Carl June, MD, the Richard W. Vague Professor in Immunotherapy in the Perelman School of Medicine and director of the Center for Cellular Immunotherapies (CCI) at Penn Medicine’s Abramson Cancer Center, was named a winner of the 2024 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences.
June was awarded for the development of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell immunotherapy, a novel cancer treatment approach where a patient’s T cells are modified to target and kill their cancer cells. Since June pioneered this genetic engineering technique thirteen years ago at Penn, it has since been used to treat over 20,000 patients with leukemia and other blood cancers, with success rates from 50% to 90%.
“This award is not only a testament to Dr. June’s outstanding contributions to science, but also a shining example of the caliber of discoveries and research which Penn faculty set their sights upon,” said Penn President Liz Magill in Penn Today. “We are immensely proud to have Dr. June as a member of the Penn academic community, and we know that CAR T cell therapy is just the first chapter in an inspiring and lifesaving new era of medicine.”
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