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Pennsylvania immunologist & oncologist awarded Sanford Lorraine Cross Award

An immunologist and oncologist from Dr. Carl June was awarded the Sanford Lorraine Cross award...
An immunologist and oncologist from Dr. Carl June was awarded the Sanford Lorraine Cross award Tuesday night in Sioux Falls.(Sanford Health)
Published: Apr. 14, 2021 at 7:28 AM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Dr. Carl June was awarded the Sanford Lorraine Cross Award in a special ceremony in Sioux Falls Tuesday night. The award honors life-changing breakthroughs and innovations in medical science.

Dr. 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 and several of his colleagues created an FDA-approved therapy to treat acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The therapy is named KYMRIAH by Novartis. It reprograms selected T cells to recognize and destroy leukemia cancer cells. They treated their first patient with the therapy in 2010 and published their findings in 2011.

Sanford awarded Dr. June a $1 million prize for this achievement. Finalists for the Sanford Lorraine Cross Award are picked through a rigorous selection process. It starts with narrowing down the candidates who identify innovative areas of discovery and breakthrough science. Then, the selection is focused on the most promising transformative potential for patients. A scientific advisory board finally narrows down the top areas of innovation.

The two other finalists this year were Dr. Mark Denison of Vanderbilt University and Dr. Michael Welsh of the University of Iowa. Dr. Denison’s lab discovered coronaviruses can self-correct errors in their RNA sequence. Dr. Welsh studies cystic fibrosis, a disease that causes lifelong vulnerability to destructive lung infections and early death.

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