- Research Program Mentor
MD/PhD Doctor of Medicine and of Philosophy candidate
Cardiovascular biology, immunology, cell and molecular biology, cancer biology, epigenetics, cancer, clinical medicine, public health, epidemiology
Perspectives on the Future Applications and Challenges of mRNA Vaccines
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the implementation of mRNA vaccine technology, which has proven to be a global success in preventing hospitalizations and severe disease. However, many challenges remain including their efficacy in maintaining robust long-term immunity, mitigation and early detection of immunologic side effects, application in prevention of other diseases, and practical expansion to under-resourced regions. This project aims to review emerging ideas to improve the way vaccines are designed and administered. Students will learn how to conduct a targeted literature search, assess for quality of original research articles, synthesize information, and write a literature review.
Designing a Novel CAR T Cell Therapy
Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells are immune cells genetically engineered to attack specific proteins implicated in cancer, autoimmune diseases, or viral infections. This project will challenge students to design a CAR T cell therapy for their disease of interest by 1) reviewing literature on antigen(s) specific to their chosen disease; 2) learning basics of T cell biology and genetic engineering; and 3) writing a research proposal (also known as a specific aims page) to assess the safety and efficacy of their designer T cell therapy.