PHILADELPHIA - Carl June, MD, a gene therapy pioneer at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, will receive the 2018 Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research. June is receiving the award for his pioneering work in developing CAR T therapy, which became the nation's first FDA-approved personalized cellular therapy for cancer in August 2017 and was approved for additional indications earlier this year. The prize will be awarded during a celebration on Wednesday, Sept. 26, in Albany, New York.
Albany Medical Center has given out the $500,000 award annually since 2001 to those "who have altered the course of medical research" and is one of the largest prizes in medicine and science in the United States, according to the organization. June is one of three scientists who will receive this year's award. The others are Steven A. Rosenberg, MD, PhD, chief of the Surgery Branch of the Center for Cancer Research at the National Cancer Institute, and James P. Allison, PhD, chair of Immunology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
June is the Richard W. Vague Professor in Immunotherapy in the department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Penn's Perelman School of Medicine, the director of the Center for Cellular Immunotherapy in the Abramson Cancer Center, and the director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at Penn. Clinical trials of CAR T therapy began at Penn in 2010, and two of the first three patients to receive the therapy, for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) remain in remission nearly eight years later.
June has published more than 450 manuscripts and has received numerous prizes and honors, including being named to Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people in the world, election of the Institute of Medicine in 2012, the Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize, the William b. Coley award, the Karl Landsteiner Memorial Award from the AARB, the Richard V. Smalley Memorial Award from the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer, the Philadelphia Award, the Hamdan Award for Medical Research Excellence, and the Novartis Immunology Award for Cancer Cell Therapy Development. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2014. In 2017, he was named a fellow of the American Association for Cancer Research Academy and received the David A. Karnofsky Memorial Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
June is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, as well as Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. He received graduate training in Immunology and Malaria at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, and post-doctoral training in transplantation biology at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
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