Project Objective: Proof of Concept

Non-viral reprogramming of the endogenous TCRα locus to direct stem memory T cells against shared neoantigens in malignant gliomas

Research Objective We will develop a non-viral gene editing technology to replace the endogenous TCRα locus of stem memory T cells with transgene TCRs that are specific to brain cancer neoantigens. Impact Gliomas are lethal tumors often affecting children and young adults. Therapy using Tscm directed to attack truncal neoantigens in these tumors may provide […]

Universal Pluripotent Liver Failure Therapy (UPLiFT)

Research Objective Universal Pluripotent Liver Failure Therapy (UPLiFT) is composed of 2 lines- UPLiFT0 ( from LiPSC-GR1.1) and UPLiFT1 which will be derived from gene edited universal human pluripotent stem cells. Impact In some liver-based metabolic diseases, replacement of 5-10% of the liver mass may salvage the patient. Transplantation of hepatic progenitors from universal donor […]

Small Molecule Proteostasis Regulators to Treat Photoreceptor Diseases

Research Objective We will discover small molecule compounds that correct disease in eyecups (retinal organoids) differentiated from patient iPSCs with photoreceptor diseases. Impact Our small molecule agents will provide new treatments for achromatopsia and cone-rod dystrophy. These are rare hereditary blinding diseases with no cures Major Proposed Activities Transcriptomic and proteomic profiling of control and […]

Engineering Lifelong Cellular Immunity to HIV

Research Objective We aim to uncover a therapeutic approach to attempt to treat and potentially cure HIV infection using gene modified blood forming stem cells to enhance the immune response against HIV. Impact The study will allow a potentially curative treatment for HIV infection, which currently doesn’t exist. This will eliminate the need to administer […]

Targeting Cancer Stem Cells in Hematologic Malignancies

Research Objective We will develop a biotherapeutic/monoclonal antibody that blocks the growth of human AML cancer stem cells in vitro and in vivo. Impact Treatment of the cancer stem cell driven disease Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML) will be impacted. AML is the most common acute leukemia in adults and current treatments are largely ineffective. Major […]

Towards hepatocyte cell replacement therapy: developing a renewable source of human hepatocytes from pluripotent stem cells

Research Objective To develop a consistent and abundant source of transplantable human hepatocytes for transplantation. Impact Developing an abundant and consistent source of human hepatocytes that can be used to treat patients with liver failure. Major Proposed Activities To determine the degree by which human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC)-derived hepatocytes engraft and restore liver function […]

Development of immune invisible beta cells as a cell therapy for type 1 diabetes through genetic modification of hESCs

Research Objective Development of hESC-derived pancreatic beta cells that are protected from allogeneic and autoimmune attack into a cell therapy for type 1 diabetes (T1D) Impact Cell therapy of T1D is challenged by immune rejection. Therefore, we will develop pancreatic progenitors derived from genetically modified hESCs that can evade allogeneic and autoimmune responses. Major Proposed […]

Genome Editing of Sinusoidal Endothelial Stem Cells for Permanent Correction of Hemophilia A

Research Objective Therapeutic candidate to cure hemophilia A is AAV-based genome editing vector that corrects the disease-causing mutation in the factor VIII gene in patient stem cells to develop a permanent cure. Impact Permanent correction of hemophilia A by editing mutations in the FVIII gene in stem cells. Develop a precise and efficient non-nuclease genome […]

Non-Toxic, Highly-Effective Bioinspired Cryoprotectants for On-Demand Stem Cell Therapies

Research Objective An advanced technology is sought to replace the toxic, ineffective and highly processed components in legacy cryopreservation media. This technology is a fundamentally novel non-toxic freezing media. Impact The transport and storage of stem cell therapies is crippled by freezing media with poor cell preservation. Significantly improved freezing media would directly increase therapy […]

Targeted Gene Editing in the Treatment of X-Linked Hyper-IgM Syndrome

Research Objective We are seeking to develop site-specific hematopoietic stem cell gene therapy with autologous transplant as a definitive treatment option for X-linked Hyper-IgM Syndrome. Impact These studies would bring stem cell gene therapy for X-HIGM closer to the clinic, as there are currently no options for those without an HLA match or with infections […]