AACI Selects Carl June as 2017 Distinguished Scientist

The Association of American Cancer Institutes (AACI) will present the 2017 AACI Distinguished Scientist Award to Carl H. June, MD, on October 16, during the AACI/CCAF Annual Meeting, in Washington, DC.

Dr. June is director of translational research at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy and the Center for Cellular Immunotherapies, and Richard W. Vague Professor in Immunotherapy, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

In 2011, Dr. Juneís 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 Administrationís prestigious Breakthrough Therapy designation.

Dr. June is a graduate of the Naval Academy in Annapolis, and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. He had graduate training in Immunology and malaria with Dr. Paul-Henri Lambert at the World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland, and post-doctoral training in transplantation biology with Drs. E. Donnell Thomas and John Hansen at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.

The AACI Distinguished Scientist Award acknowledges extraordinary scientific accomplishments and contributions to cancer research. Previous honorees are James P. Allison, Lewis Cantley, Brian Druker, Lee Hartwell, Mary-Claire King, Timothy Ley, Janet Rowley, Stuart Schreiber, Margaret R. Spitz, Bert Vogelstein, Robert Weinberg and Irving Weissman.

AACI and the Cancer Center Administrators Forum (CCAF) jointly formulated the program for the 2017 AACI/CCAF Annual Meeting. More information about the meeting, including the program and electronic registration, is available on the AACI website.