A Symposium Tribute to Brian Sorrentino and Derek Persons

Severe Combined Immunodeficiency, Sickle Cell, and Beta Thalassemia Disease

 

Friday, June 14, 2019, 1:00 – 4:30 pm

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Marlo Thomas Center for Global Education and Collaboration
GEC Auditorium
262 Danny Thomas Place
Memphis, TN 38105
Driving directions >>

Overview

The purpose is to honor the contributions made by Drs. Sorrentino and Persons in the field of gene therapy for Severe Combined Immunodeficiency, Sickle Cell Disease, and Beta Thalassemia Disease. Drs. Sorrentino and Persons were leaders in gene therapy research. The audience will learn about gene therapy and editing for SCID, sickle cell and beta thalassemia disease as well as the contributions made by Drs. Sorrentino and Persons to their respective fields.

Dr. Brian Sorrentino

Dr. Brian Sorrentino

Dr. Sorrentino passed away on November 16, 2018.

Dr. Brian Sorrentino was a childhood cancer survivor who grew up to save children throughout the world. For a quarter century, Dr. Sorrentino worked at St. Jude, where he served as director of Experimental Hematology since 2001. A prodigious researcher known for his brilliance, dedication and hard work, the New York native arrived at St. Jude in 1993 after spending five years at the National Institutes of Health. For years, Dr. Sorrentino worked to pursue a safer and more effective way to deliver gene therapy for infants with X-linked SCID (Severe Combined Immunodeficiency), also known as "bubble boy disease." Without treatment, most children with this rare immune disorder die within the first two years of life. Sorrentino and his team created a lentiviral vector that can insert a healthy copy of the  gene into a patient's blood-forming cells. Clinical study results show this gene therapy is safe and has dramatically improved the immune systems of infants with SCID.

Dr. Derek Persons portrait

Dr. Derek Persons

Dr. Persons passed away on September 28, 2015.

Dr. Derek Persons is remembered by his colleagues as a dedicated researcher and a kind-hearted individual with a great sense of humor. Dr. Persons was a faculty member in Hematology from 1996 to 2014. Persons directed a successful research program in the field of gene therapy for sickle cell anemia and beta-thalassemia. He was named Outstanding New Investigator by the American Society of Gene Therapy in 2007. His research impacted the development of current gene therapy and gene editing techniques used today in the clinical trial for the treatment of people with sickle cell and beta thalassemia disease.

  1. David Bodine portrait

    David Bodine, PhD

    Chief & Senior Investigator
    Genetics and Molecular Biology Branch
    Head, Hematopoiesis Section
    National Institutes of Health

    Morton J. Cowan portrait

    Morton J. Cowan, MD

    Professor
    Allergy, Immunology, and Blood and Marrow Transplant Division
    UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital

    Suk See De Ravin portrait

    Suk See De Ravin, MD, PhD

    Head, Gene Therapy Development Unit
    Genetic Immunotherapy Section
    Laboratory of Clinical Immunology and Microbiology
    National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
    National Institutes of Health

    James Downing, MD portrait

    James Downing, MD

    President and Chief Executive Officer
    Director, Molecular Pathology Laboratory
    Donald Pinkel Chair of Childhood Cancer Treatment
    St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

    Cynthia Dunbar, MD

    Cynthia Dunbar, MD

    Chief, Translational Stem Cell Biology Branch
    National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
    National Institutes of Health

    Hans-Peter Kiem

    Hans-Peter Kiem, MD, PhD

    Stephanus Family Endowed Chair for Cell and Gene Therapy
    Director, Stem Cell and Gene Therapy Program
    Associate Head, Heme Malignancy Program, Fred Hutch/UW Cancer Consortium
    Professor of Medicine and Pathology, University of Washington

    Harry Malech, MD

    Harry Malech, MD

    Chief, Genetic Immunotherapy Section
    Deputy Chief, Laboratory of Clinical Immunology and Microbiology
    NIAID, NIH

    Ewelina Mamcarz portrait

    Ewelina Mamcarz, MD

    Assistant Member
    Bone Marrow Transplantation & Cell Therapy
    St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

    Arthur Nienhuis portrait

    Arthur Nienhuis, MD

    Emeritus Faculty
    Department of Hematology
    St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

    Charles Sherr portrait

    Charles Sherr, MD, PhD

    Chair/Member, Department of Tumor Cell Biology
    Herrick Foundation Chair
    Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
    St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

    John Tisdale portrait

    John Tisdale, MD

    Senior Investigator, Molecular and Clinical Hematology Section
    National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
    National Institutes of Health

    Andrew Wilber portrait

    Andrew Wilber, PhD

    Associate Professor
    Director, Public Health Laboratory Sciences Program
    Department of Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Cell Biology
    Southern Illinois University School of Medicine

  2. Time Event
    1:00 – 1:15 pm

    Welcome Remarks
    James Downing, MD
    President and CEO, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

     

    Moderator
    Mitchell Weiss, MD, PhD
    Chair/Member, Department of Hematology
    St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

    Presenters
    1:15 – 1:30 pm Harry Malech, MD
    Chief, Genetic Immunotherapy Section
    Deputy Chief, Laboratory of Clinical Immunology and Microbiology
    National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
    National Institutes of Health
    1:30– 1:45 pm Andrew Wilber, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Director, Public Health Laboratory Sciences Program
    Department of Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Cell Biology
    Southern Illinois University School of Medicine
    1:45 – 2:00 pm

    David Bodine, PhD
    Chief & Senior Investigator
    Genetics and Molecular Biology Branch
    Head, Hematopoiesis Section
    National Institutes of Health

    2:00 – 2:15 pm Morton Cowan, MD
    Professor
    Allergy, Immunology, and Blood and Marrow Transplant Division
    UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital
    2:15 – 2:30 pm Cynthia Dunbar, MD
    Chief, Translational Stem Cell Biology Branch
    National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
    National Institutes of Health
    2:30 – 2:45 pm Break
    2:45 – 3:00 pm

    Suk See De Ravin, MD, PhD
    Head, Gene Therapy Development Unit
    Genetic Immunotherapy Section
    Laboratory of Clinical Immunology and Microbiology
    National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
    National Institutes of Health

    3:00 – 3:15 pm

    John Tisdale, MD
    Senior Investigator, Molecular and Clinical Hematology Section
    National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
    National Institutes of Health

    3:15 – 3:30 pm Ewelina Mamcarz, MD
    Assistant Member
    Bone Marrow Transplantation & Cell Therapy
    St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
    3:30 – 3:45 pm

    Arthur Nienhuis, MD
    Emeritus Faculty
    Department of Hematology
    St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

    3:45 – 4:00 pm Hans-Peter Kiem, MD, PhD
    Stephanus Family Endowed Chair for Cell and Gene Therapy
    Director, Stem Cell and Gene Therapy Program
    Associate Head, Heme Malignancy Program, Fred Hutch/UW Cancer
    Professor of Medicine and Pathology, University of Washington
    4:00 – 4:15 pm Charles Sherr, MD, PhD
    Chair/Member, Department of Tumor Cell Biology
    Herrick Foundation Chair
    Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
    St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
    4:15 – 4:30 pm Presentation/Closing Remarks
    Mitchell Weiss, MD, PhD
    Chair/Member, Department of Hematology
    St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
    6:00 – 8:30 pm Dinner

Conference Host