IFI Members in the News
May 15, 2013
Carl June, MD, the Richard W. Vague Professor in Immunotherapy in the department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and director of Translational Research in Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center, was named to Fast Company magazine’s list of the Top 100 Most Creative People in Business for 2013. Ranked #11, June leads a team whose work using a gene therapy technique that showing unprecedented results in destroying cancer cells in adult and pediatric patients with leukemias that don't respond to standard therapies. The modified versions of patients' own immune cells creates “ a new army that is trained to attack leukemia on sight” if patients’ cancers recur.
May 1, 2013
Growing up outside of Buffalo, New York, Gregory Sonnenberg liked to catch tadpoles and watch them develop in glass jars. “It wasn’t always successful,” he admits. “There was a lot of trial and error.” But that early interest in experimental biology metamorphosed into something more serious, and in 2003 Sonnenberg started college at the State University of New York at Buffalo to study biomedical science.
April 1, 2013
University of Pennsylvania researcher Carl H. June has been selected to receive the 2012 Philadelphia Award for “his extraordinary advancements in gene therapy aimed at treating HIV and cancer.” June and his team recentlyreported that of the first 12 patients treated with the experimental therapy, nine – including two children – had complete or partial remissions from advanced, intractable leukemia. Two adults remain cancer-free two and a half years after treatment.
February 21, 2013
The body’s immune system exists to identify and destroy foreign objects, whether they are bacteria, viruses, flecks of dirt or splinters. Unfortunately, nanoparticles designed to deliver drugs, and implanted devices like pacemakers or artificial joints, are just as foreign and subject to the same response. Now, researcher, Dennis Discher, has figured out a way to provide a “passport” for such therapeutic devices, enabling them to get past the body’s security system.
December 26, 2012
Greg Sonnenbery, Ph.D., research associate in the Division of Gastroenterology and the Institute for Immunology, was chosen for Forbes magazine’s second year of publishing a list of the top–30 rising stars in science and health under the age of 30. His work was described as studying why the immune system sometimes overreacts to “good” bacteria in the intestinal tract, potentially leading to cancer or inflammatory bowel disease. “I was extremely surprised and excited to be nominated to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in Science and Healthcare,” says Sonnenberg. “It is an enormous honor to be named on this list with so many talented scientists and innovators from around the world.”
December 18, 2012
E. John Wherry, associate professor of Microbiology, has been named the new Director of the Institute for Immunology (IFI), at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. The Penn Institute for Immunology was established in 2009 to provide an administrative and programmatic structure to unify the basic, translational, and clinical immunology communities across the University. The Institute’s primary mission is to establish new interactions and synergistic collaborations that will accelerate innovative discoveries and to apply findings within the basic sciences to clinically–translatable approaches. Its membership now includes more than 160 faculty members from 23 departments across five schools as well as representation from CHOP and the Wistar Institute.
“The Institute for Immunology at Penn is designed to capitalize on our strengths in the basic and translational immunology of inflammation, autoimmunity, cancer, transplantation and infection and to catalyze the next steps in basic science discovery, translational research and clinical treatment of immune-related diseases,” says Wherry. “The IFI will foster cross–disciplinary interactions with other centers and institutes to keep Penn at the forefront of immunology research and treatment.”
Recent IFI Faculty Awards and Honors
Kyong-Mi Chang, M.D.
Appointed Associate Dean for Research at the Philadelphia Veteran Affairs Medical Center (PVAMC)
Greg Sonnenberg, Ph.D.
Nominated to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in Science and Healthcare
Edward Behrens, M.D.
Recipient of the Stewart J. McCracken Award from the Arthritis Foundation
Carl June, M.D.
Elected into the Institute of Medicine