Science magazine, published by the AAAS science society, recently featured innovative centers around the U.S. that are on the cutting-edge of developing the chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cells for experimental cancer therapy. Among the centers featured is the Novartis-Penn Center for Advanced Cellular Therapies (CACT), which expands on Penn’s groundbreaking research in this burgeoning field.

CAR T-cell therapy enables a patient’s own immune cells to be reprogrammed outside of their body and re-infused to “hunt” for and potentially destroy tumors. The Novartis-Penn CACT is leading the industry in successfully exploring and delivering this new therapy. Located on Penn Medicine’s campus in Philadelphia amidst both clinical and laboratory facilities, the space was successfully designed by our laboratory and workplace design experts to decrease the time it takes to develop the CAR-T cells while also increasing workplace satisfaction among researchers.

The strategic layout and organization of the CACT laboratory environments reduces the time it takes to create the “hunter cells” for each patient by 50%. At the outset of this effort, it took an entire month to tackle this for each patient; now, it only takes two weeks.


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