Clinic facilities

Cleveland Clinic appoints expert in cancer immunology as program director

March 20, 2022

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J. Joseph Melenhorst, PhD, was named director of the Cleveland Clinic’s new cell therapy and immunoengineering program.

Melenhorst will also serve as vice president of the Center for Immunotherapy and Precision Immuno-Oncology.

He will lead the institution’s cell therapy therapeutic development program, with a focus on translating research into novel cell therapies. He will also work with Cleveland Clinic experts to advance immuno-oncology research and treatment.

J. Joseph Melenhorst, PhD

J. Joseph Melenhorst

“Immunotherapy is the future of cancer research and a variety of other diseases, and the Cleveland Clinic has made it a priority to establish a world-class cell therapy program,” Timothy Chan, MD, PhD, Chairman of the Center for Immunotherapy and Precision Immuno-Oncology at the Cleveland Clinic. “The program will enable clinicians and scientists to advance personalized cellular immunotherapy and further distinguish the Cleveland area as a hub for cell therapy development.”

Melenhorst, recognized for his expertise in cancer immunology, was previously a senior member of the Center for Cellular Immunotherapies at the University of Pennsylvania. There, he helped implement chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapy and other cell therapies in patient care.

He has conducted extensive research in translational and basic immunology. Some of his work has focused on the immunobiology of CAR T-cell therapies so that they can be used to target cancers more effectively and safely.