Yen-Michael Hsu named director for cell therapy laboratory at UPMC Hillman

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Yen-Michael Hsu was named director of the Immunologic Monitoring and Cellular Therapeutics Laboratory at the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center.

Hsu was also named associate professor of hematology and oncology in the Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He was awarded a Hillman Fellowship for Innovative Cancer Research to support his research.

Hsu, a board-certified pathologist specialized in laboratory medicine, assumes his role from Theresa Whiteside, who directed the IMCPL for nearly three decades.

The IMCPL is responsible for the generation of therapeutic cellular products, or living drugs, to treat cancer and other diseases, monitoring immune function in patients treated with these therapies, and banking patient tissues for basic and clinical research. The IMCPL is also part of Pitt and UPMC’s COVID-19 research efforts, manufacturing the PittCoVacc delivered through a fingertip-sized patch, and has shown promise in animal models.

UPMC Hillman plans a significant expansion to the IMCPL to support a steadily increasing demand for cell therapies. The facility will manufacture cell therapies for cancer and other diseases.

Hsu will help translate science into cellular therapies to benefit patients. A trained immunologist, he will also focus on research to optimize or develop new protocols to improve the cellular manufacturing process.

Prior to his appointment at Hillman, Hsu was the founding medical director of the first cGMP cellular therapy laboratory at Weill Cornell Medicine for six years, and led the successful certification effort to make New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center an early treatment center for the first CAR T therapies developed by Novartis and Kite.

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