Optimizing Adoptive Cell Therapy for All Patients: Towards In Vivo CAR T-Cell Manufacturing

2019 Emerging Leader Award

Saar I. Gill, MD, PhD, The Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Gill is designing methods to revolutionize chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy by manufacturing engineered T cells directly in the body of the patient. CAR T cells are currently produced in a laboratory, which is a time-consuming, laborious, and failure-prone process that requires re-infusion of a substantial number of engineered cells into the patient. With Dr. Gill’s approach, a cancer patient who could benefit from CAR T-cell therapy would receive an injection of an off-the-shelf gene transfer vector directly into their lymph nodes. This gene therapy would transform the patient’s lymphoid system into a bioreactor that produces cells capable of attacking the tumor. Dr. Gill is Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania. He received both an MBBS (Medicine) and a PhD (Immunology) at the University of Melbourne. He completed hematology training at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University.