Clinical Center News
Winter 2019

Center for Cellular Engineering expands to Southeast Patio

Men and Women holding shovels at the site of a new facility
Leadership from the NIH Clinical Center and the NIH Intramural Research Program launched the expansion of the Clinical Center's Center for Cellular Engineering left to right: Dr. Gary Gibbons, Director of NHLBI; Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of NIAID; Dr. Michael Gottesman, Deputy Director, NIH IRP; Hamideh Alehossein, Construction Project Officer with ORF; Dan Wheeland, Director or ORF; Dr. Francis Collins, NIH Director; ADM Brett Giroir, HHS Assistant Secretary for Health; Dr. James Gilman, Clinical Center CEO; Dr. Harvey Klein, Chief, CC Department of Transfusion Medicine; Dr. David Stroncek, Chief, Cell Processing Section in CC Department of Transfusion Medicine.

In January, the NIH Clinical Center celebrated the groundbreaking of a new cellular processing facility on the Southeast patio of Building 10 and establishment of the Clinical Center's Center for Cellular Engineering (CCE). The facility marks the most recent expansion for the Department of Transfusion Medicine's growing capacity to support intramural cellular therapy protocols.

Dr. Francis Collins, director of NIH, Dr. Jim Gilman, CEO of the NIH Clinical Center, and ADM Brett Giroir, Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services spoke at the ribbon cutting ceremony about the great public health benefit the CCE will provide. From the development of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-Cells used to fight cancer to bringing regenerative stem cell therapy for eye disease closer to the clinic – excitement filled the Southeast patio during the event.

"This Center allows us to provide safe, innovative therapies and assess their effectiveness in Clinical Center patients," said Dr. Harvey Klein, chief of the Department of Transfusion Medicine. "This increased growth and sophistication of cellular engineering is not just for the patients that come here – it's to improve health for the American public."

Dr. Jim Gilman, CEO of the NIH Clinical Center, ADM Brett Giroir, Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Dr. Francis Collins, director of NIH meet before the event.
Dr. Jim Gilman, CEO of the NIH Clinical Center, ADM Brett Giroir, Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Dr. Francis Collins, director of NIH meet before the event.

In the Clinical Center, cellular processing capabilities serve intramural researchers from nearly all of the institutes that conduct clinical research in Building 10. Thirty-four clinical trial protocols, such as those that involve complex cell and gene therapy and complex hematopoietic stem cell transplants, rely on the CCE and by 2020, 12 more protocols are expected to be up and running.

In 2000, the Department of Transfusion Medicine Special Services Laboratory had only one small room, and a handful of personnel with specialized cellular engineering capabilities to identify and alter cells for patients suffering from malignant or genetic diseases. Now, in 2018, the Cell Processing Section staffs 11 active rooms for cellular engineering as well as laboratories to develop and characterize novel cellular products. With the increased demand and desire of intramural researchers to investigate cellular therapies, the CCE anticipates providing 15 active rooms by the end of 2019 and 22 active rooms by 2021.

Attendee, Dr. Jennifer A. Kanakry, a research physician with the National Cancer Institute, told CC News, "[The Center for Cellular Engineering] is critical to allow us to provide a potentially life-saving, curative therapy to our patients as quickly as possible."

RADM Dr. Richard Childs, Clinical Director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's Division of Intramural Research, joined the celebration as well. "The advanced cellular engineering capabilities of the NIH Clinical Center Transfusion Medicine Department are today saving the lives of patients who would have had no chance for survival less than a decade ago," he said to CC News.

Graphic model of new facility on the Southeast patio of the NIH Clinical Center
Model of the new facility, part of the Center for Cellular Engineering.
Trina Davis
Graphic of a cochlear implant
Staff member using a sewing machine
Dr. Saul Rosen
a patient's wristband getting scanned upon checking in or out
Michael Bard, a volunteer medical musician, holds his guitar in a patient room
Nancy Holmfeld
Rare Disease Day logo
People dancing in the atrium
people taking a selfie
Health Information Management Department staff posing for a photo
Young boy holds up a sign that says I love clean hands
FEVS logo
Staff at the site of a new facility
Woman typing on a Workstation on Wheels computer
Staff view a piece of paper in a kitchen
Men on stage at the awards
Josh and Lisa Danielpour
A redesigned common area in the NIH Clinical Center Edmond J. Safra Family Lodge
Nicholas Rodriquez enjoying the Virtual Reality experience
A young boy voting on gingerbread houses
Retired Navy Capt. Pius A. Aiyelawo speaking at the NIH Veterans Day Celebration Nov. 7
Pediatric patients are given candy by departments at the Clinical Center
a man smiling
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Karen Baker, Dr. Colleen Hadigan and Victoria Anderson stand in a hallway.
Dr. Daniel Kastner examining a patient at the NIH Clinical Center
A nurse provides Dr. Anthony Fauci a flu shot
Food allergy
NIH staff gather at a relay race at the NIH Clinical Center
Dr. Gilman speaks at a podium
Four people listen to a dietician speak about the Nutrition Department while a employee preps food
Prediction and probability maps from prostate cancer researchers
Dr. Francis Collins, Shawn Thomas and Dr. Jim Gilman stand on stage as Thomas holds a plaque
National Symphony Orchestra performance
Two men up close to the MRI magnet, outside
Dr. Christopher Pleyer, Dr. Kelly Stone and Dr. Robert Lembo stand in front of a screen that says Distinguished Clinical Teacher Award Winner. Stone holds a plaque
Artwork decorates stairwells
Dr. William Ward speaks at a podium and a screen behind him is a poster that says Immunohematology & Blood Transfusion, 27th Annual Symposium
Four students and a teacher hold an oversized check to benefits patients at the NIH Clinical Center
Senior leaders at NIH cut a ribbon opening two hospice suites at the Clinical Center
Laptop with stethoscope nearby
Patient Photography Studio
Dr. Francis Collins, director of the NIH sties in a chair to the left. Barbra Streisand holds a microphone and sits in a chair to the right – speaks to the audience
Dr. James Gilman stands with Alba C. Murphy as they smile and hold a certificate
A paper cutout of a hand shape with a stick on the end. Text on the paper says I [heart] clean hands
Patient with Degos disease addresses symposium attendees
CDC and NIH representatives stand in a special isolation patient room at the NIH Clinical Center
Eight young men and women line up holding graduation certificates in Lipsett Auditorium