Renier Brentjens, MD, PhD
Dr. Brentjens obtained an MD/PhD (microbiology) from SUNY Buffalo, completed a residency in medicine at Yale New Haven Hospital, and a medical oncology fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC). As a medical oncology fellow during his training at MSKCC, Dr. Brentjens initiated the initial pre-clinical studies demonstrating the potential clinical application of autologous T-cells genetically modified to target the CD19 antigen through the retroviral gene transfer of artificial T-cell receptors termed chimeric antigen receptors (CARs). Following completion of his medical oncology training, Dr. Brentjens became the principal investigator of his own laboratory. As a PI, Dr. Brentjens successfully translated these studies to the clinical setting treating patients with relapsed CD19+ tumors including chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL). Ongoing pre-clinical research in the laboratory is focused on the further development of CAR modified T-cells designed to overcome the hostile immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment through the generation of “armored CAR T-cells” currently being translated to the clinical setting as second-generation CAR modified T-cell clinical trials. Additionally, work in the Brentjens’ lab has expanded this CAR technology to target additional tumor antigens expressed on other malignancies including solid tumors.