In recent years engineered immune cells have revolutionised the treatment of blood cancers. They have potential to do the same to nearly every facet of medicine. However, there are many challenges to overcome before immune therapy can achieve this, particularly the complexity and cost of individualised treatments.
Over the last two decades, the Westmead Cellular Immune Therapy Group has been at the forefront of the cell therapy innovation in Australia — particularly in the field of modified immune cells – called CAR T cells – which have the ability to seek out and destroy cancer cells that the immune system can’t detect. Dr. Micklethwaite will outline the current state of the field and present new developments in cellular therapy for the full range of human disease.
Dr Kenneth Micklethwaite is a haematologist working in the fields of bone marrow transplant and cell and gene therapy. He is the current Medical Director of the Blood Transplant and Cell Therapies Laboratory and a Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-cell Clinician at Westmead Hospital. He is the recipient of competitive grants from the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council and other funding bodies. He is a clinical associate professor at the University of Sydney, supervising and teaching doctoral and medical students.
Nina Earl is a curator and science communicator at Powerhouse Museum. She has extensive experience in the design and development of interdisciplinary exhibitions, including recent exhibitions Design for Life and Eucalyptusdom.