Cath is Professor of Pediatrics and Microbiology, Immunology and Tropical Medicine at The George Washington University and Director of the Center for Cancer and Immunology Research at the Children’s Research Institute at Children’s National Hospital. In these roles, Cath leads clinical and research efforts to fight cancer by strengthening the immune system using adoptive cell therapy. She has a long-standing research interest in gene and cell therapies, and her laboratory research has worked to translate novel cell therapeutics to the clinic. For over 20 years, Cath has investigated the efficacy of tumor- and virus-specific T cells for cancer, giving her extensive experience in the evaluation of antigen-specific immune responses in humans. She has treated more than 200 patients with novel cell therapeutics at Baylor College of Medicine and Children’s National Medical Center, and as the sponsor/principal investigator on more than a dozen investigator-initiated IND studies using immune-based therapies, she is highly experienced in developing and running clinical studies as well as the development of translational bench to bedside studies. Cath joined Children’s National from the Baylor College of Medicine where she was a tenured professor in the Department of Pediatrics. Prior to that, she served as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Texas Children’s Hospital. She holds Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degrees (MBChB) and a Doctor of Medicine (MD) from Otago University Medical School in New Zealand.
Branden is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Hematology/Oncology at the University of Minnesota. He is an expert in genome engineering using DNA transposon systems and both TALEN and CRISPR targeted nuclease platforms. Branden’s current research efforts includes a focus on methods of engineering NKs and other immune cells for cell therapies. Branden’s work has led to the initiation of multiple clinical trials, including one deploying CRISPR/Cas9 edited tumor infiltrating lymphocytes for the treatment of gastrointestinal cancer. In addition to his academic work, Branden founded B-MoGen Biotechnologies, Inc., a company focused on developing next generation transposon technology. Branden served as B-MoGen’s chief scientific officer until the company was acquired by Bio-Techne Corporation. Branden holds a Ph.D in Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology & Genetics from the University of Minnesota and a BA in Biology, Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences from Saint Olaf College. Branden conducted a post-doctoral fellowship in David Largaespda’s lab.