The American Associationfor Cancer Research (AACR) will award Carl H. June, MD, FAACR, Fellow of the AACR Academy, with the 2023 AACR Award for Lifetime Achievement in Cancer Research during the 2023 AACR Annual Meeting, April 14–19 in Orlando, Florida.
Dr. June is the Richard W. Vague Professor in Immunotherapy, Director of the Center for Cellular Immunotherapies, and Director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He is recognized for his groundbreaking work in developing the first gene-edited cell therapy for cancer and for demonstrating that adoptive T-cell therapy may induce remission and, in some cases, cure patients with advanced cancer.
Carl H. June, MD, FAACR
Following his early report of synthetic T-cell activation nearly 30 years ago, Dr. June successfully developed a method of producing chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells to treat refractory and relapsed leukemia. There are now six U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved CAR T-cell therapies for multiple blood cancers, including, most recently, two approvals in multiple myeloma. Some of the earliest patients treated have experienced long-lasting remissions stretching past 10 years. This type of precision medicine represents the first therapy ever developed entirely in an academic setting to receive Breakthrough Therapy designation by the FDA.
Dr. June’s seminal contributions have not only led to the establishment of CAR T-cell therapy for blood cancers; applications in chronic infections and autoimmune diseases are now being investigated. He and his research team at Penn Medicine’s Abramson Cancer Center continue to report on numerous aspects of fundamental CAR T-cell biology while remaining at the forefront of developing the next generation of CAR T-cell therapies.
Dr. June’s Association With the AACR
The AACR Award for Lifetime Achievement in Cancer Research was established to honor an individual who has made significant fundamental contributions to cancer research, either through a single scientific discovery or a body of work. These contributions, whether in research, leadership, or mentorship, must have had a lasting impact on the cancer field and must have demonstrated a lifetime commitment to progress against cancer.
Dr. June has been a member of the AACR since 2000, served as a member of the AACR Board of Directors from 2018 to 2021, and was elected as a Fellow of the AACR Academy in 2017. In 2015, he received the AACR–Cancer Research Institute Lloyd J. Old Award in Cancer Immunology. He is currently Senior Editor for Cancer Immunology Research and an editorial board member for Blood Cancer Discovery, and he was previously Associate Editor for Cancer Research (2007–2009).
Dr. June received his undergraduate degree in biology at the U.S. Naval Academy and his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine. He completed a research fellowship at the World Health Organization Immunology Research and Training Center in Geneva and a fellowship in oncology at the University of Washington and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle.