Saar I. Gill, MD, PhD
Photo: Saar Gill



Elected 2019

Dr. Gill is a physician-scientist focusing on translational immunotherapy research in the genetically-engineered cell therapy space. His clinical practice is in bone marrow transplantation for leukemia and his clinical research focus is in immunotherapy for leukemia. Work performed in his lab led directly to two completed CART cell clinical trials, three ongoing CART trials, and one trial that is shortly to open at the University of Pennsylvania. He has led three of these trials (CART-123 for AML, CART19 with ibrutinib for CLL) of which one is currently being expanded internally and the success of the other led directly to an upcoming multi-center international trial sponsored by a major pharmaceutical company. Dr. Gill's laboratory training is predominantly in immunology, and has provided him the tools needed to explore the interaction between neoplastic cells and the immune system. In pursuit of his overall goal of improving cellular immunotherapy for leukemia and in particular AML, his lab employs advanced lentiviral vectorology, T cell functional assays, immunodeficient mouse patient-derived xenograft models, and sophisticated analytics including multi-parameter flow cytometry, bioluminescent imaging, multiplex cytokine analysis, and single cell RNA sequencing. Using CRISPR-Cas9 based gene editing of primary human CD34+ hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells his lab recently demonstrated that leukemia-specific antigens can be generated de novo and this innovative technology has been licensed to a biotechnology company for rapid translation to the clinic in close collaboration with his laboratory.