A person’s immune system is the first to respond to any systemic health threat. An individual’s genetic makeup can affect the mechanism of this response. The goal of the cell, gene, and immune therapy scientific pillar is to investigate the genetic and molecular mechanisms of human immune response to specific diseases, and develop gene and cellular-level interventions to improve patients’ health.
Development of new therapies for cancer
Clinical trials examining the efficacy of genome directed therapy for patients with triple negative breast cancer are already underway. Some success has been reported in using cell-based immunotherapy to treat refractory myeloma, and application of CAR T-cell therapy is also being explored for eligible patients.
Immunotherapies for Alzheimer’s and neurodegenerative diseases
Increasing prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease in the aging population makes it an important focus area for research. Several potential mechanisms including immunotherapy via infusion of monoclonal antibodies, are currently being studied. Another research direction is development of a preventive Alzheimer's disease vaccine as a practical alternative to high-cost, limited-supply treatment.