Cenk Sumen PhD
Cenk trained with Prof. Daniel I. Wang at the Biotechnology Process Engineering Center, studying the effects of surface morphology on cell function. After graduating joined Biogen as a Cell Biochemist, working with Dr. Chris Benjamin on antibody engineering and cell culture scale-up, as part of the team that brought Avonex™ to multiple sclerosis patients. Cenk earned a Ph.D at Stanford in Prof. Mark M. Davis’​ lab, where he developed a novel system for deconstructing the molecular events in T cell antigen recognition. Under the leadership of Prof. Michael L. Dustin (then at Wash. U.), we outlined the immunological synapse paradigm and demonstrated that MHC clustering correlates directly with antigen strength, then showing that self-peptides can increase T cell sensitivity to antigen, and that antagonist peptides disrupt integrin engagement. After his Ph.D., Cenk joined Prof. Ulrich von Andrian at Harvard to learn intravital multiphoton imaging. There, he developed a new molecular tool using quantum dots to track virus antigens in vivo. Cenk then joined Prof. James P. Allison’s lab at MSKCC, to apply this technology to cancer research, and built a two-photon imaging system to visualize the immune response to cancer in mice.
Cenk was a founding member of the Dynabead Technical Sales Team, driving the adoption of magnetic bead-based separation. Cenk then held similar technical, commercial, and strategy roles at STEMCELL Technologies, PerkinElmer, Hitachi, and Thermo Fisher. In 2019, Cenk took the entrepreneurial adventure of joining a cell therapy startup as CTO, helping guide them to a successful Series A.
Cenk is also Adjunct Professor at NYU Tandon School of Engineering, where he teaches Advanced Molecular Biology and Molecular Immunology in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 (finishing the semester on Zoom during the pandemic), 2021, and 2022 (season 10!)
Welcome to MaxCyte, Cenk!

MaxCyte is a leading commercial cell-engineering company focused on providing enabling platform technologies to advance innovative cell-based research as well as next-generation cell therapeutic discovery, development and commercialization.
For more information, visit www.maxcyte.com