October 12, 2022
Penn President Liz Magill attended a reception and gave welcoming remarks at the Kimmel Center for a screening of the new documentary Of Medicine and Miracles. The event was hosted by Perelman School of Medicine Dean J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD, University of Pennsylvania Health System CEO Kevin B. Mahoney, and Robert H. Vonderheide, MD, DPhil, director of Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center.
Of Medicine and Miracles follows three stories that intersected to ignite a pivotal moment in cancer history. The film, which recently premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, traces the life and work of physician-scientist Carl June, MD, whose bold vision charted the course for CAR T-cell therapy, a revolutionary approach to treating adult and pediatric cancer patients who are out of conventional treatment options. Dr. June and an incredible collaborative of dedicated doctors and researchers at Penn Medicine and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) translated advancements made in the laboratory to cures administered by the bedside—initiating a new era of treating cancer with a patient’s own immune system.
Following the film screening, the evening featured a conversation with Dr. Vonderheide, Dr. June, who is the Richard W. Vague Professor in Immunotherapy and Director of the Center for Cellular Immunotherapies in the Perelman School of Medicine, and Ross Kauffman, the Oscar-winning director of Of Medicine and Miracles. Adult and pediatric patients who received the therapy and their families joined the event, including Emily Whitehead, the first pediatric patient to receive the therapy more than 10 years ago, whose story is featured in the film.
Photographs by Chris Brown.