*Advance our knowledge of the basic immunology of inflammation, autoimmunity, cancer, transplantation and infection and to translate this new knowledge to novel strategies for diagnosis, prevention and therapeutic intervention.
*Foster collaborations and further strengthen interactions among the Penn community of immunologists.
Spotlights on IFI
Congratulations to IFI Faculty Members
Wistar/Penn investigators awarded Martin Delaney Collaboratory research grant
The NIH has awarded a nearly $23 million Martin Delaney Collaboratory for HIV Cure Research grant to a consortium of top HIV researchers led by IFI co-principal investigators Luis Montaner, D.V.M, D.Phil, director of the HIV-1 Immunopathogenesis Laboratory at The Wistar Institute Vaccine Center, and James L. Riley, Ph.D., research associate professor in the department of Microbiology at the Perelman School of Medicine.
The Philadelphia-based BEAT-HIV Delaney Collaboratory to Cure HIV project is one of six grants awarded by the Delaney initiative, joining a highly-selective group of U.S.-led teams charged with advancing the global efforts to develop a cure for HIV. The five-year award promotes a preeminent partnership of more than 30 leading HIV investigators working with government, non-profit, and industry partners to test the combinations of several novel immunotherapies under new clinical trials.
For more information: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/news/newsreleases/2016/Pages/Delaney-awards.aspx
Congratulating Two Previous IFI Pilot Awardees
Aimee Payne, MD, PhD
IFI Pilot Award "Desmoglein 3 chimeric autoantibody receptor (CAAR)-engineered T cells: a novel strategy for treatment of pemphigus vulgaris"
The IFI Pilot funds allowed the Payne lab to work collaboratively with the Milone lab to develop an innovative strategy to use autoantigens as chimeric T cell receptors to target autoreactive B cells. The Payne lab engineered human T cells to express a chimeric autoantibody receptor (CAAR), consisting of the pemphigus vulgaris (PV) autoantigen, desmoglein (Dsg) 3, fused to T cell cytoplasmic signaling domains. This work has demonstrated that CAAR-T cells can provide an effective and potentially universal strategy for targeting autoreactive B cells as a novel therapy for antibody-mediated autoimmune disease.
Read paper here
Matthew Weitzman, PhD
IFI Pilot Award "The role of cellular chromatin factors in intrinsic antiviral defense"
The IFI pilot award helped to launch a number of collaborative projects and led the Weitzman lab in new areas of chromatin biology. Among these, the Weitzman lab developed a technique to isolate replicating viral DNA from infected cells and combine this with mass spectrometry to identify cellular proteins associated with viral genomes. This powerful new technique has revealed the recruitment of multiple chromatin remodeling complexes to viral DNA. Together with Ben Garcia’s lab, the Weitzman lab has developed mass spectrometry methods to analyze the composition of cellular chromatin during virus infections and investigate how viral proteins alter histones.
Congratulations to our Institute for Immunology Pilot Grant Awardees
PI: Andy Minn, M.D., Ph.D.
"Identifying Mediators of an Interferon-Driven Resistance Program to Immune Checkpoint Blockade in Cancer"
PI: Laura Su, M.D., Ph.D.
"Defining the role of pre-existing memory T cells in human immunization responses to yellow fever vaccine"
Penn Joins Sean Parker Cancer Research Effort
The University of Pennsylvania has joined a first-of-its-kind research collaboration, the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, aimed at accelerating the development of new immunotherapies to fight cancer, reportsThe New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and several other national outlets. The venture is backed by a $250 million gift from the Parker Foundation, making it the largest single contribution ever made to the field of immunotherapy. Carl June, MD, a professor in Immunotherapy in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and director of Translational Research in the Abramson Cancer Center, will serve as the Parker Institute’s Penn director. Robert Vonderheide, MD, DPhil, a professor in Cancer Research and associate director of translational research in the ACC, and John Wherry, PhD, a professor of Microbiology and director of Penn’s Institute for Immunology, will serve as co-directors.
The CyTOF Service Center is now OPEN!
Click here for more details!
Immunology in the News
Altering Stem Cell Perception of Tissue Stiffness May Help Treat Musculoskeletal Disorders, According to Penn Bioengineering Study
Thursday, August 25, 2016
A new biomaterial can be used to study how and when stem cells…
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Special RNA molecules called long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are…
Tuesday, August 2, 2016
A new study suggests that tweaking metabolic steps in combination…
Thursday, July 28, 2016
In an ongoing preclinical program using gene therapy to help…