Skip to content
Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy
Search Close

Carl June, MD

Richard W. Vague Professor in Immunotherapy, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine; Director of the Center for Cellular Immunotherapies; Director of Translational Research, Abramson Cancer Center


Carl June, MD, is the Richard W. Vague Professor in Immunotherapy in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. He is currently director of the Center for Cellular Immunotherapies and director of Translational Research in the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, and is an investigator of the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute. He is a graduate of the Naval Academy in Annapolis and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, 1979. He had graduate training in immunology and malaria with Dr. Paul-Henri Lambert at the World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland in 1978 and 1979, and post-doctoral training in transplantation biology with E. Donnell Thomas and John Hansen at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle from 1983 to 1986. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology.

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, which represented the first successful and sustained demonstration of the use of gene transfer therapy to treat cancer. Clinical trials utilizing this approach, in which patients are treated with genetically engineered versions of their own T-cells, are now underway for adults with chronic lymphocytic leukemia and adults and children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Early results in that group show that 90 percent of patients respond to the therapy, and more recently, trials of this approach have begun for patients with other blood cancers and solid tumors including pancreatic cancer, mesothelioma and the brain cancer glioblastoma. In 2014, it became the first personalized cellular therapy for the treatment of cancer therapy to receive the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s prestigious Breakthrough Therapy designation.

He has published more than 350 manuscripts and is the recipient of numerous prizes and honors, including election to the Institute of Medicine in 2012, the William B. Coley award, the Richard V. Smalley Memorial Award from the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer, the AACR-CRI Lloyd J. Old Award in Cancer Immunology, the Hamdan Award for Medical Research Excellence and the Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize. In 2014, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Education & Training

  • 1975: United States Naval Academy, BS
  • 1979: Baylor College of Medicine, MD

Awards & Honors

  • 2015: Watanabe Prize for Translational Research, Indiana University and Eli Lilly;  E. Donnall Thomas Award Lecture, American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation; Debrecen Award for Molecular Medicine, University of Debrecen; Lifetime Achievement Award Lecture, Miami Winter Symposium; Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize; American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • 2014: Steinman Award for Human Immunology Research, American Association of Immunologists; Elected to American Academy of Arts & Sciences; Hamdan Award for Medical Research Excellence; Taubman Prize for Excellence in Translational Medical Science; Karl Landsteiner Memorial Award, AABB; Aubrey Evans Award, Ronald McDonald House
  • 2013: Richard V Smalley Award, Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer; Philadelphia Award
  • 2012: Earnest Beutler Lecture and Prize, American Society of Hematology; Top 10 Clinical Research Achievement Award, Clinical Research Forum; Elected to Institute of Medicine
  • 2009: Bristol-Myers Squibb Freedom to Discover Award
  • 2006: American Association of Physicians; American Society for Clinical Investigation
  • 2005: Federal Laboratory Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer
  • 2002: William Osler Award, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine; Lifetime Achievement Award, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of America
  • 2001: Burroughs Wellcome Fund Award: visiting professor in the basic medical sciences
  • 1997: Frank Brown Berry Prize in Federal Medicine
  • 1996: Dexter Conrad Award, Office of Naval Research, Navy’s highest award for Scientific Achievement; Legion of Merit, US Navy
  • 1992: American Federation for Clinical Research
  • 1991: Fellow, American College of Physicians
  • 1978: Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Society; Michael E. DeBakey Scholar award for the Outstanding Medical Student, Baylor College of Medicine