An Event to Remember – The ACGT Anniversary Gala, April 19, 2017

Apr 26, 2017

Dr. R. Vonderheide, ACGT Anniversary Gala, 2017ACGT’s Anniversary Gala took place on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at 6:30pm at The Harvard Club of New York City. Over $500,000 was raised to help fund cell and gene research to treat cancer. ACGT hosted over 250 attendees – many of whom were notable scientists working in the field of cell and gene therapy for cancer and those who support this groundbreaking research that has sent many patient’s cancer into remission.

Barbara Netter, ACGT’s honorary chairman of the Board and co-founder, presented the first-ever Edward Netter Award for Business to Dr. John Lahey, president of Quinnipiac University and an ACGT Board member since 2004. Dr. Lahey embodies the qualities prized by ACGT co-founder Edward Netter: intellect, creativity, tenacity, curiosity and compassion. He is the eighth President of Quinnipiac University, a private university located in Hamden, Connecticut. Upon his arrival at Quinnipiac in March of 1987, Dr. Lahey initiated a strategic planning process that has resulted in the growth of student enrollment from 2,000 to nearly 10,000 students. He also expanded Quinnipiac from a college to a university, which now offers more than 100 programs in its nine schools and colleges: Arts and Sciences, Business, Communications, Education, Engineering, Health Sciences, Law, Medicine and Nursing.

Program Cover for ACGT Anniversary Gala, April, 2017
Click to download the Gala Program

Doug Olson, a chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) survivor from Tinicum Township, Pennsylvania, moved the audience with  the details of his experience as “patient #2” in the first CAR T 19 immunotherapy trial in September 2010 at the University of Pennsylvania. The treatment for the trial was developed by ACGT research fellow, Dr. Carl June. Doug was diagnosed with CLL in July 1996 and has remained in remission since completing the trial in 2010.  Read more about Dr. June’s work treating chronic lymphocytic leukemia here.

ACGT research fellow, Dr. Robert Vonderheide of the University of Pennsylvania,  spoke of his current work in immunotherapy and gene therapy that is targeting pancreatic cancer and solid tumors, and offered some hope for a cancer vaccine. ACGT funded Dr. Vonderheide’s early research work in immunotherapy.

“This Gala offered the opportunity to celebrate the successes of ACGT research fellows and honor those who have made it all possible,” said John Walter, CEO and president of ACGT. “With our donors’ support, ACGT has been able to be a part of finding and funding some of the most exciting cancer treatment breakthroughs, several of which we anticipate coming to market this year.”

It’s not too late to help fund the next cancer treatment breakthrough.


Read “Dr. John Lahey, President of Quinnipiac University, awarded first-ever ACGT Edward Netter Award” on Eureka Alert.

For more information about this event and how you can help sponsor fundraising events such as these, contact Barbara Gallagher at or 203.358.5055.