Pre-Conference Workshops

Tuesday, November 28

8:00 am Registration & Coffee Networking

9am- 12am
Workshop A

Matching the Modality to the Disease: What Cell Therapy Type is Best for Which Indication?

  • Wanjun Chen Senior Investigator, Chief, Mucosal Immunology Section, National Institute of Health
  • Amit Bar-Or Professor, University of Pennsylvania


As B cells are crucial to the pathogenesis of many autoimmune diseases, CD19 makes an attractive target because its expression is limited to those of a B-cell lineage. Additionally, the field has commonly developed therapies to treat indications such as lupus, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and type 1 diabetes. But, what’s next for the field? What new targets and indications are on the horizon?

Through a variety of presentations and group discussions, this workshop will:

  • Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of CAR-T and Tregs: how do we leverage this knowledge to effectively treat a variety of indications?
  • Explore recent advances in antigen discovery: what antigens can we target beyond CD19?
  • Discuss the next big autoimmune indication: with initial success displayed in lupus, what’s next on the horizon?

12:00 pm Lunch Break & Networking

1pm – 4pm
Workshop B

Developing Safe & Efficacious Cellular Therapies For Autoimmune Disease: How Do We Ensure An Acceptable Risk-Benefit Profile?

  • Adrian Bot Founding Chief Scientific Officer & Executive Vice President - Research & development, Capstan Therapeutics
  • Jinmin Lee Head of Cellular & Molecular Immunology, Cabaletta Bio
  • Jenny McGovern Director Non-Clinical Group Leader, Quell Therapeutics


CAR-T and other cellular therapies have had huge success in the treatment of hematological malignancies; however, adverse events (AEs) including cytokine release syndrome (CRS) and immune effector cell-associated neurotoxicity

syndrome (ICANS) have been observed. For patients with cancer, where mortality is a real concern, these AEs are often considered an acceptable risk in the search for a cure. On the other hand, patients with autoimmune diseases often aren’t terminally ill, so are these AEs an acceptable risk to take? How do we show the benefit?

Through a variety of presentations and group discussions, this workshop will:

  • Explore how to demonstrate a good risk-benefit profile in different cell-based therapies (ex vivo CAR-T, in vivo CAR-T, Treg) 
  • Identify how we can engineer the cells to better prevent CRS, ICANS, and other AEs, as well as ensure humoral immunity is preserved
  • Discuss different clinical strategies to ensure patient safety

4:00 pm Goodbye & End of Workshops