The GW Cancer Center expands bone marrow transplant and cell therapies

The George Washington University (GW) Cancer Center is pleased to welcome a team of internationally-recognized experts who together will lead the expanded Bone Marrow Transplant and Cell Therapies Program.

John Barrett, MD, will lead this expansion at the GW Cancer Center, including the translation of clinical research efforts into novel immune cell-based therapies. He will also be appointed as professor of medicine at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Barrett was previously the chief of the Stem Cell Transplantation Section of the Hematology Branch of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, where he began the stem cell transplant program.

"Dr. Barrett is known and respected throughout the international transplant and hematology communities for his contributions as a physician-scientist," said Mitchell Smith, MD, PhD, associate center director for clinical investigations and director of the Division of Cancer and Blood Disorders at the GW Cancer Center. "We know he will help us accomplish great things here at the GW Cancer Center and are thrilled to have him join our leadership team."

Barrett joins Catherine Bollard, MD, a pioneer and internationally recognized leader in the field of immune cell therapies, in particular, novel T-cell based treatments for pediatric and adult patients with hematologic malignancies. Bollard is currently the director of the Center for Cancer and Immunology Research at the Children's Research Institute and is a member of the Division of the Blood and Marrow Transplantation at Children's National Health System. She was recently appointed as associate center director for translational research and innovation at the GW Cancer Center.

"When I joined GW Cancer Center in 2015, an added bonus for me was to know that someone of the stature of Dr. Bollard was already on the faculty at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences," said Eduardo M. Sotomayor, MD, director of the GW Cancer Center and professor of medicine at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences. "I realized then, that together with Dr. Bollard we would be able to build a world-class program in immune cell-based therapies … which is happening now".

Bollard was instrumental in the recruitment of Eric Yvon, PhD, who came to GW Cancer Center from MD Anderson Cancer Center and previously from Baylor College of Medicine. Yvon has been appointed director of the newly established cGMP Cellular Production Facility at the GW Cancer Center.

"Dr. Yvon is one of the few experts in the nation capable of engineering or genetically modifying any type of immune cell. To build a premier cell therapy research and translational program, we recognized that we needed to recruit one of the best. As such, we were thrilled when Eric accepted the offer to join our team at GW Cancer Center," said Bollard.

"We are committed to supporting individuals suffering from cancer across the D.C. region. I look forward to this exceptional team working together with the existing clinical and translational experts at the GW Cancer Center to bring innovative and cutting-edge cell based therapies from the bench to the bedside for cancer patients in our community," said Kimberly Russo, chief executive officer/managing director of GW Hospital.

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