In October 2017, the Center for Cancer and Immunology Research (CCIR) had a time of transition with the appointment of a new Center Director, Catherine M. Bollard, M.D., M.B.Ch.B., and extensive restructuring of the leadership and management infrastructure which consisted of the creation of an Executive Committee with eight members representing all the key components of research as well as center and business administration.

Since that time the Center has made major research advances preclinically and clinically with key advances in the understanding of key signaling pathways involved with brain tumor development, as well as major advances in translational research with several key first-in-human studies opened utilizing novel cell therapies for the treatment of cancer, as well as life threatening viral infections. 

The Center was honored to be awarded a $1.5M gift from the Board of Visitors for immunotherapy research at Children’s National Hospital (CNH). Over the past 3 years, the Center has nearly doubled its funding support. In addition, an MOU was signed with George Washington University (GW) to expand immune cell therapy research to GW as a joint Children’s National-GW program and a collaborative research initiative began through an agreement between the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at Virginia Tech and the Children’s National Office of Academic Affairs and Research to promote cross-disciplinary collaborations among researchers focused on pediatric brain tumors at both institutions. In addition, Children’s National entered into a partnership with CureWorks, which is an enterprise that was developed at Seattle Children’s to accelerate the translation of novel immunotherapy opportunities for children through a technology/GMP hub working in collaboration with a network of world class children’s hospitals. Children’s National was the first children’s hospital to enter into the partnership with Seattle Children’sCHLARiley Children’s Hospital and Vancouver Children’s Hospital. Finally, the CCIR has formal collaborations with NIAID with key collaborative projects for patients with primary immune deficiencies, viral diseases and food allergies.