Crystal Mackall

Crystal Mackall, MD

Stanford University

   2023 FAIO Inductee


Crystal Mackall is the Ernest and Amelia Gallo Family Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine at Stanford University, the Founding Director of the Stanford Center for Cancer Cell Therapy, Director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy @ Stanford, and Associate Director of the Stanford Cancer Institute. During a career spanning more than three decades, she has led an internationally recognized translational research program focused on immune-oncology. Her work has advanced understanding of fundamental immunology and translated this understanding for the treatment of human disease with a major focus on children’s cancers. Her work is credited with identifying an essential role for the thymus in human T cell regeneration, and discovering a critical role for lymphopenia in modulating T cell homestasis that provided the foundation for lymphodepleting preparative regimens. Her group was among the first to demonstrate impressive activity of CD19-CAR in pediatric leukemia, developed a CD22-CAR that has received Breakthrough Therapy Designations in pediatric B-ALL and adult LBCL, and has led development of GD2-CAR T cells for treatment of diffuse midline gliomas, an incurable brain tumor that is responsible for the most brain tumor related deaths in childhood. Her group has led fundamental understanding of resistance mechanisms for engineered cell therapies, identified T cell exhaustion as a major factor limiting CAR T cell potency  and creating the first exhaustion-resistance and exhaustion-reversal platforms, and developed a best-in-class regulatable “remote-controlled” CAR T cell platform and discovered a role for mediator kinase in regulating T cell differentiation. She have received numerous awards, including election as a member of the National Academy of Medicine, the American Association of Physicians and the American Society of Clinical Investigation, and she is a Fellow of the AACR Academy. She received the Smalley Award for outstanding contributions to cancer immunotherapy from the Society for the Immunotherapy of Cancer, the AACR-St.Baldrick’s Distinguished Achievement Award for Pediatric Cancer Research, among others.  She is Board Certified in Pediatrics, Pediatric Hematology-Oncology and Internal Medicine, has founded 3 biotech companies, published over 250 manuscripts and filed more than 35 patents. 

  FAIO Interview