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ChE Seminar – “Engineering Next-Generation T Cells for Cancer Immunotherapy” by Dr. Yvonne Chen (University of California, Los Angeles)
October 17 @ 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Host: Dr. Lydia Contreras
The adoptive transfer of T cells expressing chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) has demonstrated clinical efficacy in the treatment of advanced cancers, with anti-CD19 CAR-T cells achieving up to 90% complete remission among patients with relapsed B-cell malignancies. However, challenges such as antigen escape and immunosuppression limit the long-term efficacy of adoptive T-cell therapy. Here, I will discuss the development of next-generation T cells that can target multiple cancer antigens and resist immunosuppression, thereby increasing the robustness of therapeutic T cells against tumor defense mechanisms. This presentation will highlight the potential of synthetic biology in generating novel mammalian cell systems with multifunctional outputs for therapeutic applications.
Dr. Yvonne Chen earned her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University and her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology. She received postdoctoral training at the Center for Childhood Cancer Research within the Seattle Children’s Research Institute, and at the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School. Yvonne was a Junior Fellow in the Harvard Society of Fellows prior to joining the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles in 2013. The Chen Laboratory focuses on applying synthetic biology and biomolecular engineering techniques to the development of novel mammalian-cell systems, particularly cell-based immunotherapy for cancer. Dr. Chen has been a recipient of the NIH Director’s Early Independence Award, the Hellman Fellowship, the ACGT Young Investigator Award in Cell and Gene Therapy for Cancer, and the NSF CAREER Award. Yvonne is also a Member Researcher in the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy.