Dr. Mingnan Chen’s Laboratory Proudly Received a Pilot Grant
Oct 1, 2020 9:05 AM
Dr. Mingnan Chen’s Laboratory for Immunotherapeutics Study proudly received a pilot grant from the Melanoma Center of the University of Utah Huntsman Cancer Institute. The grant will support the team to address an immediate clinical challenge, the non-responsiveness to the existing cancer immunotherapy, especially immune checkpoint therapy.
One fundamental cause for the non-responsiveness among melanoma cancer patients is that tumors of these patients carry scarce tumor-associated antigens and consequently, the tumor cells are essentially “invisible” or unidentifiable to anti-cancer immune cells.
“We are developing and testing a novel antigen delivery strategy to tag these tumor cells so that the cells become super 'striking' to immune cells” says Dr. Shuyun Dong, a Research Assistant Professor in the laboratory, “this pilot grant is critical for us to move forward this project and collect preliminary data to attract further extramural supports.”
This strategy, if successful, will tremendously elevate existing cancer immunotherapies by expanding their applicable cancer patient populations. The pilot grant is for one year.