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Cristina Puig-Saus, PhD

Parker Senior Fellow


Cristina Puig-Saus, PhD, is an Assistant Adjunct Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Dr. Puig-Saus is also a Senior Fellow with the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy (PICI) and a member of the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center (JCCC) and the Broad Stem Cell Research Center (BSRCR). She graduated from the University of Barcelona and, after completing her PhD work developing strategies to improve the design of oncolytic adenovirus, joined Dr. Antoni Ribas’ team at UCLA as a postdoctoral fellow. During her postdoctoral training, she focused on developing new adoptive cell therapy strategies using hematopoietic stem cells. She led the preclinical effort that culminated in a clinical trial that opened at UCLA to co-administer stem cells and T cells genetically modified to express a NY-ESO TCR to treat patients with melanoma, multiple myeloma and sarcoma.

Dr. Puig-Saus now leads her laboratory at UCLA, focused on the design and clinical translation of novel TCR and CAR-engineered T-cell therapies for cancer treatment. To this end, Dr. Puig-Saus’ team is developing multiple receptors and other engineering strategies to generate potent T cell-based cancer therapeutics. Her team is also studying the mechanisms behind the successful T-cell responses unleashed by immune checkpoint blockade in patients with response to therapy, to mimic these successful T-cell responses into engineered therapies.

Education & Training

  • 2008: Autonomous University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain, BS, Biotechnology
  • 2009: University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain, MS, Biomedicine
  • 2013: University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain, PhD, Biomedicine
  • 2018: University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, Postdoctoral training

Awards & Honors

  • 2020: Senior Parker Fellow Award, Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy.
  • 2020: NextGen Star Award, American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).
  • 2013: Cum Laude PhD, University of Barcelona.
  • 2009: MS Extraordinary Award, University of Barcelona.
  • 2009: Carlos III Institute of Health (Spanish government), PhD Fellowship.
  • 2009: “La Caixa” foundation, MS Scholarship.
  • 2008: Institut d’Investigació Biomèdica de Bellvitge (IDIBELL), Research Fellowship.