Life Sciences Seminar: Understanding and Modulating immune responses to AAV Gene Therapy

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allison keeler-klunk seminar

Life Sciences Seminar
Understanding and Modulating immune responses to Adeno-associated virus (AAV) Gene Therapy

Dr. Allison Keeler-Klunk ’05
Assistant Professor
Horae Gene Therapy Center
Department of Pediatrics
University of Massachusetts, Chan Medical School
RIT Biotechnology Alum ’05

Although adeno-associated virus (AAV) is considered a non-pathogenic virus, it still is recognized by both the innate and adaptive immune system and produces a substantial B and T-cell response. However animal models have not always accurately predicting immune responses observed in clinical trials. Understanding how the immune system sees and responds to the AAV is important for moving clinical gene therapies forward. Taking knowledge gained from characterizing immune responses observed in AAV clinical trials, we have developed novel tools for modulating immune responses to AAV gene therapy. We have developed an chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-regulatory cell, that recognized AAV capsid and modulates immune responses to AAV gene therapy. The AAV CAR Treg can suppress both AAV capsid and AAV delivered transgene immune responses, although the CAR Treg specifically recognizes the AAV capsid. Not only is the AAV CAR Treg a unique tool to modulate immune responses to AAV gene therapy but development of other CAR Tregs could have additional benefits for the treatment of a number of indications including: transplant rejection, autoimmune and neuroinflammatory diseases.

Speaker Bio:
Allison Keeler-Klunk is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and belongs to the Horae Gene Therapy Center and NeuroNexus Institute at University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School. She has been involved in research on AAV-based gene therapy for over ten years. She has studied gene therapies for neuromuscular, respiratory and fatty-acid oxidation disorders. Recently her work has focused on understanding and modulating immune responses to AAV gene therapies and cell engineering of novel immunotherapeutics.

Intended Audience:
Beginners, undergraduates, graduates, experts. Those with interest in the topic.

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Elizabeth Dicesare
Event Snapshot
When and Where
September 27, 2023
1:00 pm - 1:50 pm
Room/Location: A300

Open to the Public

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