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Carl June
Dr. Carl June (Gerbil | CC BY-SA 3.0)

Penn Medicine's Carl June will receive one of the most prestigious awards in medicine and biomedical research later this month.  

The Albany Medical Center Prize, given out annually since 2001, is the second highest value prize in medicine and biomedical research in the United States, and the fourth highest value prize worldwide. 

It awards a $500,000 prize to those who have impacted and changed the medical world deeply, Penn Medicine wrote in a press release.  

June is receiving this prize for his gene therapy advancements, and specifically for his breakthrough with CAR T-cell therapy, the first FDA-approved cellular therapy for cancer. 

He shares the award with two other immunotherapy researchers James P. Allison from the University of Texas, and Steven A. Rosenberg, the chief of surgery at the National Cancer Institute. 

CAR T-cell therapy reprograms a patients’ T-cells — which are immune system cells — with synthetic receptors in an effort to kill cancer cells. The impact of this new CAR T-cell therapy will help save lives by developing new drugs for not only cancer, but other diseases such as melanoma, HIV, and leukemia, Albany Medical College states. 

Carl June has been a tenured professor at the Perelman School of Medicine since 1999 and serves as the Richard W. Vague Professor of Immunotherapy and is the director of the Center for Cellular Immunotherapy and the Park Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at Penn. TIME Magazine named him as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.