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IO360° 2016’s Pediatric Patient Speaker Emily Whitehead Write’s a Tribute to IO Pioneer Dr Carl June for Time Magazine’s 2018 Most Influential People


  • April 19, 2018

  • Congratulations to IO360° Keynote Dr Carl June, Director of the Center for Cellular Immunotherapy at the University of Pennsylvania’s Abramson Cancer Center, who has been named one of Time Magazine’s 2018 Most Influential People. The tribute is written by 12-year-old Emily Whitehead, the first pediatric patient to undergo CAR-T Therapy for ALL treated by Dr June. Emily’s parents, Tom and Kari Whitehead, joined IO360° 2016 to share her journey through the immunotherapy trial.

    Dr Carl June with Emily Whitehead and her parents during IO360° 2016.

    Emily Whitehead’s Tribute to Dr Carl June:
    “I was a fun and energetic child. Then I spent two years in a hospital getting cancer treatment, but it wasn’t working for me. That’s when my parents and I learned about an experimental treatment, called T cell, that would train my immune system to fight my cancer; it hadn’t been tried on a pediatric patient before. My parents believed that this was the right choice for me, and we transferred to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to enter the trial.

    After getting the treatment, I went into a 14-day coma and awakened on my seventh birthday. But the treatment had worked! We later learned that Dr Carl June’s research had created this treatment. Dr June saved my life and had a huge impact on my family. Without him, I wouldn’t be here today writing this—and my parents and I wouldn’t be helping other kids beat cancer.

    Dr June is my hero! He saved my family.”

    Learn more about Emily Whitehead and the Emily Whitehead Foundation.


    IO360° presents the 3rd annual Rational Combinations 360° program taking place September 13-14, 2018 in Philadelphia. The program will cover the full spectrum of IO research and development, from preclinical, translational and clinical to emerging technologies and business aspects in IO combinations to fight a wider range of cancers.

    Learn more about Rational Combinations 360°.