CRI Funded Scientists

Robbie G. Majzner, MD, CRI Lloyd J. Old STAR

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Area of Research: Brain Cancer, Childhood Cancer

Dr. Robbie Majzner is working to develop novel cellular immunotherapies for children with incurable cancers.

Overall, Dr. Majzner’s research program—in which he aims to create and deploy new immune-based treatments in clinical trials—has three main focuses. First, to engineer safer and more effective chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells inspired by basic signaling biology.  Here, his team has developed new receptors that differ substantially in their structure from existing CAR T cell constructs, by leveraging new knowledge of how T cells propagate their internal signals. Second, to explore the biology of GD2, a target expressed frequently by pediatric cancers. While GD2 has been a cancer treatment target for more than twenty years, little is understood about its role or regulation. Dr. Majzner discovered that GD2 can suppress immune function, explaining why tumors might express this molecule on their surface, and has also begun to unravel how GD2 is regulated. Third, Dr. Majzner plans to launch early-phase clinical trials to evaluate various immunotherapies for children with cancer. In addition to potentially helping children, Dr. Majzner hopes to gain insights from these trials that can be used to inform his future lab research and therapeutic development strategies.

Projects and Grants

Biological insights for improving cancer immunotherapy

Dana Farber Cancer Institute | Childhood cancer, Brain cancer | 2023

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