Center for Medicine in the Public Interest & Worldview Honor Top Medical Innovators in Hematology

 The Center for Medicine in the Public Interest (CMPI) joined with Scientific American Worldview to recognize Worldview’s Top Medical Innovators, four scientists whose work has transformed the diagnosis and treatment of blood cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma and multiple myeloma.

At a reception and dinner held at the California Academy of Sciences, the two organizations recognized the following individuals:

Carl June, MD, Director of Translational Research, University of Pennsylvania Medical System, Abrahamson Cancer Center Richard W. Vague Professor in Immunotherapy, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

For developing chimeric antigen receptor T cells (CAR-T) that reprogram patients’ own immune cells ‒ known as T-cells – to target and kill specific types of tumor cells. A CAR-T cell therapy recently received FDA breakthrough designation for the treatment of leukemia.

Colin Hill, CEO and Co-Founder, GNS Healthcare

For developing the predictive models using Big Data, genomics and artificial intelligence to determine what treatment works best for each patient rather than simply testing or trying one medication and applying these models to multiple myeloma.

Patricia Ernst, PhD, Professor of Pediatrics & Pharmacology, University of Colorado

For the discovery of epigenetic mechanisms that distinguishes normal blood stem cells from blood cancers.

Robert Hariri, MD, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer and Former Chief Executive Officer of Celgene Cellular Therapeutics

For pioneering the use of pluripotent stem cells from the placenta to treat a range of life-threatening diseases including blood cancers and developing technology to allow widespread use of stem cells for research and clinical applications.

Robert Goldberg, CMPI’s Vice President noted, “Each honoree has made a unique contribution to our nation’s health and to the wellbeing of people with cancer by acting on their ideas with courageous optimism. In doing so, they have advanced science and saved lives. These top innovators move at the speed of life. Their accomplishments inspire us to remember that the value of medical innovation transcends saving money in the short term.

We are grateful to the Scientific American Worldview program for the opportunity to recognize these top innovators.”

Jeremy Abbate, Scientific American’s Vice President, Global Media Alliances and Publishing Director of Worldview, a global view of biotechnology innovation, added, “We are honored to recognize the efforts of these remarkable people who possess the vision, determination and entrepreneurial spirit that fuels medical progress. Innovation is not sustainable unless we support the ability of scientists like our honorees to imagine, invent and commercialize.”

 About the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest

The Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered.

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