Dr Margo R. Roberts | Chief Scientific Officer
Kite Pharma Inc

Dr Margo R. Roberts, Chief Scientific Officer, Kite Pharma Inc

Dr. Roberts has more than two decades of biomedical research, drug discovery and development experience.  From 1999 to 2013, Dr. Roberts held an Associate Professor position at the University of Virginia where she pursued interdisciplinary research in the area of immunity and inflammation.  From 1990 to 1998, she served as Principal Scientist and Director of Immune and Cell Therapy at Cell Genesys, Inc..  There, she led the development of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) technology, encompassing CAR design and function in T cells and stem cells, along with related methodologies for T cell engineering. She oversaw the application of CAR technology to HIV disease and, under her leadership, the CD4z CAR T cell research program culminated in the first CAR T cell clinical trial  initiated in 1994. Dr. Roberts is the inventor on the first set of CAR patents, including second-generation CAR constructs that incorporate the costimulatory domains of receptors, such as CD28, aimed at improving CAR T cell survival and function. Such CAR constructs are being employed today in CAR-engineered T cell clinical trials for cancer indications. She is the author of more than 25 scientific publications and inventor on 13 issued U.S. patents and three published U.S. patent applications related to CAR T cell technology and tumor vaccine therapies. Dr. Roberts was a postdoctoral fellow at Yale University and at the Laboratoire de Génétique Moléculaire des Eucaryotes (LGME) of the CNRS in Strasbourg, France. She received both her B.Sc. with honors and her Ph.D. from the University of Leeds in England.

back to speakers