Christine Spencer, PhD, is the Associate Director, Informatics in PICI’s Informatics team. At PICI, Spencer works with academic and industry partners around translational research projects and also leads informatics analysis for select PICI-sponsored clinical trials, overseeing the PD1-resistance and Pancreatic efforts. Spencer came to PICI from the laboratory of Dr. Jennifer Wargo at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, where she focused on host lifestyle factors and characteristics of the gut microbiome in response to checkpoint blockade immunotherapy. Spencer did her bachelor’s degree in biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara where she also researched immune response to age-related macular degeneration at the Center for the Study of Macular Degeneration. She conducted graduate research at MD Anderson while studying epidemiology, biostatistics & data science at the University of Texas School of Public Health, where she earned both master’s and doctorate degrees.
Ira Mellman, Genentech
Human cells have been successfully used as treatment for blood cancers for decades but translating the promise to cell-based treatment for solid tumors has been slow. The advent of gene-editing techniques such as CRISPR, coupled with advances in our understanding of immunology and optimization of growing, manufacturing, transporting, storing, and handling specialized biological samples and materials is transforming the cell therapy field. We will hear in this session about some of the most promising work in the field, as well as the challenges in overcoming resistance