UE5 Short Course: Cell & Gene Therapy Toolkit for Junior Faculty

As a collaborative initiative between the Institute of Translational Medicine and Therapeutics (ITMAT), the Abramson Cancer Center, and Oncology at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) is honored to be one of four institutions selected to host a short course education opportunity for junior faculty within the NCI Awardee Skills Development Consortium (NASDC).

Building on a history of success in both cell and gene therapies at Penn and CHOP, our UE5 short course focuses on providing NCI young investigator awardees with a comprehensive background in the latest scientific, translational, clinical, regulatory, and commercial advances of cell and gene therapy so that they are equipped with the knowledge to translate research findings into successful cancer therapies. 

The course integrates and expands on an existing foundation of related educational programs and experienced faculty-educators at Penn and CHOP. It covers in modular format the foundations, preclinical tools, and protocols for biomanufacturing as well as intellectual property, regulatory compliance, clinical trial design, and systemic challenges in collaborative science.

Visit the NASDC consortium homepage to learn more about course dates and the application process.

Penn UE5 Leadership & Contributing Faculty

Contributing faculty to the Penn UE5 are pioneers in the field of cell and gene therapy across the translational spectrum, from discovery to the first FDA approvals of both cell and gene therapy products, and have been responsible for major advances at Penn, CHOP, the Abramson Cancer Center and globally. In addition to basic scientists, the faculty includes experts and specialists in areas key to translating immunobiology into clinical trials, including specialists in translational and clinical research, biomarker characterization for cell and gene therapy, regulatory science, and commercial collaboration.


General inquiries regarding the Penn UE5 may be sent to Cauleen Noël, Staff Lead for the Abramson Cancer Center’s Research Education and Training component. All inquiries regarding the application and selection process may be submitted directly to the NASDC Consortium. 


PIs and Course Directors

Elizabeth O. Hexner, MD, MSTR

Dr. Hexner is a hematologist with an interest in gene modified cellular therapy, hematologic malignancies, and graduate education. She serves as Medical Director for the Center for Cellular Immunotherapies, Director of the Penn MPN program, and Associate Director for the Masters in Translational Research program at the University of Pennsylvania. 

David A. Mankoff, MD, PhD

Dr. Mankoff’s contribution is within context of his role as the Associate Director of Education and Training for the Abramson Cancer Center (ACC) to help direct and coordinate education resources to support the short course. He is highly recognized for his expertise in the area of cell and gene therapy as both a translational cancer-focused investigator and leader in a number of Penn education programs directed toward postdoctoral fellows, GME trainees, and junior faculty. 

Stephan A. Grupp, MD, PhD

Dr. Grupp is a world authority on the development and clinical application of CAR T cells and other engineered cell therapies, having led the registration trial for Kymriah, the first CAR T product.

Andrew Fesnak, MD

Dr. Fesnak is the Director of Manufacturing in the Clinical Cell and Vaccine Production Facility as well as Director of Regulatory Education programs at Penn, and is an educator in the field of cell therapy.