College of Medicine Dean's Lecture to highlight CAR T-cell therapy

September 18, 2018

HERSHEY, Pa. — Dr. Carl June, Richard W. Vague Professor in Immunotherapy in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, will present “Car T-cells: Building Smarter Cars” at the 2018 Fall  Dean’s Lecture at Penn State College of Medicine. The presentation will take place at noon on Tuesday, Oct. 9, in the Junker Auditorium.

June is director of the Center for Cellular Immunotherapies at the Perelman School of Medicine and director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at the University of Pennsylvania. 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.

Time magazine named June to the 2018 Time 100 earlier this year, its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

CAR T-cell therapy is a promising new form of immunotherapy that uses specially altered T-cells — a part of the immune system — to fight cancer. A sample of a patient's T-cells are collected from the blood, then modified to produce special structures called chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) on their surface. When these CAR T-cells are reinfused into the patient, the new receptors enable them to latch onto a specific antigen on the patient's tumor cells and kill them. The therapy has shown to be very effective, even in cancers that don’t respond to chemotherapy.

This summer, Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center became the first central Pennsylvania oncology center to offer CAR T-cell therapy.

June has published more than 350 manuscripts and has received 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 in 2012, and the Taubman Prize for Excellence in Translational Medical Science.

The Dean’s Lecture is jointly sponsored by the College of Medicine Faculty Organization and the Office of the Dean and CEO.

Last Updated September 19, 2018