Jan Joseph Melenhorst, PhD
Vice-Chair, Center for ImmunoTherapy & Precision Immuno-Oncology
Director, Cell Therapy & Immuno-Engineering Program
Lerner Research Institute,
9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44195
A renowned cancer immunology expert, Dr. Melenhorst leads the cell therapy developmental therapeutics program, with a focus on translating research into novel cellular therapies for patients. As vice chair of theCenter for Immunotherapy and Precision Immuno-Oncology, he works with experts from across Cleveland Clinic to advance research and treatment related to the rapidly growing field of immuno-oncology. The program will empower clinicians and scientists to advance personalized cellular immunotherapy and further distinguish the Cleveland area as a top hub for cellular therapy development.
Dr. Melenhorst joins Cleveland Clinic from University of Pennsylvania where he was a senior member of Dr. Carl June's Center for Cellular Immunotherapies for almost a decade. There, he was instrumental in helping bring cell therapies such as chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T) therapy into patient care. CAR-T therapy has revolutionized cancer care. His research spans basic and translational immunology with an emphasis on developing next generation immune-oncology treatments and related translational sciences. His efforts also focus on the immunobiology of CAR-T cell therapies to more safely and effectively target cancers.
The focus of the Melenhorst Laboratory is to develop potent, safe T cell-based gene therapies for hematologic and solid organ malignancies. We achieve this by a) examining T cells from patients enrolled on immuno-gene therapies using various single cell multi-omics analytics and functional genomics tools, b) studying the interactions gene-redirected T cells and tumor cells, c) designing new chimeric antigen receptors, and d) augmenting CAR T cell anti-tumor responses via gene and manufacturing engineering.
Dr. Melenhorst received his Ph.D. from the University of Leiden, Netherlands.
The program, which has funded 21 research teams since 2015, has a proven record of supporting projects that go on to attract large external grants.
Dr. Melenhorst is leading research to improve the safety, efficacy and access of emerging therapies.