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16th Annual Biomedical
Research Symposium

Immunotherapy for Pediatric Cancer: Translating Discoveries into Cures

Register for the Symposium

Friday, October 8, 2021 and Friday, October 15, 2021
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Hosted on Webex

Program Overview


Pediatric Immuno-Oncology was once viewed as an experimental or emerging science.  However, over the last decade several immunotherapies for pediatric cancers have been FDA-approved including CD19-specific CAR T-cells for acute lymphoblastic leukemia and GD2-specific antibodies for neuroblastoma. We are just beginning to understand the biology of what makes a pediatric tumor amenable to immune control, and how to identify the appropriate tumor-associated features that we can safely target. Thus, there is continued need for discovery-based research, in particular to define the immune landscapes of pediatric cancers and to fully characterize their immune microenvironment. Likewise, there is a need to strengthen translational research focused on mechanisms of immunotherapeutic resistance, and explore combinatorial immunotherapeutic approaches. The 16th St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Biomedical Symposium will bring together six leading experts in fields of immuno-oncology and cell therapy to discuss several exciting new discoveries and the remaining challenges in the field.


Symposium Hosts


  1. Time Event Presenter
    8:25 – 8:30 AM Opening remarks Giedre Krenciute, PhD
    8:30 – 9:25 AM A Path Towards Successful T-Cell Therapy for Solid Cancers (40 min)
    15 min Q&A
    Patrick Hwu, MD
    President & CEO
    Moffitt Cancer Center
    9:25 – 10:20 AM Understanding Resistance to Expand Immunotherapy Efficacy (40 min)
    15 min Q&A
    Thomas Gajewski, MD, PhD
    AbbVie Foundation Professor of Cancer Immunotherapy
    University of Chicago School of Medicine
    10:20 – 10:35 AM Break  
    10:35 – 11:30 AM CAR-T cells for Pediatric Solid Tumors:  Progress and Challenges (40 min)
    15 min Q&A
    Crystal Mackall, MD
    Ernest and Amelia Gallo Family Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine
    Director, Stanford Center for Cancer Cell Therapy
    Director, Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at Stanford
    Co-Executive Director, Stanford Laboratory for Cell & Gene Medicine
    Associate Director, Stanford Cancer Institute
    Stanford University
    11:30 AM - 12:00 PM Roundtable Discussion
    Patrick Hwu, MD; Thomas Gajewksi, MD, PhD; Crystal Mackall, MD; Giedre Krenciute, PhD; Paul Thomas, PhD;  Michael Bishop, MD
  2. Time Event Presenter
    8:25 – 8:30 AM Opening remarks Doug Green, PhD
    8:30 – 9:25 AM Epigenetic Fate Programming of Living Drugs (40 min)
    15 min Q&A
    Michel Sadelain, MD, PhD
    Director, Center for Cellular Engineering
    Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
    9:25 – 10:20 AM Turning Up the Heat on Pancreatic Tumors:  Lessons Learned on Overcoming A “Cold” Immunologic Tumor Micro-Environment (40 min)
    15 min Q&A
    Elizabeth Jaffee, MD
    Dana and Albert ‘Cubby’ Broccoli Professor of Oncology
    Deputy Director, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center
    Johns Hopkins University
    10:20 – 10:35 AM Break  
    10:35 – 11:30 AM How Tumor Cells Recognize and Target Tumor Cells (40 min) 
    15 min Q&A

    Chair, Center for Immunotherapy & Precision Immuno-Oncology

    Professor, Cleveland Clinic College of Medicine

    Staff, Radiation Oncology, Taussig Cancer Institute

    Cleveland Clinic

    11:30 AM - 12:00 PM Roundtable Discussion
    Michel Sadelain, MD, PhD; Elizabeth Jaffee, MD; Timothy Chan, MD, PhD; Benjamin Youngblood, PhD; Stephen Gottschalk, MD; Doug Green, PhD 

Symposium Hosts: Michael Bishop, MD; Stephen Gottschalk, MD; and Paul Thomas, PhD
Organizing Committee: Doug Green, PhD; Ben Youngblood, PhD; Giedre Krenciute, PhD