2019 Archived Content

TUESDAY, JANUARY 15 | 5:45 - 8:45 PM
Room: Aqua 303


Brian Webster, PhD, R&D Scientist, Lentigen Technology

Chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) are an intriguing combination of gene therapy and synthetic biology that have recently made their clinical appearance, by repurposing T cell responses toward novel, and typically cancer-related, antigenic targets. While great strides have been made in CAR functionality, much remains to be done in expanding the reach of CARs beyond hematologic malignancies, addressing tumor escape by engineering multiple CAR targets, and building regulatory capacities into CAR cells to avoid toxicity issues. This course will explore the past, present, and future of CAR design with an eye toward making CARs a “plug and play” system, to circumvent much of the empirical (and expensive) CAR optimization previously required for clinical relevance.

Topics Include:

  • Traditional CAR design: selection of scFvs, linker regions, and signaling domains
  • “Next-generation” screening and design strategies
  • How target selection informs CAR design
  • Creation of multi-targeting CARs to avoid tumor escape
  • Switch-mediated control of CAR function
  • Use of CARs in solid tumors and beyond

Instructor Biography:

Webster_BrianBrian Webster, PhD, R&D Scientist, Lentigen Technology

Brian Webster is an immunologist and virologist with a long-standing interest in how immune signaling pathways can be repurposed to different ends, either unconsciously by viruses or consciously by people. He did his doctoral studies in the Gladstone Institutes at UCSF on viral competition in Hepatitis C virus infections, and postdoctoral work at the International Center for Infectiology Research in Lyon, France on the role of dendritic cells and interferon signaling in Dengue virus infections. During his tenure in the pharmaceutical industry, he has performed work on automated CAR-T production at Lentigen Technology with a focus on how native immune signaling affects CAR-T production and function.