Seminar: University of Pennsylvania
High Efficiency Cell Engineering

About the seminar

The High Efficiency Cell Engineering Seminar was hosted at the University of Pennsylvania on October 27, 2023, with our special guest, Nils Wellhausen, who is co-mentored by Drs. Carl June and Saar Gill. Nils and colleagues recently published a novel therapeutic strategy for the treatment of most blood cancers. This presentation showcased the development of fratricide-resistant, base-edited CD45-targeting CAR T cells and CD45 epitope-edited hematopoietic stem cells. This approach paves the way forward for a universal blood cancer immune therapy.

In this work, CAR T cells and bispecific engagers targeting the pan-leukocyte marker CD45, were engineered to avoid on-target/off-tumor toxicities, using base editing to insert a mutation in the targeted CD45 epitope. This resulted in avoidance of CAR T cell recognition and preserved CD45 function. Edited CD45-targeting CAR T cells were effective against patient-derived myeloid and lymphoid cancers.

This approach could be the first in-human clinical trial combining two base-edited cell therapies. Advancements in gene-edited cell therapy manufacturing enabled by MaxCyte’s scalable electroporation can make a significant contribution to translating this work into the clinic. Don’t miss this opportunity to explore the future of cellular engineering!

Read the full publication “Epitope base editing CD45 in hematopoietic cells enables universal blood cancer immune therapy.” Please find the DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.adi1145

Penn Medicine News Release: Expanding the Impact of CAR T Cell Therapy: An Immunotherapy Strategy Against All Blood Cancers.


Nils Wellhausen, Ph.D. Candidate

Scientist in Pharmacology
University of Pennsylvania, Carl June/Saar Gill Laboratories

Nils Wellhausen is a scientist with strong interest in developing genetically engineered cell therapies for hematological indications and solid tumors. Nils completed his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry in a joint program between the Heinrich-Heine University in Germany and Michigan State University in the USA. He is currently pursuing his PhD in Pharmacology at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine in the laboratories of renowned cell therapy experts Carl June and Saar Gill. Throughout his academic journey, Nils has been a selected speaker at international conferences and his contributions were recognized with awards by the American Society for Cell and Gene Therapy and the Department of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. His current work focuses on harnessing next-generation genome editing tools to develop universal CAR-T cell therapies for blood cancers and other hematologic diseases.

Nitin Kulkarni, Ph.D.

Senior Field Application Scientist
MaxCyte, Inc.

Nitin Kulkarni, Ph.D. is a Sr. Field Application Scientist at MaxCyte, Inc. For over 9 years, he has helped advance customer applications and technologies with his expertise in cell culture, cell therapy, molecular biology, immunology, bioprocessing and microfluidic cell isolation technologies. Before joining MaxCyte, Nitin did his post-doctoral research generating transgenic mouse models for evaluating role of mast cells in autoimmune diseases and in cancer at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) in Boston, MA. Following that he has supported a broad customer base at Corning Life Science, MicroMedicine and now MaxCyte.


Alfred Sloan

Senior Academic Sales Manager
MaxCyte, Inc.

Alfred Sloan is an academic and translational sales manager with MaxCyte, Inc. For more than 15 years, he has helped advance customer applications and technologies with his expertise in cell handling, molecular biology, genome modification, and cell engineering. His expertise has enables teams to accelerate their research goals, process development objectives, and achieve their dedicated clinical/therapeutic endpoints.

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