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Merck Presents ‘Future Forum’ at Boston’s HUBweek 2017
  • Company to host panel: “The Personalized Cell Therapy Challenge: A Race Against Time”
  • Merck’s Curiosity Cube™, a hands-on mobile science lab, to visit Boston’s City Hall Plaza on Oct. 12-15 and Merck’s new Life Science Center – Burlington on Oct. 11
  • Panel follows scientific symposium at Life Science Center in Burlington, MA on Oct. 11

Merck will host a panel discussion, “The Personalized Cell Therapy Challenge: A Race Against Time,” featuring leading cell and gene therapy experts from academia, hospitals and industry, on Thursday, October 12, 3:30 p.m. at the HUBweek Green Dome at City Hall Plaza in Boston.

The technology, called chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy, collects a patient’s immune cells and re-programs them to target their specific type of cancer. Advancement of this potentially lifesaving treatment requires an alliance among physicians, hospitals, biopharmaceutical manufacturers and the life science industry. The panel will discuss achievements to date, as well as looming challenges and the path forward to success.

“At Merck, our purpose is to collaborate with the global scientific community to solve the toughest problems in life science,” said Udit Batra, Member of the Merck Executive Board, CEO Life Science. “Supporting and participating in HUBweek is an extension of what we do every day. It is an honor to be on stage with distinguished leaders in science, medicine and academia.” The panel features:

  • Dr. Bruce Levine, Barbara and Edward Netter professor in Cancer Gene Therapy at University of Pennsylvania
  • Dr. David Williams, Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer, Boston Children’s Hospital; President, Dana/Farber Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center; Chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology, Boston Children’s Hospital; Leland Fikes Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School
  • Dr. Marcela Maus, director of Cellular Immunotherapy at Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center
  • Shashi Murthy, Ph.D., professor of chemical engineering of Northeastern University
  • Geoff Hodge, Chief Technical Officer of Unum Therapeutics
  • Dave Backer, Ph.D., head of Gene Editing & Novel Modality Commercial Development at Merck

The cell therapy panel will be part of HUBweek, Boston’s annual civic collaboration and weeklong festival bringing together the most creative and inventive people from around the world who are making an impact on art, science and technology.

Merck supports “Future Forum,” a featured HUBweek event that will focus on the accelerating pace of advances in science and technology. HUBweek is a civic collaboration of Harvard, MIT, Mass General and The Boston Globe.

The festival will include various multi-sensory, interactive projects, including Merck’s Curiosity Cube™, a hands-on, mobile science lab. The cube will be at 1 City Hall Square, Boston, where HUBweek visitors will be able to tour the 22x10-foot, retrofitted shipping container, which has been transformed into an engaging learning environment for interactive experiences and science lessons. The cube will be open at HUBweek Oct. 12-14 from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 15 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

The Curiosity Cube™ will also be at Merck’s new Life Science Center – Burlington with students on Oct. 11 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Other key locations include Marshall Simonds Middle School in Burlington on Oct. 18, Boston Children’s Museum on Oct. 21 and Wharf District Park in Boston on Oct. 28.

The visit of Merck’s Curiosity Cube™ to City Hall Plaza continues the science lab’s U.S. tour — one way the company is striving to spark interest in science, technology, engineering and math careers. The Cube will visit 19 cities this year, with employees from 35 sites volunteering.

More details on the Merck “Future Forum” events at HUBweek are available at https://hubweek.org/. HUBweek is designed to foster collaboration to inspire innovation — connecting great ideas coming out of Boston with more ideas from around the world. Merck’s sponsorship of HUBweek reflects and reinforces its commitment to advance research and innovation in life science.