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Representative Research Projects

Our overarching research theme is to develop engineering tools, technology and methods to empower immunoengineering research leading to transformative advances in cancer therapies.

T cell engineering for adoptive cellular immunotherapy

The center is developing novel adoptive cell therapy through genetic engineering of T cells with chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) or T cell receptors (TCRs) and evaluate potency of these engineered T cells for cancer immunotherapy both in preclinical models and clinical studies in humans.

Vaccine and oncolytic viral engineering for cancer immunotherapy

The center has developed a novel vectored vaccine system capable of targeting dendritic cells in vivo. The first generation of this vector system has already showed promisng results in phase II clinical trials for treating soft tissue sarcoma and other cancer types. Currently the center is developing the next generation of vectors for cancer vaccine applications.

Metabolic immunoengineering to improve adoptive T cell therapy

The center is investigating novel approaches to manipulate metabolic pathways so that engineered T cells can better cope with the hostile tumor mincroenvironment.

Nanomedicine engineering for cancer immunotherapy  

The center is exploring a formulation of crosslinked multilammellar liposomes (CMLs) as a nanocarrier platform for delivering immunomodulation drugs. Through surface engineering, the center is also exploring the immune cells as nanomedicine carriers for cancer immunotherapy.

Systems immunology approaches to understanding and optimizing engineered immune cells 

The center is exploring systems biology tools for modeling and understanding details of signaling pathways triggered by designer molecules such as chimeric antigen receptor to activate T cells. We are utilizing the principles learned from modeling to optimize these designer molecules for cancer immunotherapy.