Research

Developing CAR T cells for cancer therapy We are developing CAR T cells against new tumor antigens, novel CAR constructs for simultaneous therapy and imaging, and various ways to augment the potency of CAR T therapy against solid cancers. Our recent success include demonstration of somatostatin receptor-2 (SSTR2) for imaging T cell distribution and activity in vivo using PET/CT, and developing micromolar affinity CAR T cells to be selective to antigens over expressed in tumor/tumor stroma while sparing normal cells with basal expression of the same antigen.

New formats of antibodies for imaging and bispecific recognition Antibodies are an important class of biologic drugs in oncology and inflammatory disease settings, either in native forms or in modified forms to carry small molecules or to recognize more than one antigens. Antibodies can also be modified for molecular imaging agents for real-time imaging of diseased cells and tissues in the body. We use in vitro techniques such as phage and yeast display systems and other more traditional methods for antibody screening, and apply molecular engineering principles to optimize antibodies' affinity, specificity, size, and shape for imaging and therapy applications.