Jan Joseph Melenhorst, Ph.D.
Member, Immuno-Oncology Scientific Advisory Board
Dr. Jan Joseph (Jos) Melenhorst is a translational T cell immunologist whose career evolved from elucidating the immunobiology of autoimmune disorders to developing a better understanding of T cell responses across HLA barriers and anti-tumor immunity by TCR-guided and chimeric antigen-reprogrammed T cells. He obtained his PhD at the University of Leiden, Netherlands (Department of Hematology) on the immune etiology of Aplastic Anemia. In 1998 he moved to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, where he did his research ‐ first as a postdoc, later as a staff scientist ‐ on the immunobiology of marrow failure syndromes, leukemic disorders, and allogeneic stem cell transplantation. In 2012 he was recruited by Dr. Carl June to the University of Pennsylvania, first as Deputy Director of their clinical manufacturing (cGMP) facility. After a year he was promoted to Director of Product Development & Correlative Sciences. In this role, he was at the cusp of the first ever CAR T cell therapy approved by FDA: Kymriah. Further, Dr. Melenhorst led to the development of correlative assay pipeline for the first triple CRISPR/Cas9 genome edited, TCR tumor-redirected T cell product in the USA, published early January of 2020 in Science magazine. In 2020 he was promoted to full Professor at the Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine where he now fully focuses his effort on the translational sciences of immunogene therapies. His laboratory’s goals are to enhance our understanding and improvement of the anti-tumor efficacy and safety of adoptively transferred chimeric antigen receptor-modified T cells through correlative, mechanistic, and functional genomics approaches.