BME PhD Prospectus Defense - Nicole Wong

  • Starts: 11:00 am on Friday, October 13, 2017
Title: "Development of small molecule-gated switches for controlling T cell activity" Committee: Wilson Wong, BME (Chair, Advisor) Natalia Broude, BME Andrew Henderson, Medicine and Microbiology John Ngo, BME Abstract: T cell immunotherapy has shown promising clinical results in the treatment of various cancers, most notably for B cell malignancies. This approach involves taking a patient’s T cells, genetically engineering them for more effective targeting and elimination of tumour cells, and then reintroducing the modified cells back into the patient. While the therapy has shown success in some patients, a persisting obstacle is the safety of these T cells, as they can become overactive or display off-target activities. Switches for regulating T cell activity have been developed to help mediate this problem, though many of them act only on the specific receptors they were designed for. Furthermore, some safety switches involve killing the T cells, rendering them un-reusable. Here, we propose small molecule-inducible switches for controlling the signal transduction of T cell receptors, including a dual-gated switch for the ZAP70 protein and inducible negative regulators. These switches could provide a gradient of T cell response strengths, as well as allow for quick temporal control over T cell activity.
24 Cummington Mall, room 103

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