Cécile Alanio, Sierra McDonald: Parker and Parker Bridge Scholars

The Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy recently welcomed two early career Penn researchers in cancer immunotherapy to its network as part of the Parker Scholars, Parker Bridge Scholars, and Parker Fellows programs. They will receive a total of up to $3.1 million in funding and the opportunity to train with top scientists in the field.

Cécile Alanio, a post-doctoral researcher in immunology, was named a Parker Bridge Scholar. Dr. Alanio studies the impact infections have on T-cells in healthy patients and plans to apply her findings to generate new approaches to treating cancer patients with immunotherapy. Her goal is to bridge the gap between basic science and clinical research to create effective personalized immunotherapies.

Sierra McDonald, a PhD candidate in cell and molecular biology, was named a Parker Scholar. She seeks ways to improve CAR-T therapy response rates by looking at the HMG-box family of proteins. Ms. McDonald is looking forward to connecting with clinicians who can help her expand her work to cancer patients.