Assistant Professor Jun Huang has been awarded a $75,000 Young Investigator Award from the Cancer Research Foundation for his project, "Single-cell Sequencing to Define the Sequences, Phenotypes and Functionalities of Tumor Antigen Specific CD8+ T Cells from Lymphoma Patients."
President Obama announced the ‘precision medicine initiative’ in January of 2015, and this proposed research will focus on ‘precision T-cell immunotherapy to cancer.’ CD8+ killer T cells are major mediators of anti-tumor immunity. However, little is known about how CD8+ killer T cells respond to cancer cells, especially their number, frequencies, specificities, sequences, phenotypes and functionalities in cancer patients. Thus, this projects aims to precisely measure these important properties at the single-cell level. Investigators will first use their newly developed high-avidity peptide-MHC dodecamer reagents to sensitively and specifically detect, quantify and isolate tumor antigen-specific CD8+ T cells from lymphoma patients. They will then further apply state-of-the-art single-cell sequencing technologies to simultaneously determine the T cell receptor sequences and functional phenotypes of these CD8+ T cells at the single-cell level. The quantitative knowledge acquired from this study is critical to the development of the next generation of precision medicine for cancer immunotherapy.
The Cancer Research Foundation Young Investigator Awards were established to support promising young researchers in their pursuit of independent hypotheses and their own preliminary data sets. The hope is that the work supported by a Young Investigator Award will lead to larger projects and will allow supported researchers to compete successfully for much larger grants supplied by the federal government and other mainstream sources.
For more information regarding the 2015 Young Investigator Awards, see here.