The Program for Advanced Cellular Therapy is excited to announce the promotion of Andrea Pennati, Ph.D., to Director of Research and Development. In this role, Dr. Pennati is responsible for the transition of UW’s pre-clinical cell therapy innovations to PACT’s GMP-compliant workflows and eventually first-in-human clinical trials of UW therapeutic innovations at UW Health and SMPH.
“With many of PACT’s manufacturing projects starting in basic science labs here at UW, it’s essential to have someone with Dr. Pennati’s breadth of experience to manage the transition of research-grade cell therapy prototypes to clinical trial-compatible PACT workflows ,” said Jacques Galipeau, Director of PACT.
Dr. Pennati has been with the University of Wisconsin – Madison since September 2016, when he transferred from Emory University with PACT Director Jacques Galipeau, MD, FRCP. Dr. Pennati completed a M.Sc. in Molecular Biology and a Ph.D. in Molecular Cell Biology at the University of Milan, Italy. Before joining the Galipeau lab, Pennati worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Georgia State University, in Atlanta, Georgia.
His work in Dr. Galipeau’s lab has included investigating the role of novel-engineered fusion cytokines as part of cancer vaccine and cellular immunotherapy strategies. Current studies are aimed at defining the possibility to generate and use regulatory B cells for the treatment of different neurodegenerative diseases such as MS, ALS and Alzheimer’s disease.
With more than a decade of laboratory experience, Dr. Pennati leads translating cell-based research projects into clinical investigations by developing, standardized and establishing cellular processing protocols for use in cellular therapies.
“I’m excited for this opportunity to continue to be involved in PACT’s research,” Pennati said. “Seeing these projects to fruition could mean significant advances for how patients are treated in the future.”
“PACT sponsors more than five distinct investigator-initiated clinical trials at UW developing innovative living therapeutics for the benefit of our patients. With Dr. Pennati’s input and expanded role, we aim to add many more in the years to come,” said Dr. Ross Meyers, Director of PACT cell manufacturing.