Washington, DC (PRWEB) April 30, 2014
The International Society of Cellular Therapy (ISCT) recently named Catherine M. Bollard, MBChB, MD, FRACP, FRCPA, incoming President-Elect. Dr. Bollard is the Director of the Program for Cell Enhancement and Technologies for Immunotherapy and co-director of the Immunology Initiative of the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation at Children’s National Health System and Professor of the Departments of Pediatrics and Microbiology, Immunology and Tropical Medicine at the George Washington University.
The ISCT is a professional society of clinicians, regulators, technologists, and industry partners whose mission is to develop safe and effective cellular therapies that can be used in patients worldwide.
“I believe the focus of ISCT should be to foster the translational and practical aspects of cell therapy in all aspects and to outperform in the race to deliver cell therapy products into clinical trials and eventually into clinical use,” says Dr. Bollard.
At Children’s National, Dr. Bollard’s research interests include areas such as developing cell and gene therapies for pediatric patients with cancer and underlying immune deficiencies. Dr. Bollard leads a research laboratory on cell therapy utilizing cytotoxic T cells (CTL) for viral and malignant diseases, as well as the Program for Emerging Technologies in Immune Cell Therapies, which seeks to understand how to encourage the body's own immune system to combat cancer, infections and disorders of immunity, and focuses on developing cell therapy for regenerative medicine covering ischemic disorders, tissue damage, and wound healing.
“As an immunologist I was always interested in how we could train our immune system to cure cancer. Currently, we treat cancer by killing off our immune system with chemotherapies, which can be counterintuitive since our immune system is our natural defense mechanism for fighting cancer,” says Dr. Bollard. “Cell therapy is at now at a critical stage in its evolution. Since the inception of the ISCT, the potential of cell therapy has widened from hematopoietic stem cell transplantation to embrace a growing variety of immune cell therapies as well as therapies using non-hematopoietic cells in the broad area of regenerative medicine. Through technological advances, this diverse array of treatments is now within reach of generalizability.”
“Dr. Bollard has been tireless in her work on cellular therapy programs within Children’s National,” said Mark Batshaw, MD, Physician-in-Chief and Chief Academic Officer of Children’s National. “Her expertise, leadership within the ISCT and her dedication to cellular therapy will be a great contribution to our understanding of and ability to care for pediatric patients with cancer, primary immune deficiencies, and inflammatory disorders.”
Dr. Bollard’s term of office as President-Elect is 2014 to 2016. The role of President-Elect is a leadership position on the Executive Committee of the ISCT that supports the President. In June 2016, Dr. Bollard will assume the role of President at the ISCT Annual Meeting. Prior to being elected to the ISCT Executive Committee, Dr. Bollard served in many leadership capacities at the ISCT. Along with being an invited speaker to ISCT meetings since 2008, Dr. Bollard was also a member of the Dendritic Cell and Immunotherapy Committee for several years. Since 2010, she has served as an Associate Editor of the Society's Journal (Cytotherapy) and also was the chair of the ISCT Publications Committee from 2010-2014.
Contact: Emily Hartman or Caitlyn Camacho at 202-476-4500.
About Children’s National Health System
Children’s National Health System, based in Washington, DC, has been serving the nation’s children since 1870. Children’s National’s hospital is Magnet® designated, and is consistently ranked among the top pediatric hospitals by U.S.News & World Report. Home to the Children’s Research Institute and the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation, Children’s National is one of the nation’s top NIH-funded pediatric institutions. With a community-based pediatric network, eight regional outpatient centers, an ambulatory surgery center, two emergency rooms, an acute care hospital, and collaborations throughout the region, Children’s National is recognized for its expertise and innovation in pediatric care and as an advocate for all children. For more information, visit ChildrensNational.org, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.