Grant Award Details

Combating COVID-19 using human PSC-derived NK cells
Grant Number: 
Project Objective: 
  • To develop gene-edited, PSC-derived NK cells with enhanced immunity as a therapeutic candidate with the ability kill SARS-CoV-2-infected cells.
Disease Focus: 
Infectious Disease
Human Stem Cell Use: 
Embryonic Stem Cell
iPS Cell
Award Value: 

Progress Reports

Reporting Period: 
Year 1 - NCE

Grant Application Details

Application Title: 
  • Combating COVID-19 using human PSC-derived NK cells
Public Abstract: 

Research Objective

We propose to generate NK cells with enhanced immunity from gene-edited human PSCs and use the resultant NK cells to kill SARS-CoV-2-infected cells to combat against COVID-19.


The use of gene-edited hPSCs as a source for genetically engineered NK cells will allow us to generate effective immunotherapy for COVID-19 that has no approved treatment thus far.

Major Proposed Activities

  • Generation of gene-edited hPSCs
  • Differentiation of hPSCs into NK cells
  • Characterization of hPSC-derived NK cells
  • Testing the effect of hPSC-derived NK cells on SARS-CoV-2-infected cells
Statement of Benefit to California: 

Many confirmed cases of COVID-19 (>600,000) have been reported in California, which have resulted in substantial (>10,000) deaths. Besides the tremendous emotional and physical pain that this disease inflicts on families, it produces a huge medical and fiscal burden and halts economic growth in California. Thus, there is a real need to develop a strategy of treatment for this disease. Our study will address the needs by developing a highly effective hPSC-based cell therapy for COVID-19.