We will live streaming all talks. You just need to register to get access.
We will be glad to welcome you on our campus in the center of Munich. We have a limited number of places. Please register to secure your access.
Please remind that the access to the room of the conference is only possible with a Covid-vaccination pass or with the proof of Covid-Recovery. Each participant must wear a FFP2 mask.
Downtown Campus of LMU Klinikum
Klinik and Poliklinik für Mund-, Kiefer- und Gesichtschirurgie, Goßer Hörsaal MKG, 1st floor
Lindwurmstr. 2 a
Welcome to the first international conference of our training network T-OP. We are very proud to kick off our project with the amazing topic of future developments of cell products to fight cancer and other diseases. Now more than ever, the technologies improving immunity and based on cells are required.
Adoptive T cell therapy (ACT) is a breakthrough cancer treatment and is developing rapidly. An estimated 753 different cell therapies are currently in development, of which 375 are in clinical trials world-wide. The global cell therapy market is expected to reach $8.21 billion in 2025. Despite this dazzling progress, the generation of ACT products is ill-defined, especially the utilization of cytokines. This challenge will be the core of our project and 15 PhD students, so called Early Stage Researchers have just started their scientific work to step forwards in this challenging and exciting field or research.
We are delighted to welcome international experts of cell developments from academy and industry. We will raise topics at the cutting edge of current research like tumor infiltration of T cells, technologies from stem cells to improve immunotherapies or viral vectors targeted to T cell surface markers.
The conference will take place on site and be live streamed online.
We wish you an inspiring event!
Your organisation’s team
9.15 - 9.30 a.m.
9.35 - 9.50 a.m.
9.55 -10.15 a.m.
10.40 - 10.55 a.m.
11.00 - 11.15 a.m.
1.00 - 1.15 p.m.
1.20 - 1.35 p.m.
1.40 - 1.55 p.m.
2.20 - 2.35 p.m.
2.40 - 2.55 p.m.
3.00 - 3.20 p.m.
3.40 - 3.55 p.m.
4.00 - 4.15 p.m.
4.20 - 4.35 p.m.
Sebastian Kobold, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich, Germany
Welcome address and introduction of the European Training Network to Optimise Adoptive T cell Therapies – T-OP
Maria Ormhøj, Technical University of Denmark
Antigen scaffolds for expansion of tumor-specific functionally improved T cells for adoptive cell therapy
Tobias Feuchtinger, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich, Germany
Learning from the bone marrow niche for immunotherapy of acute leukemia
Michael von Bergwelt, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich, Germany
Understanding and managing side effects: the needle hole for the long-term success of cancer immunotherapy?
Christian Buchholz, Paul-Ehrlich-Institut, Germany
Surface engineered viral vectors for improved CAR gene delivery
Sebastian Kobold, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich, Germany
Moving T cells into tumors for cancer therapy
Markus Barden, The Leibniz Institute for Immunotherapy (LIT), Regensburg, Germany
IL12 cytokine linked to a CAR: a novel CAR design with unexpected properties
Roch Houot, Université de Rennes 1, France
DESCAR-T Registry: Lessons learned from the French real-life database for CAR T cells in hematologics malignancies.
Michal Lotem, Hadassah Medical Organization, Israel
Alternative splicing of checkpoint receptors: a regulatory mechanism and an opportunity for new therapies.
Robert Hawkins, InstilBio Inc, Great Britain
Optimizing Costimulatory Antigen Receptors (CoStAR) to Enhance the Efficacy of TIL Therapy
Sonja Schallenberg, Miltenyi Biotec GmbH, Germany
Automated manufacturing of gene-engineered (CAR) T cells for adoptive T cell therapy
Per thor Straten, University Hospital Herlev, Denmark
The exercise of TAMing the immune system
Annette Künkele, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany
L1CAM-specific CAR T cell therapy for childhood neuroblastoma
Alfred Zippelius, Universität Basel, Switzerland
T-cell directed cancer immunotherapies
Dinner for speakers
Markus Barden is research fellow at Prof. Hinrich Abken‘s Laboratory for Genetic Immunotherapy at the Leibniz Institute for Immunotherapy (LIT) in Regensburg, Germany. He studied medicine at University of Cologne and joined Prof. Abken‘s group in 2016. His current research is aimed at improving T cell targeting of cancer and developing novel strategies in modulating an immune response, in particular by next generation chimeric antigen receptors (CARs).
Michael von Bergwelt MD, PhD, MSBM, EDIC, studied medicine and human biology at the universities of Freiburg and Paris. He completed his training in internal medicine, hematology, oncology, infectious diseases, emergency and intensive care medicine at the University of Cologne medical center. Scientifically, Dr. von Bergwelt was educated in immunology at Harvard and Stanford university.He is an expert in immuno-oncology/cellular therapy and intensive care of immunocompromised patients and is the chair and director of the Department of Hematology and Oncology at LMU Munich.
Christian Buchholz, PhD, heads the Section of Molecular Biotechnology and Gene Therapy at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut (PEI) and is Associate Professor for Biochemistry at the University of Frankfurt. He studied microbiology at LMU and holds a PhD from the Max-Planck-Institut for biochemistry. At PEI, Dr. Buchholz combines responsibilities in gene therapy medicinal product regulation with the maintenance of a research laboratory active in studying the safety and efficacy of viral vectors. Dr. Buchholz has published more than 100 articles focusing on the engineering of the surface of viral vectors. He aims to understand the molecular events during viral cell entry and to improve their applicability in modern molecular medicine. Recently, his team has provided proof-of-principle for the in vivo CAR T cell generation thereby making use of viral vectors targeted to T cell surface markers.
Tobias Feuchtinger is Professor of Pediatric Hematology/ Oncology at LMU Munich. He is Director of the Department of Pediatric Hematology, Hemostaseology, Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation at Dr. von Hauner University Children’s Hospital of LMU. He studied medicine in Hamburg, received his M.D. at University of Bochum and was postdoctoral research fellow in the Stem Cell Laboratory at Tübingen University. Dr. Feuchtinger published numerous peer-reviewed articles in journals like Blood or Oncoimmunology. Since 2018, he has been coordinating the European consortium on adoptive T-cell transfer for viral complications after allogeneic stem cell transplantation (TRACE). His work centers on development of experimental knowledge to clinical application of T-cell therapy approaches.
Robert Hawkins is Chief Strategy Advisor to Instil Bio Inc and Honorary Professor at University of Manchester. His main clinical specialty was renal cancer, and he led clinical development of several immune and targeted agents. In cell therapy, he has been the coordinator of several major European Union consortia and has published widely in scientific and clinical journals (H-Index 61). He founded a spinout company, Immetacyte Ltd, to focus on the development of adoptive cell therapy using tumour infiltrating lymphocytes and gene engineered products for a range of solid tumours. The company has filed several patents on manufacturing of TIL and on methods to engineer “second-generation” TIL products. Immetacyte was acquired by Instil Bio Inc and with substantial investor backing the combined company is expanding its operations in the US and UK. It is developing a range of TIL based clinical trials US and Europe with the aim of producing products to benefit patients with many solid tumours.
Roch Houot is Professor of Medicine and Head of the Hematology Department at the University Hospital of Rennes (France). He obtained his M.D. from Lyon University and received a PhD for his work on immunostimulatory antibodies in lymphoma that he performed in the laboratory of Ronald Levy at Stanford University. He is currently pursuing his preclinical research at the INSERM of Rennes. He is a member of the Scientific Committee of the LYSA. Professor Houot is particularly involved in the development of immunotherapies for lymphoid malignancies.
Sebastian Kobold is Professor of Medicine and Experimental Immuno-oncology at the Medical Faculty of LMU Munich and coordinates the European Training Network of T-OP. He has studied medicine at the universities of Saarland, Bordeaux and Zurich and he received his M.D. from the universities of Saarland and Zurich. He trained in internal medicine, hematology, oncology, clinical pharmacology in Hamburg, Munich and Boston. He has completed his Habilitation in experimental internal medicine at the Medical Faculty of LMU. He is board certified clinical pharmacologist and immunologist. The focus of Dr. Kobold’s research work is on developing novel cellular therapy approaches against cancer and deciphering novel resistance mechanisms that need to be overcome for T cell activity.
Annette Künkele PD Dr. Annette Künkele is associate professor for cellular therapies and senior attending physician at the Department of Pediatric Oncology and Hematology at Charité University Medicine Berlin. Dr. Künkele studied medicine at Heidelberg University, and was a pediatric resident at both the University Children’s Hospital Essen and Charité Berlin, subsequently specializing in pediatric oncology and hematology. She focused early in her carreer on cellular therapies, and consequently worked for three years as a postdoc in the laboratory of Prof. Michael C. Jensen at Seattle Children’s Research Institute, to develop a CAR targeting neuroblastoma and initiate a first-in-human phase I/II trial using this CAR T cell product. Dr. Künkele’s current research focuses on identifying novel CAR targets as well as hurdles preventing CAR T cell success against solid tumors.
Michal Lotem is Head of the Center for Melanoma and Cancer Immunotherapy at the Sharett Institute of Oncology of the Hadassah University Hospital in Jerusalem and Associate Professor of Oncology at the Faculty of Medicine, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Michal Lotem has been a senior physician at the Department of Dermatology at the Hadassah University Hospital and is a Lecturer in Dermatology and Oncology at the Faculty of Medicine of the Hebrew University. She conducted a research fellowship in the Surgery Branch at the NCI, NIH, was visiting Professor at Stanford University and was a visiting scholar at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, USA. She published in numerous high-ranking journals and participated in several international research consortia. Her lab is intensely involved in studying the SLAM (signaling lymphocyte activation molecule) family of receptors in the anti-cancer immune response. Her team is deeply engaged in treating melanoma patients with new immunotherapies.
Maria Ormhøj received her PhD degree in cancer immunology in 2019 from University of Southern Denmark. Maria Ormhøj is a senior postdoctoral fellow at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) where her main research area is development of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy for treatment of cancer. Maria Ormhøj also functions as scientific organizer in the Center for Nano-Immune Cell-Engineering (NICE), an interdisciplinary research center with researchers from DTU and Leibniz Institute for Immunotherapy (LIT), focusing on in vivo CAR gene delivery to T-cells.
Sonja Schallenberg is Team Coordinator clinical T cell processing development, R&D Immunotherapy at Miltenyi Biotec GmbH. She graduated at the University Tübingen in Biology, and then performed her PhD project at the Dermatology Department of the University Hospital and the DKFZ in Heidelberg. She focused on investing the role of regulatory T (Treg) cells during treatment of malignant melanoma in a mouse model. She conducted her Postdoc at the CRTD in Dresden on basic research about the development of Treg cells in vivo. At Miltenyi, Sonja Schallenberg works on development and improvement of procedures for automated CAR T cell manufacturing in a GMP-compliant fashion and the generation of non-clinical data packages for our CAR T cells that are currently under investigation in several clinical trials.
Per thor Straten received a master degree in biology in 1992 from University of Copenhagen, and a PhD in tumor immunology in 1998 from Open University, UK. He has been an independent researcher since 2001 and was appointed Professor of Translational Tumor Immunology at University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences in 2009. Currently, Per thor Straten is Vice-Director at Centre for Cancer Immunotherapy (CCIT), Department of Oncology at University Hospital Herlev, Denmark. He has authored and co-authored more than 200 peer-reviewed articles. He is co-author of five patents on peptide antigens recognized by T cells, and founder and co-founder of several biotech companies. His main interests are co-stimulation and inhibition of T and NK cells, therapeutic vaccinations against cancer, adoptive cell therapy in cancer, and exercise immunology and oncology.
Alfred Zippelius is full Professor of Translational Oncology and Vice Chair of the Department of Medical Oncology at the University Hospital Basel. He studied medicine in Munich and performed post-doctoral research work at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in Lausanne. After completing his training in medical oncology and heading a junior research group at the university hospital Zurich, he was then appointed Swiss National Science Foundation Professor and group leader of the Laboratory of Cancer Immunology, Department of Biomedicine, University of Basel, where he subsequently became full Professor of Translational Oncology and Vice Chair of the Department of Oncology, University Hospital Basel. Prof. Zippelius is author of > 150 high-impact publications and inventor of several patents in the field of cancer immunology and received numerous fellowships and awards.
Scientific meeting and workshops
We kicked off our training with one week of training events: Monday 4th and Tuesday 5th July 2022, have been dedicated to scientific presentations of the individual projects that took place in the beautiful rooms of the Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften in the heart of Munich. We had a very inspirative meeting completed by a great session of deepening the cooperation within the network. Munich Center for Leadership GmbH organised this session where Project Leaders and Early Stage Researchers could reflect the capacities of their labs and their competences as well as define their needs in terms of methods and knowledge to develop future collaborations. Our international conference took place on Wednesday 6th July with attendees online and onsite on the Downtown Campus of LMU Klinikum. Outstanding speakers presented data and results at the cutting edge of research of therapeutic cells. The two last days provided the Early Stage Researchers with skills on transfer of technology and career development. The Spin-off Services of LMU and the LMU Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center organised the first workshop on competences and knowledge that are required to create a start up. The speakers provided the ESR with very useful examples and advice drawn directly from their daily experience as Advisers to researchers and entrepreneurs. The ESR had then in the afternoon the great opportunity to actively participate in a session organised by Vossius&Partners on exciting Intellectual Property cases. On Friday 8th July, the GraduateCenterLMU offered a workshop on how to prepare a doctorate in terms of organisation and skills to develop and introduced the coachings that will be dedicated to career development during the program of T-OP. We had the pleasure to welcome two former ESR of the previous programme of Immutrain, Siret Tahk and Mohamed-Reda Benmebarek who reported on their experience as former PhD students and members of an European Training Network as well as on their current professional activity as Scientist in an enterprise and as Postdoc in a research institute. In addition to all these intense sessions of training we had the great opportunity to meet in the evenings in different places to dinner, relax and have many fun all together.
This event is part of the project
T-OP that has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement no 95575
This event has been organized in cooperation with the project i-Target funded by Elitenetzwerk Bayern