Sidi Chen, PhD: The Light at the End of the Tunnel

Years Funded: 2020-2022

Initial Development of a Novel CRISPRa-Based Immune Gene Therapy for PDAC
Sidi Chen, PhD, assistant professor in the Yale University School of Medicine Department of Genetics, Systems Biology Institute and Cancer Center (West Haven, CT) is taking on the challenges of pancreatic cancer with an innovative, versatile and highly scalable strategy he calls MAEGI — Multiplexed Activation of Endogenous Genes as an Immunotherapy.

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Brian Brown, PhD: Targeting the Suppressors

Years Funded: 2020-2022

Targeting Macrophages to Turn Tumors Hot and Enhance Cancer Immunotherapy
Despite some amazing successes, not all patients respond to current immunotherapies. Brian Brown, PhD, professor and associate director of the Precision Immunology Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (New York, NY) is working to harness the power of gene therapy to equip a patient’s own T cells to kill immune-suppressing cells called macrophages

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Michael T. Lotze, MD: To Each His Own Adaptome

Years Funded: 2020-2022

Tumor Infiltrating Gamma Delta T Cells for Pancreatic Cancer Treatment
An immune response to pancreatic cancer has been elusive. With funding from ACGT, Michael T. Lotze, MD, vice chair of research at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Department of Surgery (Pittsburgh, PA) is pioneering the potential of a less appreciated, less abundant, and less studied class of T cells known as gamma delta T cells to confront pancreatic and other solid tumor cancers.

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Joseph Fraietta, PhD: Arming CAR T Cells for the Solid Tumor Battlefield

Years Funded: 2020-2022

Metabolic Reprogramming of the CAR T Cell Epigenome
At the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine (Philadelphia, PA), Joseph Fraietta, PhD is collaborating with Naomi Haas, MD, to overcome prostate cancer’s stubborn resistance to CAR T-cell therapy. By unlocking the epigenetic code that controls the fate and function of T-cells, this research team expects to improve the success of T -cell therapy in inducing safe, long-term remission for advanced, metastatic prostate cancer.

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Stephen Gottschalk, MD: I Never Need to Ask Myself Why I’m Here

Years Funded: 2020-2022

ECM-Targeted T-Cell Therapy
Building on past research breakthroughs, Stephen Gottschalk, MD, chair of Bone Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Therapy at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (Memphis, TN), is moving a new approach to CAR T-cell therapy into clinical trials. Using two different gene protein biomarkers, Dr. Gottschalk expects to fortify a patient’s immune system to successfully attack and destroy sarcomas along with the blood vessels that support their growth.

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