Congrats to graduate student Michael Zhang on posting the lab’s most recent publication as a preprint on bioRxiv! Read it here. We describe a novel potential platform for rapid immune cell engineering through lipid tail insertion into plasma membranes. Works on every membraned cell we’ve tried thus far!
BMES 2019: All 3 grad students in the lab presented at this year’s BMES meeting in Philly! Congrats to Yun and Michael on successful posters, and Marilyn for her oral presentation and for receiving a NSBE Travel Award!
GRIT-X: As part of the opening celebration of the Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building, Dr. Greg Szeto was invited to give a GRIT-X talk on the lab’s work. You can watch it here.
Grant: Grad student Marilyn Allen’s project on antimalarial-loaded nanoparticles to treat lupus was recently funded by a TEDCO Maryland Innovation Initiative Phase 1 Technology Assessment grant! This project is a collaboration with Dr. Evan Scott of Northwestern University.
Paper: A new preprint was released with collaborator Dr. David Loane. Grad student Yun Jiao analyzed Nanostring data in a mouse model of traumatic brain injury to isolate key signaling pathways and potential mechanisms involved in injury and the beneficial response of microglial depletion during chronic injury. You can read it here.
Summer 2019 has been busy with achievements! Thanks so much to current and summer lab members for their hard work!
Graduations and departures: Multiple lab undergraduates officially became alumni this summer, including Emily Slaby, Kojo Bonsu, Nicole Couturier, and Georgina Stephanie! Congrats to all and good luck in your exciting new adventures in grad school and biotech!
Thesis proposals: Grad students Michael Zhang and Marilyn Allen both successfully passed their thesis proposals, and are officially PhD candidates!
Summer presentations: Undergrads in the lab had great poster and oral presentations on their work, including Richa Beher and Blair Landon in the NSIP program at University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center, Alexa Diano through the Leadership Alliance, Jenny Lenhoff through LSAMP, and Alex Seas at the 2019 UMBC Summer Undergraduate Research Festival (SURF)! Not to be outdone, grad student Yun Jiao also presented some of her work on post-traumatic brain injury biomarkers at Neural Environment in Disease: Glial Responses and Neuroinflammation.
Funding: The lab was recently awarded 2 grants through the University of Maryland Greenebaum Cancer Center to focus on breast cancer immunotherapy in collaboration with Dr. Anthony Kim and the Translational Therapeutics Research Group, and for engineering cancer immunotherapies targeting the protein Yap.
Dr. Szeto just published a co-authored piece with Dr. Stacey Finley (USC) in Trends in Cancer entitled “Integrative Approaches to Cancer Immunotherapy.” The article also got chosen as the issue cover highlight!
Excited to post the lab’s first preprint, a fruitful collaboration with the Varelas Lab at BUMC! https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/644757v2
In this story, we explored the role of Yap in both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in T cell biology and cancer immunity.
Congrats to graduate student Marilyn Allen! She will be presenting part of her thesis work on novel nanoparticle therapy for lupus at AAI 2019 in San Diego. Marilyn received a prestigious FASEB DREAM Travel Award as support, and her work was partially funded by a 2018 Gina M. Finzi Fellowship from the Lupus Foundation of America.
If you’re attending AAI, drop by Marilyn’s poster at 2:30PM on Saturday May 11. She presents in session: 132. Treatment strategies in lupus.
The lab was awarded a 2016 Research Fellow Award from the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. Funds from this 1-year $75k grant will go towards preclinical and clinical work on systems biology in multiple myeloma immunotherapy. Thanks to MMRF for supporting our science!
Dr. Szeto had the pleasure and honor of both co-chairing the Gordon Research Seminar in Immunochemistry & Immunobiology. He also had an invited short-talk and a generous travel award to give a short talk on some of the lab’s on-going efforts in making predictive models for tumor immunotherapy during the main Gordon Research Conference (Immunity in Homeostasis, Disease and Therapy). Many thanks to the organizers and conferees for an excellent week of immunology in beautiful Italy with great colleagues and new/old friends.