Dr. Sadelain has made major contributions to the generation and optimization of CAR T cells to treat cancer, as well as the development of stem cell therapies for blood disorders. Dr. Sadelain’s work has focused on developing novel strategies to extend survival of CAR T cells in the body and enable T cells with increased potency to overcome the resistance imposed by tumor and other cells in the tumor microenvironment. In 2002, his group was the first to report the design of “second-generation” CARs that, in addition to a binding domain outside of the T cell and a signaling domain inside, included a costimulatory domain designed to promote cell proliferation and survival. These advances provided a broad platform to enhance CAR T cell therapy, leading directly to the development of new CAR T cell therapies that are showing increasing efficacy in patients. Building on proof-of-principle experimentation in mice bearing CD19+ malignancies, the MSKCC team led by Dr. Sadelain has recently obtained dramatic clinical responses in adult patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Dr. Sadelain is founding director of the Center for Cell Engineering and head of the Gene Transfer and Gene Expression Laboratory at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), where he holds the Stephen and Barbara Friedman Chair. Dr. Sadelain is also a member of the departments of medicine and pediatrics at Memorial Hospital and the molecular pharmacology and chemistry program of the Sloan Kettering Institute.
Dr. Sadelain received his M.D. from the University of Paris, France, in 1984 and his Ph.D. from the University of Alberta, Canada, in 1989. After completing a clinical residency at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Saint-Antoine in Paris, Dr. Sadelain carried out a postdoctoral fellowship with Richard Mulligan, Ph.D., at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, before joining MSKCC in 1994 as an assistant member. Dr. Sadelain is a member of the American Society of Hematology, the American Society of Human Genetics, and the American Society of Cell and Gene Therapy, where he served on the board of directors from 2004 to 2007, and is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation. He has authored more than 150 scientific papers and book chapters.
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