Immune to Cancer: The CRI Blog



Drs. Carl June and Michel Sadelain to Receive 2024 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences

CRI Scientific Advisory Council member Carl June, MD (University of Pennsylvania) and CRI Clinical Accelerator Advisor Michel Sadelain, MD, PhD (Memorial Sloan Kettering) have been recognized for their achievements towards developing immunotherapy-based techniques for fighting cancer. Announced today, they will be given the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences Award at Breakthrough’s Gala Award Ceremony in Los Angeles in April of 2024.

Drs. June and Sadelain are being recognized for their roles in genetically engineering T cells, which target and eliminate cancer cells, with synthetic receptors called chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) that enable T cells to identify cancer cells apart from other cells. CAR T cells have astonishing success rates against liquid cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma. Some patients who have been treated with CAR T cell therapy have had their cancer tumors eliminated with no signs of flare-ups, even years after initial treatment.

This is not the first time Drs. June and Sadelain have been linked to an award honoring their achievements. In 2012, they were two of the recipients of the prestigious CRI William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Basic and Tumor Immunology, which is given to scientists that produce seminal discoveries in basic immunology and cancer immunology. Their groundbreaking work on developing CAR T cell therapy was the basis for receiving this honor.

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