The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) is pleased to announce that SITC member, Marco Ruella, MD of the University of Pennsylvania, is the recipient of the 2014 SITC-EMD Serono Cancer Immunotherapy Clinical Fellowship Award. This award is the first of its kind offered by the Society. Congratulations Dr. Ruella!
Dr. Ruella was selected as the winner of this award for his project, titled, “Duel Chimeric Antigen Receptor T Cell Therapy for Human B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.”
“I’m very honored to be the first recipient of this fellowship award and I would like to thank the Society and the award committee for choosing my project,” said Dr. Ruella. “The goal of my research project is to treat patients with relapsing or refractory B-cell Leukemia with Chimeric Antigen Receptor T cells targeting multiple antigens, in order to avoid tumor escape. As powerful new therapies are developed that enhance the immune response to malignancy, it will be important for us to stay ahead of cancer’s escape mechanisms. One way to do this is with combination therapies.”
This year’s award was established through the generosity of EMD-Serono and is intended to support the development of the next generation of immunotherapy experts. Through this funding of novel research, the Society intends to cultivate those individuals who have a vested interest in furthering the clinical research and translation of cancer immunotherapy. The Society wishes to thank EMD-Serono for their partnership in offering this one-year, $100,000 award, as it comes at an extremely important time in cancer research.
“In order to continue to propel the field forward, SITC is committed to furthering research and education opportunities primarily for early career scientists,” said SITC’s Vice President, Dr. Howard Kaufman. “Through this type of support, we can discover innovative research and development projects that can bring us closer to identifying new immunotherapies to help cancer patients in need.”
Dr. Ruella will be highlighted on Saturday, November 8, 2014 at the Award Ceremony to be held during the Society’s Annual Meeting in National Harbor, MD. (November 7-9, 2014). Dr. Ruella will also speak about his fellowship experience during the Professional Development Session held on November 9th, as part of the SITC Annual Meeting & Associated Programs.
“The SITC-EMD Serono Cancer Immunotherapy Clinical Fellowship Award has a central role in my career development and long-term in promoting the transition towards an independent position as an investigator bridging the gap between the laboratory and the clinic,” said Ruella. “In addition, as my first major successful grant, this award helps to provide much-needed confidence on the road to further funding applications.”
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