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John Wagner Named Director for the Institute for Cell, Gene, and Immunotherapy

John Wagner, MD, has been named Director for the Institute for Cell, Gene, and Immunotherapy (ICGI).

ICGI aims to accelerate the development and testing of novel cell, gene and immune-based therapeutics that hold promise in the treatment of life-threatening diseases. The institute will build on existing strengths at the University of Minnesota, further develop high-tech core capabilities, and connect to industry partners with access to new technologies in order to speed translation of innovation to clinical care.

"This new role is a key part of our strategy to advance interdisciplinary clinical translational research, grow new partnerships with industry, and increase external research funding – all in the pursuit of transforming health and health care," said Jakub Tolar, MD, PhD, Vice President for Clinical Affairs.

Wagner has been a key contributor to establishing the University’s international clinical leadership in stem cell and umbilical cord blood transplantation. He is a professor of pediatrics, Co-Director of the Center for Translational Medicine, and Program Co-Leader of Transplant Biology and Therapy within the Masonic Cancer Center. He also recently stepped down as Department of Pediatrics Director of the Division of Blood and Marrow Transplantation after 16 years.
 
As Director for the ICGI, Wagner will provide leadership to connect our work to industry and community, making the University a leader in this field. As a part of the Office of Academic Clinical Affairs, he will work in partnership with the leadership team and faculty across the University to advance our mission. Wagner also serves as Co-Associate Director of Clinical Research – CTO-CGI in the Masonic Cancer Center, reporting to Douglas Yee, MD, the Director of MCC, in this role. The parts of the CTO (Clinical Trials Office) that support cell and immunotherapy will be aligned with ICGI.

"I am confident that Dr. Wagner’s leadership will allow the University and ICGI to demonstrate growth and success," said Tolar.

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