Dream Big!

We Aim to Engineer Immune Cells to Cure Cancer

Our goal

We study chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells - human T cells that have been genetically modified to attack cancer.

CAR T cell therapy represents a major advance in science and medicine and has transformed the lives of many patients who would otherwise not be alive today. However, there is still much work to be done to improve upon the success of this treatment.

– How can we make CAR T cell therapy work better?

At present the long-term survival rates after CAR T cell therapy are in the range of 30-40%. On the one hand, these are exceptional results for patients with advanced cancer; on the other hand, there is still much room for improvement.

– How can we make CAR T cell therapy more widely available?

CAR T cell products are clinically available for blood cancers such as acute lymphoblastic leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and multiple myeloma, but these constitute only a small fraction of human cancers. If we could develop a revolutionary product such as CAR T cells for other types of cancers, we could vastly increase the impact of this therapy.

– How do endogenous immune cells contribute to CAR T cell therapy?

Our goal is to understand how CAR T cells interact with their immune environment, so that we can intervene within these interactions and improve outcomes of treatment. Human T cells are not designed to work in isolation, and yet how the endogenous immune system influences CAR T cells is not well established. We believe that rationally manipulating the immune environment to work in concert with CAR T cells can accomplish results above and beyond what is possible by relying on T cells alone.

Our PI

Miriam Kim, MD