CRI Funded Scientists

Arun P. Wiita, MD, PhD, Technology Impact Award Recipient

University of California, San Francisco

Area of Research: All Cancers

One of the most exciting new strategies to eliminate human cancers is to take a patient’s own immune cells and reprogram them in the laboratory to attack that same patient’s tumor. The most advanced approach in this area is called “CAR-T” cells, which are already being routinely used to cure some blood cancer patients. However, for scientists making new CAR-T cells, one of the major challenges is how to choose the element that specifically recognizes the patient tumor, called an “antibody binder”. Here Dr. Wiita aims to address the question: out of many options, which binder is best? Current approaches are slow and unwieldy, requiring testing each binder one-by-one. Here Dr. Wiitta will use genome editing-based approaches to validate a new strategy to rapidly test hundreds of binders in parallel. The project’s aim is to understand the rules the make a good binder, accelerating discovery of new treatments and ultimately bringing them more quickly to patients.

Projects and Grants

TRAC-CAR pooled knock-in for functional screening of single domain binders

Albert Einstein College of Medicine | All Cancers | 2021

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