i3 Center formed for advancing cancer immunotherapy

first_imgA new NIH-funded center, which will bring together cancer immunologists and biological engineers to develop new approaches for therapy-resistant cancers, was announced today.Harvard University’s Wyss Institute of Biologically Inspired Engineering and its collaborating institutions, the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (Dana-Farber), and Harvard’s Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, announced the formation of the Immuno-Engineering to Improve Immunotherapy (i3) Center. The cross-institutional and cross-disciplinary i3 Center includes world-leading researchers in the cancer immunology and bioengineering fields and will create biomaterials-based approaches to enable anti-cancer immuno-therapy in settings where it currently is limited, such as in myeloid malignancies and solid tumors.The Harvard i3 Center is part of NIH’s Cancer Moonshot initiative that was formed to accelerate cancer research to make more therapies available to more patients, while also improving the ability to prevent cancer and detect it at an early stage.“We aim to develop new technologies that induce robust anti-cancer T cell immunity, and we also hope that the i3 Center’s highly cross-disciplinary and cross-fertilizing mechanisms will provide a center of gravity for many future efforts in the immuno-therapy space across and beyond our collaborating institutions,” said Wyss Institute Founding Core Faculty member David Mooney, one of the two principal investigators (PIs) of the i3 Center.Mooney also is the Robert P. Pinkas Family Professor of Bioengineering at SEAS and leads the Wyss Institute’s broader Immuno-Materials Initiative. His team has developed a number of strategies that use immune-modulating biomaterials to trigger and enhance T cell-mediated immune responses against tumors. Most notably, together with clinical collaborators, they succeeded in creating the first implantable vaccine ever to eliminate melanoma tumors in mice, which the Wyss Institute and Dana-Farber are investigating in an ongoing Phase I clinical trial at the Dana-Farber.,Steven Hodi Jr., the i3 Center’s other PI, and director of Melanoma Center and the Center for Immuno-Oncology at Dana-Farber, and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School (HMS), is leading the clinical cancer vaccine trial. He has been at the forefront of developing cancer immunotherapies using “immune checkpoint inhibitors,” a class of drugs able to re-activate tumor-destroying T cells that are muted in the tumor microenvironment. “The funding for this center provides a unique opportunity to unite key investigators for translating fundamental advancements in immunology and biomedical engineering into highly synergistic approaches to improve the treatments for cancer patients,” said HodUsing both in vivo and ex vivo biomaterials-based approaches, the i3 Center aims to boost tumor-specific activities of cytotoxic T cells, by boosting different stages of the normal process by which T cells develop, and acquire anti-cancer activity. T cells’ normal development starts in the bone marrow where hematopoietic stem cells generate T cell progenitor cells. These migrate to the thymus to differentiate into naïve T cells, which then travel further to lymph nodes. There, they encounter cancer-derived antigens presented to them by specialized antigen-presenting cells (APCs) that can activate T cells to recognize and eliminate cancer cells.In relation to “adoptive T cell” therapies in which T cells are given to patients to fight their cancers, one team at the i3 Center will be led by Dana-Farber researchers Catherine J. Wu and Jerome Ritz, who along with Mooney, will develop and test biomaterials that can better mimic normal APCs in activating and directing the function of patient-derived T cells outside the human body, prior to their transplantation. Wu is chief of the Division of Stem Cell Transplantation and Cellular Therapies, and Ritz is executive director of the Connell and O’Reilly Families Cell Manipulation Core Facility at Dana-Farber.“We need to make efforts to enhance the ability of the immune system to recognize tumor cells. One direction my laboratory is taking makes use of innovative biomaterials to help us to efficiently expand polyclonal tumor-specific functionally-effective T cells ex vivo in a way that can be readily translated to the clinical setting. In our studies, we are currently focusing on melanoma and acute myeloid leukemia,” said Wu, whose research interests include understanding the basis of effective human anti-tumor responses, including the identification and targeting of the tumor-specific antigens.A second project explores the use of DNA origami, biocompatible nanostructures composed of DNA, to create cancer vaccines. DNA origami could provide significant advantages in presenting tumor-specific antigens and immune-enhancing adjuvants to APCs because the concentrations, ratios, and geometries of all components can be modulated with nano-scale precision to determine configurations that are more effective than other vaccination strategies. The project will be run by Wyss Institute Core Faculty member William Shih, Derin Keskin, lead immunologist at Dana-Farber’s Translational Immunogenomics Lab, and Mooney.In a third project, David Scadden, professor at Harvard’s Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, will collaborate with Mooney to build on their previous work. They will engineer biomaterials that recreate key features of the normal hematopoietic stem cell niche in the bone marrow. Such implantable biomaterials could help rapidly amplify T cell progenitor cells, and enhance T cell-mediated anti-cancer immunity. Scadden also is the Gerald and Darlene Jordan Professor of Medicine at Harvard University, and co-director of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute.The i3 Center’s investigators anticipate that it will stimulate additional cross-disciplinary concepts and research, due to the culture of continuous interactions, sharing of findings, data and samples between all investigators, as well strong biostatistical expertise provided by Donna Neuberg, a senior biostatistician broadly involved with exploring immune-modulating cancer interventions at the Dana-Farber.“This new i3 Center for cancer immunotherapy innovation really embodies how the Wyss Institute with its unparalleled capabilities in bioengineering and serving as a site for multidisciplinary collaboration, and can liaise with clinicians and researchers at our collaborating institutions to confront major medical problems and bring about transformative change,” said Wyss Founding Director Donald Ingber. He is also the Judah Folkman Professor of Vascular Biology at HMS and the Vascular Biology Program at Boston Children’s Hospital, and Professor of Bioengineering at SEAS.last_img read more

Syracuse drops final away match in 4-1 loss to No. 9 Duke

first_imgGoalkeeper Lysianne Proulx lay face-down in the grass as Duke players converged on teammate Marykate McGuire to congratulate her. McGuire’s shot had just beaten Proulx from seven yards out to give the Blue Devils a 4-1 lead. All 11 Orange players on the pitch huddled together, but their body language couldn’t be more different than what it was in the first half.Following senior Sydney Brackett’s goal with 13 minutes to play in the first half, Syracuse (3-11-2, 1-7-1 Atlantic Coast) was outshot 18-6 in a 4-1 loss to No. 9 Duke (8-1-7, 3-0-6). It marks the first time since 2008 that the Orange failed to win a road contest all season, and SU is eliminated from qualifying for the ACC tournament.SU stuck with Duke for a majority of the first half. They only recorded one shot, but Brackett buried it into the top right corner to give the Orange a 1-0 lead. Four minutes later though, the Blue Devils capitalized on their second shot of the match to even the score at one. In the second half, the ball seemed to stay exclusively in the Orange’s defensive third. Duke freshman Julia Hannon scored 10 minutes into the second half. Twelve minutes later, Tess Boade curled a shot around Proulx’s outstretched arm and into the right corner of the net. Freshman Alexandra Panaggio and junior Georgia Allen got shots on goal in the waning seconds of the match, but both were dealt with by Duke goalkeeper Mackenzie Coles. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textProulx finished with six saves in the loss. The Orange return to Syracuse for Senior Night on Thursday, Oct. 31 against No. 1 Virginia. SU has not beaten a ranked opponent this decade. Comments Published on October 27, 2019 at 4:23 pm Contact Tim: [email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Gov. Ron DeSantis to Lift Stay-at-Home Order April 30th

first_imgFlorida’s stay-at-home order is set to expire April 30. Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is assembling a task force to discuss safely reopening the state. He has given the task force five days to come up with a plan to begin reopening the state.The task force put together by Governor Ron DeSantis met for the first time yesterday. The 22 members include business people, state and local elected officials. They’ll meet daily over the next week before presenting their plans for reopening the state. Beaches reopened for “essential activities” in parts of the state on April 17.After saying he might reopen schools before the end of the school year, DeSantis said April 18 that K-12 schools would be closed for the rest of the school year.The coronavirus is responsible for dozens of more deaths in Florida. The Department of Health announced yesterday 49 more people have died from COVID-19. Miami-Dade County recorded 15 of those deaths, and it now has a state-high 223 deaths. Statewide, Florida has recorded 823 deaths. Governor DeSantis rported Tuesday morning on FOX News, Florida has flattened the curve, still the state is coming off its deadliest week of the coronavirus outbreak.The Florida Department of Health reported 313 deaths last week. Those numbers include the deadliest day, April 14th, when 72 deaths were reported. (Tallahassee, FL) — Work is underway on how to reopen Florida. Alast_img read more

Steelers trade up to get safety and record setting quarterback

first_imgEditor’s Note: To keep up with the latest news, opinion, lifestyles, sports and entertainment go to the Apple Store or Google Play and download the New Pittsburgh Courier App for iPhone, iPad or android devices. It’s free! Check it out and let us know what you think! FOURTH ROUND PICK— Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones passes against Texas A&M during the first half of the Cotton Bowl NCAA college football game in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)by Smokin’ Jim FrazierThe Steelers traded away their third round pick in 2014 to the Cleveland Browns to get an additional pick in the fourth round and then drafted a safety and a quarterback.Safety Shamarko Thomas (5-9, 215), of Syracuse, led the team in tackles in 2012 and the defensive captain also led the team with three forced fumbles. Thomas is a highly intense, vocal team leader who is physically tough.Quarterback Landry Jones (6-4, 225), of Oklahoma, won the Sammy Baugh Award, given to the nation’s top passer in 2010. Jones became the Big 12’s all-time leader in passing yards with 16,646 yards in 2012 and 123 touchdowns in four years.Cornerback Terry Hawthorne (6-0, 195), of Illinois, led the team in interceptions in 2011 and was named the Kraft Hunger Bowl Defensive Player of the Game. Hawthorne averaged 21-yards on punt returns and has kickoff return experience.With their first pick in the sixth round the Steelers took Oklahoma wide-receiver Justin Brown. With their second pick in the sixth round they grabbed middle linebacker Vince Williams of Florida State.In the seventh round the Steelers selected defensive end Nick Williams of Samford and Pittsburgh also signed 15 undrafted rookies.Undrafted Fee Agents SignedBrian Arnfelt, DE, NorthwesternAlan Baxter, LB, Northern IllinoisReggie Dunn, WR, UtahNik Embernate, OT, San Diego StateMike Farrell, OT, Penn StateMike Golic Jr., OL, Notre DameCordian Hagans, DE, Louisiana-LafayetteChris Hubbard, G, UABOmar Hunter, DT, FloridaLuke Ingram, LS, HawaiiJoe Madsen, C, West VirginiaCurtis McNeal, RB, Southern CalAnthony Rashad White, DT, Michigan StateIvory Wade, C, BaylorJ.D. Woods, WR, West Virginialast_img read more

Obstruction call gives Cards win in WS Game 3

first_img“I’m in shock right now,” Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina said. “Wow, it’s unbelievable.”Third baseman Will Middlebrooks tripped Craig after a wild throw got away following Jon Jay’s ninth-inning grounder.Boston tied the score with two runs in the eighth before Molina singled with one out in the ninth off loser Brandon Workman. Craig, just back from a sprained foot, pinch hit and lined Koji Uehara’s first pitch down the left-field line for a double that put runners on second and third.With the infield in, Jay hit a grounder to diving second baseman Dustin Pedroia. He made a sensational stab and threw home to catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who tagged out the sliding Molina.But then Saltalamacchia threw wide of third while trying to get Craig. After the ball got by, Middlebrooks, with his stomach on the field, raised both legs and tripped Craig, slowing him down as he tried to take off for home plate.Third base umpire Jim Joyce immediately signaled obstruction, and even though a sliding Craig was tagged by Saltalamacchia at the plate following the throw by left fielder Daniel Nava, plate umpire Dana DeMuth signaled safe and then pointed to third, making clear the obstruction had been called.“It’s part of the game,” Cardinals slugger Matt Holliday said. “The guy was in his way. … We’ll take it.”Craig returned for this Series from a sprained left foot that had sidelined him since early September. After an awkward slide on the final play, he hobbled off the field in apparent discomfort. Teammates mob St. Louis Cardinals’ Allen Craig at home after Craig scored the game-winning run on an obstruction call during the ninth inning of Game 3 of baseball’s World Series against the Boston Red Sox Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)by Ben Walker AP SPorts Writer ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Cardinals rushed to the plate to congratulate Allen Craig. The Red Sox stormed home to argue with the umpires.The fans, well, they seemed too startled to know what to do. Who’d ever seen an obstruction call to end a World Series game?No one.In perhaps the wildest finish imaginable, the rare ruling against third baseman Will Middlebrooks allowed Craig to score with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning and lifted St. Louis over Boston 5-4 Saturday night for a 2-1 edge.A walk-off win? More like a trip-off. St. Louis Cardinals’ Allen Craig gets tangled with Boston Red Sox’s Will Middlebrooks during the ninth inning of Game 3 of baseball’s World Series Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)last_img read more