Marc Joseph Lajoie, Ph.D., Postdoctoral FellowUniversity of Washington

An immune response can evolve on pace with cancer evolution; it just needs some instruction.
Area of Research: All Cancers

Vaccines work by educating the immune system about the tumor’s identity, but it can be challenging to deliver that “intel” to the proper cells that can act upon it. To address that, Dr. Lajoie is using nanoparticles to improve our ability to deliver that information successfully. His system is unique in that the nanoparticles are made from self-assembling proteins, which allows their structure to be encoded in DNA or RNA. This also makes it easy to make modifications and tailor the nanoparticle properties to ensure that their inner payload is delivered to the right place within the right cells. After validating the approach in cells, Dr. Lajoie will test the approach in mice. If successful, the hope is that it could then be used to improve survival in human patients.

Projects and Grants

Protein nanoparticles to elicit defined T cell response against cancer cells

University of Washington | All Cancers | 2016 | David A. Baker, Ph.D.

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