Penn’s Carl June wins Philadelphia Award

Posted: April 02, 2013

University of Pennsylvania researcher Carl H. June has been selected to receive the 2012 Philadelphia Award for "his extraordinary advancements in gene therapy aimed at treating HIV and cancer."

June and his team recentlyreported that of the first 12 patients treated with the experimental therapy, nine - including two children - had complete or partial remissions from advanced, intractable leukemia. Two adults remain cancer-free two and a half years after treatment.

The annual award, which carries a $25,000 honorarium, was created by Ladies Home Journal Editor Edward Bok in 1921 to honor a local person whose work advanced "the best and largest interest" of the greater Philadelphia community. Winners have included mayors, philanthropists, business leaders, and humanitarians.

Natalye Pacquin, chair of the award's Board of Trustees, called June's advances important, not just for the city, but "the entire world." The novel gene therapy, made from the patient's own cells, harnesses the immune system to fight cancer.

In a statement, June called the award a "great honor" that recognizes years of dogged work by "many people at the Perelman School of Medicine."

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