Translational Research Cancer Centers Consortium
September 2019- Pawel Kalinski, MD, PhD, Vice Chair for Translational Research and Rustum Family Professor for Molecular Therapeutics and Translational Research at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center has received a DOD grant to study a three-part approach to treating advanced cancer patients. The trail is expected to open in 2020 and will access a novel DC vaccine, a chemokine modulating regimen and immune checkpoint blockade. Congratulations to Dr. Kalinksi and his his team.
May 2017- Robert Vonderheide, an expert in cancer immunotherapy and translational research and member of TRCCC, was named director of the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania. He is the Hanna Wise Professor in Cancer Research at the Perelman School of Medicine, and currently serves as the Abramson Cancer Center’s (ACC) associate director for translational research and executive director of its Translational Centers of Excellence Program. He will begin his new role on July 1. Through a focus on novel immunotherapies for pancreatic cancer, melanoma, breast and ovarian cancers, Vonderheide has mapped new models for speeding translational research. He has led studies that demonstrated the role of agonist CD40 antibodies, paving the way to ongoing late-stage clinical trials. His work on vaccine-based approaches for cancer treatment and prevention has been supported by the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute and the Basser Center for BRCA. Vonderheide has also served among leaders of an interdisciplinary team which defined a promising therapy employing both radiation and immunotherapy drugs that together mount a vaccine-like attack against cancer cells in patients with advanced melanoma. His research has appeared in Nature, Science, Cell, the New England Journal of Medicine, and other leading medical journals. Vonderheide is also vice chair for research in the Division of Hematology-Oncology, and he serves as co-director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at Penn. He is also co-leader of the Stand Up to Cancer— Lustgarten Foundation Pancreatic Cancer Convergence Dream Team.
At the 17th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy, Daniel J. Powell Jr., Ph.D., associate professor, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Abramson Cancer Center, was presented with The Outstanding New Investigator Award. The Outstanding New Investigator awards are presented to individuals whose early achievements in the field demonstrate remarkable distinction. Dr. Powell's important contributions to T cell-based cancer therapy include elucidation of the role of CD27 in human T cell memory, development of a novel dual signaling approach to CAR-T cell therapy to limit toxicity, and identification of CD137 as a marker of naturally occurring tumor-reactive T cells.