The June Lab

Principal Investigator

(Last Updated 09/2011)


    Carl June, MD
    Director, Translational Research Program
    Richard W. Vague Professor in Immunotherapy
    Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute
    At The University of Pennsylvania
    Perelman School of Medicine
    3400 Civic Center Blvd
    STRC 421 8-123
    Philadelphia, PA 19104-5156

Under Carl H. June, M.D., the translational research team has accelerated the pace in bringing research advances to the clinical setting. The group focuses on developing biologic therapies and personalized medicine using cancer vaccines. Supporting this effort is the vaccine production facility and the Clinical Trial Unit (CTU). The CVPF is led by Bruce Levine, Ph.D., who oversees the manufacturing of vaccines and other cellular therapies for individual patients. The CTU is led by Gwen Binder, PhD who is the Deputy Director of the Translational Research Program and manages the office for regulatory compliance and Investigational New Drug Development.

Through innovative clinical trials, the team is assessing the effectiveness of strategies for enhancing the immune system's ability to recognize and eliminate tumor cells. One new therapy under evaluation, called adoptive immunotherapy, uses a patient's own white blood cells to attack cancer cells. The patient's white blood cells are stimulated in the laboratory and then given back to the patient via transfusion. Another approach being tested is customized vaccination. Abramson immunologists are working with Penn thoracic surgeons and medical oncologists to develop treatment vaccines for patients with non-small cell lung cancer whose tumors cannot be removed surgically or whose cancer has spread. The team is using the patient's own tumor tissue to create a vaccine customized for that individual. This approach is having promising clinical and scientific results in myeloma and certain forms of leukemia.

Most ovarian tumors are responsive to chemotherapy, giving patients long remissions. For those whose cancer recurs, Abramson immunologists are working with Penn gynecologic surgeons and oncologists to develop immune-based therapies. These include the development of a vaccine using tumor infiltrating T cells, injection of a new immune stimulant called IL-18, and the use of white blood cells called dendritic cells to increase the effectiveness of vaccines.


Carl June is currently Director of Translational Research at the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania, and is an Investigator of the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute. He is a graduate of the Naval Academy in Annapolis, and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, 1979. He had graduate training in Immunology and malaria with Dr. Paul-Henri Lambert at the World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland from 1978-79, and post-doctoral training in transplantation biology with Dr. E. Donnell Thomas and Dr. John Hansen at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle from 1983 - 1986. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology. He founded the Immune Cell Biology Program and was head of the Department of Immunology at the Naval Medical Research Institute from 1990 to 1995. He rose to Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Cell and Molecular Biology at the Uniformed Services University for the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland before assuming his current position as a tenured Professor at the University of Pennsylvania in 1999. He maintains a research laboratory that studies various mechanisms of lymphocyte activation that relate to immune tolerance and adoptive immunotherapy.