Adoptive Cell Therapies

Ezra Cohen, MD
Co-director, San Diego Center for Precision Immunotherapy
Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Medicine, UC San Diego
Associate Director for Translational Science, Moores Cancer Center
Co-leader, Solid Tumor Therapeutics Program
Co-director, Head and Neck Cancer Center of Excellence


The Immunotherapy Foundation (IF), founded by Ralph and Fernanda Whitworth, has continued to provide generous support to the San Diego Center for Precision Immunotherapy. Significant funding has been provided in the area of adoptive cell therapies.

The Immunotherapy Foundation (IF), founded by Ralph and Fernanda Whitworth, has continued to provide generous support to the San Diego Center for Precision Immunotherapy. Significant funding has been provided in the area of adoptive cell therapies. Also called cellular adoptive immunotherapy, adoptive cell therapies are treatments used to help the immune system fight diseases, such as cancer and infections with certain viruses. T-cells are collected from a patient and grown in the laboratory, increasing the number of T-cells that are able to kill cancer cells or fight infections. These T-cells are then given back to the patient to help the immune system fight disease. The next evolution of this therapy is being studied at UCSD, referred to as “TIL2.0.” This involves the added step of defining which antigens the person’s T cells are responding to, and growing those T cells preferentially in the lab. Those specific T cells are then infused back to the patient.


In 2018, UC San Diego will name the lab where this work is completed in honor of IF’s commitment to this area, now known as the Immunotherapy Foundation Advanced Cell Therapy Laboratory, in memory of Ralph V. Whitworth. Mr. Whitworth was among the initial supporters of the SDCPI and we are proud to recognize his legacy in the field of immunotherapy.