I am a tumor immunologist with relevant expertise in T cell biology and cancer immunotherapy. I am deeply committed to rapidly advancing paradigm-shifting immunotherapy on behalf of patients with cancer, in part because of personal experience with family and friends who have struggled with the disease. I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Hematology & Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation at the City of Hope. We have recently developed two CAR T cell approaches for treating women with breast cancer brain metastasis and men with metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer - both have entered phase 1 clinical trials at City of Hope. My laboratory is focused on establishing clinically-relevant metastatic cancer models to evaluate combination/intrinsic gene editing strategies targeting immunosuppression and other immune pathways for improved durability and potency of adoptive cell therapy.
Understanding Resistance to Develop Better CAR T Immunotherapies
Marco Ruella, MD, is Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology and the Center for Cellular Immunotherapies and Scientific Director of the Lymphoma Program at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. His research focuses on the study of the mechanisms of relapse after chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CART) immunotherapies with the goal of rationally designing combined innovative immunotherapies for relapsing/refractory leukemia and lymphoma. He is the author of numerous peer-reviewed publications on targeted immunotherapies for hematological cancers and is an inventor in several patents on CAR T therapy. His work has been recognized through numerous awards including the inaugural SITC EMD-Serono Cancer Immunotherapy Clinical Fellowship (2014), the AACR-BMS Oncology Fellowship in Clinical Cancer Research (2015), the ASH Scholar Award (2016), a NIH K99-R00 award (2017), the “Paola Campese” Award Leukemia Research (2017), the Cancer Support Community Award (2018), and most recently the 2018 American Society of Hematology Joanne Levy, MD, Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement. Dr. Ruella obtained his medical degree with high honors and completed his specialization in clinical hematology at the University of Torino, Italy. After completing his fellowship, he was an attending physician in the Hematology and Cell Therapy Division of the Mauriziano Hospital and an Instructor at the Biotechnology School at the University of Torino. From 2012, he was a postdoctoral fellow, and then an instructor at the University of Pennsylvania in the Center for Cellular Immunotherapies where he worked with Drs. June and Gill until appointment to his current position in 2018.