Kraft Prize Symposium

Overview

Since 2006, the MGH Center for Cancer Research has annually honored a luminary in the field - an extraordinary scientist, who has made major advances in our understanding of cancer and its treatment, and has been recognized as a true mentor by teaching and inspiring the next generation of cancer researchers. This year, the 2019 Kraft Award will be presented to Carl June, MD, of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, for his groundbreaking work in Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy. Previous recipients of the MGH Award in Cancer Research (preceding the endowment of this award in honor of Jonathan Kraft) include: Drs. Anton Berns, Joan Massague, Titia de Lange, Bert Vogelstein, Charles Sawyers, Michael Stratton, Craig Thompson, James Allison, and Hans Clevers. In 2015, Dr. David Allis was the first recipient of the named Jonathan Kraft Award. In subsequent years, the Award has been given to Drs. Joan Steitz, Kevan Shokat, and Charles Swanton.

2019 Event & Agenda

2019 Jonathan Kraft Prize for Excellence in Cancer Research

Thursday, May 2, 2019 | 1:00pm-5:00pm
Starr Center, Simches Building, 2nd Floor
185 Cambridge Street
Boston, MA 02114

1:00pm - Welcome, Opening Remarks, and Introductions

  • Daniel A. Haber, MD, PhD
    Director, Mass General Cancer Center
  • Nir Hacohen, PhD
    Director, Center for Cancer Immunology, Mass General Hospital Cancer Center

1:10pm - "Vaccine boosting natural and synthetic T cells for cancer immunotherapy"

Darrell Irvine, PhD
Professor of Materials Science & Engineering and Biological Engineering
Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, and Harvard
Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Bio: Dr. Darrell J. Irvine obtained his Honors Bachelor’s degree in Engineering Physics from the University of Pittsburgh. As a National Science Foundation graduate fellow, he then studied Polymer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Following completion of his PhD, he was a Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell postdoctoral fellow in immunology at the Beckman Center for Molecular and Genetic Medicine. He is presently a Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He is an Associate Director for the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT and serves on the steering committee of the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, and Harvard.

Dr. Darrell J. Irvine

1:40pm - "CAR T cell deliveries for glioblastoma"

Marcela V. Maus, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Director, Cellular Immunotherapy Program
Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and Harvard Medical School
Associate Member, Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT

Bio: Dr. Marcela V. Maus is Director of Cellular Immunotherapy at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center. She is a member of the Center for Cancer Immunology and the Department of Medicine at the MGH, and she is an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School. Her laboratory is generating new forms of chimeric antigen receptors directed to new targets and bringing them to the clinical setting to treat patients with hematologic malignancies and solid tumors.

Dr. Maus trained in internal medicine at U. Penn and at Memorial Sloan Kettering as a hematologist and medical oncologist. Her post-doctoral work was with Dr. Michel Sadelain and Dr. Carl June, at which time she focused on pre-clinical development and correlative studies relevant to T cell immunotherapies, designing early-phase trials of T cell therapies for multiple myeloma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and glioblastoma.

Dr. Marcela V. Maus

2:30pm - "Pumping the brakes: Understanding T cell function and dysfunction through the lens of graft versus host disease"

Leslie S. Kean, MD, PhD
Robert A. Stranahan Professor of Pediatrics
Harvard Medical School
Director, Pediatric Stem Cell Transplantation Program, Boston Children’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Bio: Dr. Leslie S. Kean is the Stranahan Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and the Director of the Pediatric Stem Cell Transplant Program at Boston Children’s Hospital/Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Dr. Kean’s research program is focused on the immunology of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. The overarching goal of her research is to understand mechanisms underlying immune tolerance after transplantation, with a specific focus on graft-versus-host disease (GvHD), transplant rejection, and the reconstitution of protective immunity after transplantation. Dr. Kean’s work on transplant rejection and GvHD has led to the creation of novel, MHC-defined non-human primate models of both engraftment and GvHD and to several first-in-disease clinical trials. She has used both the animal models and the mechanistic studies linked to her clinical trials to investigate the cellular and molecular mechanisms of GvHD and transplant rejection, and to test the impact that novel immunosuppressive therapies can make on these processes.

Dr. Leslie S. Kean

3:00pm - "Redirecting immunity against cancer using antibody circuits"

Mark Cobbold, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Medicine
Center for Cancer Immunology, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center and Harvard Medical School
Associate Member, Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT

Bio: Dr. Mark Cobbold obtained his early clinical training at the University of Edinburgh, his PhD at the University of Birmingham in cellular immunotherapy, and his post-doctoral training at the University of Virginia, identifying modified MHC class-I bound tumor antigens and later exploring immunity against these antigens in both healthy individuals and patients with cancer. Most recently, Dr. Cobbold has developed antibody circuits that allow antibody fragments to activate cells using Boolean logic. He is passionate about translational medicine and is a scientific co-founder of several companies, including: SeraScience, PhosImmune, Revitope Oncology, Zellecta, and Gritstone Oncology.

Dr. Cobbold’s research focus relates to cancer antigenicity and modulating cancer antigen expression to correct the mismatch between antigenic display and TCR repertoire. One approach has been to deliver immunodominant viral peptides to tumor cells using antibodies as delivery agents. Another approach is to engineer antibodies to directly activate T-cells through cooperative binding and activation.

Dr. Mark Cobbold

3:50pm - Keynote Speaker Introduction & Prize Presentation

Daniel Haber, PhD
Director
Mass General Cancer Center

4:00pm - Prize Recipient/Keynote Speaker
Keynote Address: "Car T cell therapy for cancer"

Carl June, MD
Richard W. Vague Professor in Immunotherapy
Director, Center for Cellular Immunotherapies
Perelman School of Medicine
University of Pennsylvania

Bio: Dr. Carl June is the Director of the Center for Cellular Immunotherapies at the Perelman School of Medicine, and Director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at the University of Pennsylvania. He maintains a research laboratory that studies various mechanisms of lymphocyte activation that relate to immune tolerance and adoptive immunotherapy for cancer and chronic infection. In 2011, his research team published findings detailing a new therapy in which patients with refractory and relapsed chronic lymphocytic leukemia were treated with genetically engineered versions of their own T cells. The treatment has also now also been used with promising results to treat children with refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and adults with refractory lymphoma. CTL019, the CAR T cell developed in the June laboratory was the first gene therapy to be approved by the US FDA in August 2017.

Dr. June has published more than 400 manuscripts and is the recipient of numerous prizes and honors, including election to the Institute of Medicine in 2012 and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2014, the Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize (shared with J. Allison), the Novartis Prize in Immunology (shared with Z. Eshhar and S. Rosenberg), the Karl Landsteiner Memorial award, the Karnofsky Prize from the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the Albany Medical Prize and a lifetime achievement award from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Dr. Carl June

2019 Prize Recipient

Carl June, MDCarl June, MD

Richard W. Vague Professor in Immunotherapy
Director, Center for Cellular Immunotherapies
Perelman School of Medicine
University of Pennsylvania

Biography

Carl June is a physician scientist and the Richard W. Vague Professor in Immunotherapy at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the director of the Center for Cellular Immunotherapies at the Perelman School of Medicine, and the Director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of the US Naval Academy and Baylor College of Medicine. He had graduate studies at the World Health Organization in Geneva Switzerland and postdoctoral studies at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute in Seattle Washington.

June has published more than 400 manuscripts and is the recipient of numerous prizes and honors, including election to the Institute of Medicine in 2012 and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2014, the Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize (shared w J. Allison), the Novartis Prize in Immunology (shared w Z. Eshhar and S. Rosenberg), the Karl Landsteiner Memorial award, the Karnofsky Prize from the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the Harrington Prize for Innovation in Medicine, the Albany Medical Prize (shared w J. Allison and S. Rosenberg) and a lifetime achievement award from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. He has an h-index of 141 and there are more than 72,000 citations to his publications. He is the scientific founder of Xcyte Therapies Inc. and Tmunity Therapeutics.

June Research
4.5 micrometer polystyrene beads coated with antibodies activate T cells and induce T cell proliferation

June Research Summary

Dr. June maintains a research laboratory that studies various mechanisms of lymphocyte activation that relate to immune tolerance and adoptive immunotherapy for cancer and chronic infection. His laboratory developed chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells that were first tested in patients in HIV/AIDS in the 1990s. In 2011, his research team published findings detailing CAR T cells targeting CD19 as a new therapy in which patients with refractory and relapsed chronic lymphocytic leukemia were treated with genetically engineered versions of their own T cells. The treatment has also now also been used with promising results to treat children with refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and adults with refractory lymphoma. CTL019, the CAR T cell developed in the June laboratory was the first gene therapy to be approved by the US FDA in August 2017. The therapy developed by Dr. June’s team is now approved and marketed by Novartis in Europe and Japan.


Past Events

2018 Jonathan Kraft Prize for Excellence in Cancer Research

Thursday, May 3, 2018 | Download Event Flyer

Since 2006, the MGH Center for Cancer Research has annually honored a luminary in the field - an extraordinary scientist, who has made major advances in our understanding of cancer and its treatment, and has been recognized as a true mentor by teaching and inspiring the next generation of cancer researchers.

The 2018 Kraft award was presented to Charles Swanton, MD, PhD, of the Frances Crick Institute and Cancer Research-UK, for his outstanding work that has led to insight into genomic diversity within cancers and molecular mechanisms driving cancer evolution.

Previous recipients of the MGH Award in Cancer Research (preceding the endowment of this award in honor of Jonathan Kraft) include: Drs. Anton Berns, Joan Massague, Titia de Lange, Bert Vogelstein, Charles Sawyers, Michael Stratton, Craig Thompson, James Allison, and Hans Clevers. In 2015 Dr. David Allis was the first recipient of the named Jonathan Kraft Award. In 2016, the Award was given to Dr. Joan Steitz, and last year it was presented to Dr. Kevan Shokat.

2017 Jonathan Kraft Prize for Excellence in Cancer Research

Wednesday, May 3, 2017 | Download Event Flyer

The 2017 Kraft award was presented to Dr. Kevan M. Shokat, of UCSF, for his outstanding work in pioneering a technique to identify the substrates of individual kinases, and for developing a method to precisely control a particular kinase’s activity using small-molecule inhibitors.

2016 Jonathan Kraft Prize for Excellence in Cancer Research

Thursday, May 26, 2016 | Download Event Flyer

The 2016 Kraft award was presented to Dr. Joan A. Steitz, of Yale University, for her outstanding contributions to the field of non-coding RNA-protein complexes and their emerging role in abnormal development and cancer.


Previous Award Recipients

Jonathan Kraft Prize for Excellence in Cancer Research

Presented by the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center

2018
Charles Swanton, MD, PhD
Royal Society Napier Chair in Oncology
The Francis Crick Institute
Chair, Personalized Cancer Medicine, UCL Hospitals
Cancer Research-UK Lung Cancer Centre of Excellence

2017
Kevan M. Shokat, PhD
Professor, Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology
University of California San Francisco

2016
Joan A. Steitz, PhD
Sterling Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry
Yale School of Medicine

2015
C. David Allis, MD, PhD
Joy and Jack Fishman Professor
Laboratory of Chromatin Biology and Epigenetics, Rockefeller University

The Annual MGH Award In Cancer Research

In memory of Nathan and Grace Shiff

2014
Hans Clevers, MD, PhD
President of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences
Professor of Molecular Genetics, University Utrecht, Netherlands

2013
James Allison, PhD
Chair, Department of Immunology
MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX

2012
Craig Thompson, MD
President and Chief Executive Officer
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York

2011
Michael Stratton, MD, FRS
Director, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

2010
Charles Sawyers, MD
Chairman of the Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York

2009
Bert Vogelstein, MD
Director of the Ludwig Center for Cancer Genetics & Therapeutics
Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center
Johns Hopkins University, Maryland

2008
Titia de Lange, PhD
Associate Director of the Anderson Cancer Center
Rockefeller University, New York

2007
Joan Massague, PhD
Chairman of the Cancer Biology and Genetics Program
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York

2006
Anton Berns, PhD
Director of Research and Chairman of the Board of Directors,
Netherlands Cancer Institute and Antoni van Leewenhoek Hospital, The Netherlands