Free Webinar | Researching and Targeting Tumor Microenvironment: New Frontline in Immuno-Oncology Research

September 30, 2020 | 11:00 am – 12:00 pm EDT

Kuan Chee Mun, CEO, AIM Biotech

Cancer progression is closely inter-related with the state of tumor microenvironment (TME) that includes the surrounding blood vessels, immune cells, fibroblasts, signaling molecules and the extracellular matrix. Modeling and researching TME present unique challenges that can be solved with the help of next generation tumor models such as organotypic tumor spheroids or “tumor-on-a-chip”. The ultimate goal of TME research is to identify potential targets for novel anticancer agents. The webinar that we present will be featuring strategies and tools for TME research taking place in leading academia and industry labs.

Ex Vivo Profiling of PD-1 Blockade Using Organotypic Tumor Spheroids
Russell W. Jenkins, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Medicine, Center for Cancer Research, Massachusetts General Hospital

Regulation of anti-tumor immunity by fibroblasts
Viviana Cremasco, PhD, Investigator III, Exploratory Immuno-Oncology, Novartis

Targeting Tumor-Promoting Inflammation
Pushpa Jayaraman, PhD, Senior Investigator I, Exploratory Immuno-Oncology, Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research

Q&A Session
Moderator: Kuan Chee Mun, CEO, AIM Biotech

Speakers’ Biographies

Dr. Jenkins obtained his bachelor’s degree in biology at the University of Virginia in 2002 and his MD/PhD at the Medical University of South Carolina in 2012. He completed his internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in 2014 and his clinical oncology training in the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center in 2017. He conducted his post-doctoral research in David Barbie's lab at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute where he developed a novel platform to study ex vivo response to PD1- blockade using organotypic tumor spheroids. In 2018 he joined the faculty at the MGH Cancer Center in the Center for Melanoma and Center for Cancer Research. Dr. Jenkins is the inaugural Termeer Early Career Investigator in Systems Pharmacology and a member of the Laboratory for Systems Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School. The Jenkins laboratory studies mechanisms of response and resistance to PD-1 blockade with a focus on developing rational combination therapies to overcome resistance to cancer immunotherapy.

Viviana grew up in the north of Italy and received her master’s degree in medical biotechnology from the University of Milan. In 2007, she moved to Washington University in St. Louis, MO for her PhD training, where her studies focused on the characterization of the signaling pathways activated downstream of ITAM-associated receptors in myeloid cells and osteoclasts during rheumatoid arthritis and bone metastasis. She then joined the laboratory of Dr. Shannon Turley at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute for her post-doctoral training, where her research addressed the cellular and molecular mechanisms governing stroma-immune cell cross talk in lymphoid organs. Viviana moved to Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research as an independent investigator in 2015, in the department of Immuno-Oncology. Work in her lab aims at broadening our current understanding of stroma-immune interactions, with particular emphasis on stromal-imposed immunosuppression in the tumor microenvironment.

Dr. Pushpa Jayaraman is a Senior Investigator within Immuno Oncology at Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research where she leads a research team responsible for the evaluation of novel immunotherapeutics targeting tumor promoting inflammation within the tumor microenvironment. Prior to NIBR, she worked as an Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital on dissecting the role of TIM-3, an immune checkpoint molecule in regulating innate and adaptive immunity during chronic bacterial infection. Dr. Jayaraman earned her doctorate in Pathobiology at the University of Washington, Seattle where she evaluated the role of neutralizing antibodies in modulating HIV disease course in elite controllers, and mother-to-child transmission. At NIBR, Dr. Jayaraman continues to work on TIM-3 and IL-1b and her team is involved in various stages of drug development, ranging from target discovery and validation to supporting translational efforts in the clinic.

Kuan Chee Mun is the CEO and one of the founders of AIM Biotech, which develops organ-on-a-chip platforms for research, drug development & diagnostics. Kuan was previously responsible for Advanced Technology Development at Becton Dickinson & Co. (Asia-Pacific), a Fortune 500 medical device multinational company. Prior to this appointment, he was the General Manager for the first international subsidiary of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, based in Singapore. Kuan holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Cell & Molecular Biology from the National University of Singapore.

Contact the Team:
Marina Filshtinsky, MD
Executive Director, Conferences
Cambridge Healthtech Institute
Phone: phone 617 276 5018


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