GW Cancer Center Appoints Immunotherapy Researcher Catherine Bollard, MD as Associate Center Director for Translational Research and Innovation

June 19, 2018
Catherine Bolland

WASHINGTON (June 19, 2018) - The George Washington University (GW) Cancer Center is pleased to announce that Catherine Bollard, MD, has been appointed as the associate center director for translational research and innovation. In this role, Bollard will work to establish clinical and research programs focused on bringing the latest cell therapies from bench to bedside.

"Dr. Bollard is a leader in the immunology and immunotherapy space and has made internationally-recognized discoveries, leading to novel technologies in pediatric cancer. She will help us translate these discoveries to the adult population we treat," said Eduardo M. Sotomayor, MD, director of the GW Cancer Center. “We are thrilled to have her lead the charge in translational research here at the GW Cancer Center."

At the GW Cancer Center, Bollard will work to establish a comprehensive research program in immunology and immunotherapy. She will also assist in developing a clinical program based on novel cellular therapies and translating novel technologies to the adult population treated at the GW Cancer Center. She will provide expertise, guidance, and support for the development of future clinical and translational programs.

Bollard will continue in her roles at Children’s National Health System, where she works to develop cell and gene therapies for pediatric patients with cancer and underlying immune deficiencies. At Children’s National, she serves as the director of the Center for Cancer and Immunology Research at the Children’s Research Institute and is a member of the Division of the Blood and Marrow Transplantation. Bollard is also a professor of pediatrics and microbiology, immunology, and tropical medicine at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

In addition, Bollard directs the Cell Enhancement and Technologies for Immunotherapy Program at GW and Children’s National. The lab primarily focuses on developing immunotherapies for cancer and viral infections, including HIV. Projects include gene-modifying T-cells and natural killer cells, by engineering new functions or properties to improve potency. Bollard has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers, mostly focused on novel cell therapies. She has also authored numerous review articles, commentaries, editorials, and book chapters. She serves as the associate editor for the journals Blood and Cytotherapy.

Bollard is the immediate past president of the International Society of Cellular Therapy. Additionally, she is a member of the Lymphoma Steering Committee at the National Cancer Institute and the Cellular Tissue and Gene Therapies Advisory Committee at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Bollard currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Foundation of Accreditation of Cellular Therapy and the American Society of Blood and Marrow Transplant. She also volunteers in several positions for the American Society of Hematology and the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy.

Prior to joining the GW Cancer Center and Children’s National, Bollard was at Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine from 2000, where she rose through the ranks from post-doctoral fellow to professor of pediatrics, medicine and immunology at the Baylor College of Medicine. Bollard received her MD and MBChB from the University of Otago Medical School in New Zealand.

Media: To interview Dr. Bollard or to learn more about her work at the GW Cancer Center, please contact Lisa Anderson at or 202-994-3121.


About the GW Cancer Center
The George Washington University (GW) Cancer Center is a collaboration of the George Washington University, the GW Hospital and the GW Medical Faculty Associates to expand GW’s efforts in the fight against cancer. The GW Cancer Center also incorporates all existing cancer-related activities at GW, with a vision to create a cancer-free world through groundbreaking research, innovative education and equitable care for all. Learn more about the GW Cancer Center at

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