Engineering Artificial Intelligence into the Human Immune System for Cancer Therapy


January 30, 2013


Alex Weinert and Dr. Mike Jensen


Microsoft, Seattle Children's Research Institute


Dr. Jensen and his team have developed a method of reprogramming the body’s own immune system to kill cancer without the devastating side effects of radiation and chemotherapy. This technique of genetically re-engineering an individual’s T cells has proven to be safe and effective in the laboratory and is a transformative shift away from the debilitating side effects that surgery, chemotherapy and radiation can have on a child’s developing mind and body. He is a bold visionary – one that is going to change the way pediatric cancers are treated and cured – in our lifetime.


Alex Weinert and Dr. Mike Jensen

Alex Weinert left his web-hosting startup and joined Microsoft in 1995 to help launch MSN 1.0 on the ‘Internet’ team. In the intervening years, he’s been a dev and PM on a variety of identity services in the development platform, cloud services, and enterprise services domains. Recent examples include Identity Lifecycle Manager, Forefront Identity Manager, and Azure Active Directory. Alex joined Xbox to help drive identity, anti-fraud, and account strategy in 2011 and has recently transitioned to driving account protection for all Microsoft (formerly “Live”) accounts. Outside of work, Alex is an avid cyclist, sailor, and bassist.

Dr. Jensen is a pediatric oncologist and molecular immunologist at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. His research program at Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research is applying synthetic biology to create reprogrammed cancer-killing T cells. These technologies are at the forefront of clinical trials at Seattle Children’s Hospital to treat the most aggressive forms of childhood cancer. Michael Jensen, MD, is director of the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research at Seattle Children’s Research Institute and professor of hematology-oncology at the University of Washington School of Medicine. He is also a member of the clinical division in the Program in Immunology at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Dr. Jensen joined Seattle Children’s Research Institute in July 2010 to lead the Center for Childhood Cancer Research