Stage of Program: Candidate Discovery (DISC2, some 1.0 projects)


Targeted Immunotherapy-Based Blood Stem Cell Transplantation

Research Objective An engineered antibody construct that targets and recruits immune cells to kill diseased blood stem cells, including leukemia stem cells, so that healthy stem cells can replace the diseased ones Impact An antibody that can direct immune cells to kill diseased stem cells would make stem cell transplant safer, more accessible and effective […]

Cardiac Reprogramming Gene Therapy for Post-Myocardial Infarction Heart Failure

Research Objective The candidate is a gene therapy that delivers cardiac reprogramming factors to convert resident cardiac fibroblasts into functioning cardiac muscle. Thus, it is a regenerative cardiac gene therapy. Impact The targeted condition is heart failure arising from myocardial infarction or other insults causing focal heart muscle loss. Cardiac muscle cells are post-mitotic and […]

Modulation of oral epithelium stem cells by RSpo1 for the prevention and treatment of oral mucositis

Research Objective Locally delivered formulation of RSpo1 protein as an activator of Lgr5+ epithelial stem cells in chemotherapy- or radiation therapy-induced oral mucositis Impact Oral mucositis Major Proposed Activities RSpo1 formulation design and selection for optimal oral delivery Activation of Wnt pathway by formulated RSpo1 in-vitro Production of RSpo1 protein Oral stem cell expansion by […]

Development of a novel stem-cell based carrier for intravenous delivery of oncolytic viruses

Research Objective Develop a stem cell-based platform that safely and efficiently delivers viruses that specifically kill tumor cells and restore immune activity in patients with advanced cancer. Impact Overcome the inherent limitations that prevent efficient intravenous delivery of tumor killing viruses to metastatic tumors. Major Proposed Activities Compare the relative efficacy of native or cargocyte-delivered […]

Extending Immune-Evasive Human Islet-Like Organoids (HILOs) Survival and Function as a Cure for T1D

Research Objective Determine optimal islet transplant conditions and systemic treatments that promote graft survival upon transplantation into immune-competent diabetic subjects. Impact Our proposal will optimize the generation and viability of an unlimited, reproducible source of human engineered islets for transplantation. Major Proposed Activities Demonstrate improved HILO graft survival with FGF1 coating Prolong grafted HILO survival […]

Preclinical development of an exhaustion-resistant CAR-T stem cell for cancer immunotherapy

Research Objective The expected outcome is an exhaustion-resistant CAR-T cell, which persists long-term in a functional progenitor T cell state in the tumor microenvironment and can be used for cancer immunotherapy. Impact CAR-T cells are effective in B cell cancer, but less than 50% of patients experience long-term disease control. Exhaustion-resistant CARs may provide long-term […]

iPSC-derived smooth muscle cell progenitor conditioned medium for treatment of pelvic organ prolapse

Research Objective Conditioned media from human iPSC-derived smooth muscle cell progenitors. This media exerts paracrine effect to restore damaged vaginal wall in patients with pelvic organ prolapse. Impact Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) is characterized by the downward movement of the vagina and/or uterus through the vaginal opening. It is treated with surgery. The candidate is […]

Matrix Assisted Cell Transplantation of Promyogenic Fibroadipogenic Progenitor (FAP) Stem Cells

Research Objective We seek to develop a cell based-hydrogel therapy to improve outcomes in patients with muscle degeneration. The technology will improve muscle through sustained release of cell-based cytokines. Impact While designed for rotator cuff injuries based on the model, low back pain and spinal degeneration as well as traumatic muscle loss would be well […]

iPSC Extracellular Vesicles for Diabetes Therapy

Research Objective We will derive extracellular vesicles (EVs) from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), characterize the content and immunomodulatory activity of EVs, and deliver iPSC-EVs to treat Type-1 diabetes. Impact Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease and there is no therapy to preserve islet cells. Accomplishment of this project will generate a new […]

Meniscal Repair and Regeneration

Research Objective Stem cells are seeded into fibers spun out of collagen to fabricate tissue that resembles the knee meniscus Impact Meniscal tears are very common but do not heal. The treatment is removal of the torn tissue, which leads to osteoarthritis. If successful, replacing the tissue will prevent osteoarthritis. Major Proposed Activities Establish the […]