Greenwich’s Barbara Netter, who co-founded with her husband, Edward Netter the nonprofit Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy in 2001 has given a $1.5 million gift to establish the Barbara and Edward Netter Associate Professorship in Cancer Gene Therapy at the University of Pennsylvania’s Abramson Cancer Center.
Netter’s gift will support expanding research into novel uses of gene therapy to attack cancer. The man appointed for the associate professorship is Dr. Bruce Levine, a faculty member in the department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and director of the Clinical Cell and Vaccine Production Facility. Levine is described as a key member of the Penn team that has demonstrated the first successful and sustained effort to reprogram patients’ own immune cells into “hunter cells” that attack cancer.
Netter was celebrated for her gift at a recent gathering of faculty and staff from the Perelman School of Medicine at UPenn. Also attending were several adult patients who were among the first to receive the investigational therapy, along with the first pediatric trial participant – who will celebrate two years in remission this week – joined the festivities. The Netters were inspired to create the Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy following the loss of their daughter-in-law to breast cancer.