Michael Jensen, MD
Dr. Jensen is an internationally recognized leader in the field of CAR T-cell immunotherapy with over 20-years’ experience in the research and clinical translation of this therapeutic modality. He has focused the application of his work to childhood cancers. Dr. Jensen graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and then completed training in Pediatric Hematology and Oncology at the University of Washington(UW)/Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC) with a focus on the immunobiology of tumor-specific T-cells. After completing his fellowship at FHCRC, he joined the faculty at California’s City of Hope National Medical Center where he built a translational research program integrating gene therapy and cellular immunotherapy for cancer. Dr. Jensen is the founding Director of the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer at Seattle Children’s Research Institute where he continues to pursue a pipeline of cures that treat childhood cancer with the goal of reducing the long-term, debilitating side effects of traditional treatments. As the founding Executive Director of CureWorks, Dr. Jensen is committed to accelerating the progress of immunotherapies for childhood cancers and expanding the access to these therapies for children around the world.
Janet & Jim Sinegal Endowed Chair and Professor, Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology, Department of Pediatrics
University of Washington School of Medicine
Joint Member, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Adjunct Professor, Department of Bioengineering,
UW School of Medicine
Russ Lea, PhD
Dr. Lea brings over 25 years’ experience in research and development, operations, intellectual property management, and business development roles within the educational, health care, environmental, and private sectors. He has proven expertise in sourcing, creating, and maximizing revenue through the utilization of strategic partnerships and innovative programs. His track record of converting complex issues to fundamentals, creating blueprints for action, and implementing systems that guarantee measurable results are key skills that make Dr. Lea uniquely qualified to develop the CureWorks effort, creating a replicable model for future immuno-oncological translational research in investigational drug development.
Rimas Orentas, PhD
Director of Scientific Integration
Dr. Orentas received his PhD from the Department of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences of The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. While there he held post-doctoral and Research Associate positions in the Oncology Center, followed by a 12-year academic career at the Medical College of Wisconsin, where he rose to rank of Associate Professor with a primary appointment in the Department of Pediatrics, Section of Hematology-Oncology. He also held appointments in the Department of Medicine and the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics.
Dr. Orentas has extensive experience in CAR T-based immunotherapy approaches to cancer therapy, and in addition to his role at CureWorks, he is a Principal Investigator in the Immunology Integration Hub of the Seattle Children’s Research Institute. Prior to his role at CureWorks, he was Scientific Director of Lentigen Technology, Inc., a Miltenyi Biotec company, and served as an Associate Scientist in the Pediatric Oncology Branch of the National Cancer Institute.
Our members are nationally recognized academic children’s hospitals who believe in the power of collaboration. Together, we will expand these innovative therapies to children in our communities, while redefining the state of care globally.