Crystal Mackall, Stanford University, California, USA
Talk Title: Chimeric antigen receptor therapy for cancer: Progress and challenges

Crystal Mackall

Crystal L Mackall MD is Professor of Pediatrics and Internal Medicine at Stanford University. She serves as Associate Director of Stanford Cancer Institute, Leader of the Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy Program at Stanford and Director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at Stanford. During a 25 year tenure at the NCI, she built an internationally recognized translational research program spanning basic studies of T cell homeostasis and tumor immunology, and clinical trials of immune based therapies for cancer. There, she served as Head of the Immunology Section and Chief of the Pediatric Oncology Branch. Her work is credited with identifying an essential role for the thymus in human T cell regeneration and discovering IL-7 as the master regulator of T cell homeostasis. She has led numerous cutting edge and first-in-human and first-in-child clinical trials spanning dendritic cell vaccines, cytokines, and adoptive immunotherapy using NK cells and genetically modified T cells. Her group was among the first to demonstrate impressive activity of CD19-CAR in pediatric leukemia and work from her laboratory was among the first to identify T cell exhaustion as a major factor limiting the efficacy of this novel class of therapeutics. Dr. Mackall’s clinical trials are notable for the incorporation of deep biologic endpoints that further our understanding of the basis for success and failure of the agent under study. She has published over 150 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals and serves in numerous leadership positions, including co-Leader of the StandUp2Cancer/St.Baldrick’s Pediatric Cancer Dream Team. She is Board Certified in Pediatrics and Internal Medicine.

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