Congratulations to Dr. Kepeng Wang for having his paper, “Cancer immunotherapy with enveloped self-amplifying mRNA CARG-2020 that modulates IL-12, IL-17 and PD-L1 pathways to prevent tumor recurrence” published in Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B (APSB). The paper describes a novel oncolytic viral therapy for cancers that incorporates payloads targeting IL-12, IL-17, and PD-L1 signaling. Successful eradication of established colon and liver tumors in mouse models points to the agent’s potential in future clinical use in humans. Former postdoctoral fellow Dr. Ju Chen from Dr. Kepeng Wang’s lab is the leading author of the publication. Please use this link to access the publication: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2211383523003416
Congratulations to Dr. Zhichao Fan for receiving another Cystic Fibrosis Foundation grant entitled, “Impact of CFTR in monocyte adhesion and integrin function”. Dr. Beiyan Zhou and Dr. Anthony Vella from the Department of Immunology and Dr. Wenqi Gan from the Department of Public Health Sciences serve as Co-Investigators.
Dr. Sivapriya Kailasan Vanaja received an AAI 2023 Careers in Immunology Fellowship which provides one year of salary for postdoctoral fellow Dr. Rafael Ricci de Azevedo. Their project is entitled, “Mechanisms of Shiga toxin-mediated cell death".
Dr. Kepeng Wang, Assistant Professor in the Department of Immunology, was selected as the 2023 recipient of the Osborn Award for Excellence in Biomedical Science Graduate Teaching. This award recognizes a UConn Health Graduate School faculty member for his or her commitment to providing the best education in the classroom and training in the laboratory. Congratulations Dr. Wang!
Congratulations to Graduate Student Skylar Wright for receiving first place for best oral presentation at the 2023 Graduate Student Research Day. Skylar is a member of Dr. Vijay Rathinam’s laboratory, and her project focuses on understanding how pyroptosis--an inflammatory form of cell death--is able to cause death in unstimulated bystander cells and contribute to widespread inflammation during bacterial infections.
Congratulations to Graduate Student Kristina Delgado for receiving first place for best poster presentation at the 2023 Graduate Student Research Day. Kristina’s project centers around the development of a vaccine against Treponema pallidum (Tp), the causative agent of syphilis. With the guidance and support of her mentors, Drs. Justin Radolf and Kelly Hawley, and in collaboration with the Spirochete Research Laboratories, Kristina employs a learning-from-nature approach that exploits the ability of Tp-infected rabbits to clear syphilitic infection. Kristina's project focuses on dissecting the antigenic profile of the Tpß-barrel-forming outer membrane proteins (OMPs), specifically the surface-exposed extracellular loops, to inform vaccine candidate selection. Kristina’s achievements not only advance our understanding of the antibody response elicited by Tp, they also could revolutionize strategies for development of a much-needed, globally efficacious syphilis vaccine.
Congratulations to Dr. Laura Haynes on receiving another NIH R21 grant through the National Institute on Aging entitled, “The impact of senescence on immune memory.” Immunology faculty member Dr. Beiyan Zhou serves as Co-Investigator.
Congratulations to Dr. Sivapriya Kailasan Vanaja from the Department of Immunology on the award of her NIH R56 grant through the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases entitled, “Bacterial modulation of noncanonical inflammasome"
Congratulations to MD/PhD Student Keaton Karlinsey and Graduate Student Alyssa Matz from Dr. Beiyan Zhou’s lab, who received invitations to give short oral presentations at the CHARGE meeting on October 10-12, 2023, in San Antonio, Texas. Keaton’s project relates to developing a risk assessment model for cardiovascular diseases using novel computer algorithms. Alyssa received a competitive travel award to present her exciting discovery on aging B cell response to vaccination using an innovative computational program, B-RAY.
Congratulations to Dr. Penghua Wang for receiving promotion to Associate Professor with Tenure. Dr. Wang’s research is focused on innate immunity and pathogenesis of important human viral diseases.