Annual Meeting Keynote Speakers

The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer's (SITC) 32nd Annual Meeting will feature presentations from the following keynote speakers:

Stephan Grupp, MD, PhD


8:40 - 9:20 a.m.
Friday, Nov. 10, 2017
"The CAR T Revolution in Leukemia"

Stephan Grupp, MD, PhD, is the Director of the Cancer Immunotherapy Program, Director of Translational Research in the Center for Childhood Cancer Research at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), and the Yetta Dietch Novotny Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a member of the Stem Cell Transplant Section of the Division of Oncology and the Medical Director of the Stem Cell Laboratory.

Dr. Grupp graduated from the University of Cincinnati after completing the MD/PhD program with a PhD in Immunology.

He completed pediatric residency at the Boston Children’s Hospital, followed by a fellowship in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and postdoctoral work in Immunology at Harvard University. He then joined the faculty at Harvard University until 1996, when he came to CHOP. His primary area of clinical research is the use of engineered cell therapies in high risk pediatric cancers, and he has led the largest and most successful engineered T cell therapy clinical trial conducted to date (CART19/CTL019 (1, 2)). His primary laboratory interest is the development of new cell therapy treatments for pediatric cancers and the molecular control of leukemic cell growth. Dr. Grupp is a reviewer for several journals and the author of over 120 peer-reviewed journal articles, as well as numerous abstracts and book chapters.

  1. S. A. Grupp et al., Chimeric antigen receptor-modified T cells for acute lymphoid leukemia. N Engl J Med 368, 1509 (Apr 18, 2013).
  2. S. L. Maude et al., Chimeric antigen receptor T cells for sustained remissions in leukemia. N Engl J Med 371, 1507 (Oct 16, 2014)

Paul Sondel, MD, PhD

Paul_Sondel.jpg8:40 - 9:20 a.m.
Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017
"Activation of Innate and Adaptive Immunity as an In Situ Cancer Vaccine"

Paul Sondel, MD, PhD is the Reed and Carolee Walker Professor and Director of Research for the Division of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplant at the University of Wisconsin – Madison (UW).  His career has focused on basic, translational and clinical cancer immunotherapy since beginning lab-studies in 1969. He completed both undergraduate (1971) and PhD degrees in Genetics (1975) at UW, with guidance from Bone Marrow Transplant pioneer, Fritz Bach, MD, helping to demonstrate the distinct immunological roles of MHC class-I and II molecules. With additional lab training in T-cell recognition of leukemia at the Dana Farber Center with Drs. Leonard Chess and Stuart Schlossman, he received his MD magna cum laude in 1977 from Harvard Medical School. Following residencies at the Universities of Minnesota and Wisconsin, he joined the UW faculty in 1980 in the Departments of Pediatrics, Human Oncology and Genetics. His laboratory has pursued graft-versus-leukemia reactions, activation of anti-tumor immune destruction with interleukin-2, the use of tumor reactive monoclonal antibodies to facilitate tumor killing by cytokine activated leukocytes, the development of mAb-IL2 fusion proteins (immunocytokines), the role of genotypes for killer immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIR) and their ligands in clinical responses to mAb-based immunotherapy and combination immunotherapy strategies to activate both innate and adaptive immunity via in situ vaccination.  These studies have all moved into clinical testing, some in children through the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), and some in adults at the UW Carbone Cancer Center, with some demonstrating clear clinical benefit. This includes the COG collaborative development of dinutuximab + IL2 + GM-CSF for children with high-risk neuroblastoma, approved by the FDA in 2015. He has published more than 370 scientific articles and chapters, and has trained more than 60 graduate students and post-doctoral fellows in his lab. He enjoys biking and canoeing; but most of all, he and his wife of 44 years (Sherie) love being parents and grandparents.

Honors and Affiliations:

He has held multiple national committee and leadership roles, including at The National Institutes of Health, The American Cancer Society, The Children’s Oncology Group, The National Cancer Institute, The SITC Board and St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. He has been a scholar of the Leukemia Society of America, a member of The American Society for Clinical Investigation, the recipient of several named lectureships and recently received a 7-year Outstanding Investigator Award from the National Cancer Institute.