplant AML/MDS relapse with interferon-gamma combined with donor leukocyte infusions.

Presentation Abstract: Local Maintenance of GVHD Within Target Tissues

John Tisdale, M.D.

John Tisdale, M.D.

National Institutes of Health

Dr. Tisdale received his medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston after obtaining his B.A. in Chemistry from the College of Charleston. He completed an internal medicine and chief residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville and then trained in hematology in the Hematology Branch, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), where he served as a postdoctoral fellow. He joined the Molecular and Clinical Hematology Branch of NHLBI in 1998 and is now the Chief of the Cellular and Molecular Therapeutics Branch. In 2020, the College of Charleston recognized Dr. Tisdale as one of their Top 25 History Makers, in honor of the school's 250-year anniversary, and was a Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal finalist. He was recently elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation and is a member of the American Society of Hematology. Dr. Tisdale’s research and clinical work center on sickle cell disease. His group focuses on developing curative strategies for this disease, through transplantation of allogeneic or genetically modified autologous bone marrow stem cells.

Presentation Abstract: Toward Molecular Cures for the First Molecular Disease, Cell and Gene Therapies for Sickle Cell Disease

Luco Vago, M.D., Ph.D.

Luco Vago, M.D., Ph.D.

University Vita-Salute San Raffaele
IRCCS Ospedale San Raffaele

Dr. Vago is a physician scientist who is Group Leader in the Unit of Immunogenetics, Leukemia Genomics and Immunobiology, in the Division of Regenerative Medicine, Stem Cells and Gene Therapy, and Staff Hematologist in the Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplantation Unit, at the San Raffaele Scientific Institute in Milano, Italy. Both his clinical and research activities are focused on the immunobiology of leukemia in the  setting of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, particularly on the mechanisms of leukemia immune escape and relapse. His main research contributions include the description of genomic HLA loss as a frequent mechanism of relapse, the role of Natural Killer cells in transplantation, and  the development of new cutting-edge molecular methods to improve the early detection of leukemia recurrence.

Presentation Abstract: Leukemia Immune Escape After Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation: From Biology to Precision Medicine

Marcel R. M. van den Brink, M.D.

Marcel R. M. van den Brink, M.D.

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Dr. van den Brink is a physician scientist and medical oncologist who performs both laboratory and clinical research related to allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (BMT) and immuno-oncology. He is the Head of the Division of Hematologic Malignancies at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) and holds a joint appointment in the Immunology and Transplantation Program of the Sloan Kettering Institute. He is the Co-Director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at MSKCC and Chairman of the Board of DKMS, an international nonprofit organization devoted to bone marrow donor registration. As a clinical scientist, he is involved in immunotherapeutic trials of cytokines, cell therapies, as well as strategies to manipulate the intestinal microbiome for patients with hematologic malignancies. His laboratory is devoted to the immunology of BMT, with studies of immune reconstitution, pathophysiology of graft-versus-host disease, the intestinal microbiota, and chimeric antigen receptor T cells in patients and preclinical models. As a Division Head and a laboratory Principal Investigator, he mentors junior faculty members, hematology oncology fellows, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and undergraduate students.

Presentation Abstract: The Role of the Intestinal Microbiome in Cancer Immunotherapy

Catherine Wu, M.D.

Catherine Wu, M.D.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Catherine J. Wu, M.D. is a Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapies at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and the Association of American Physicians. She received her M.D. from Stanford University School of Medicine and completed her clinical training in Internal Medicine and Hematology-Oncology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. She joined the staff at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in 2000. At DFCI, she has initiated an integrated program of research and clinical activities that focuses on dissecting the basis of effective anti-tumor immunity. Her laboratory has focused on the use of genomics-based approaches to discover immunogenic antigen targets and to understand the molecular basis of therapeutic response and resistance. She has led early phase clinical trials to test personalized tumor vaccines in melanoma and glioblastoma.

Presentation Abstract: Updates on Personalized Cancer Vaccines