LSI part of multi-institute effort to develop new treatments for influenza infection

The Laboratory for Synthetic Immunity is part of a $21.9 million award from DARPA to develop gene therapies to enable protection against a wide range of influenza strains and improve immune responses and efficacy of current influenza vaccines. The work, led by Phil Santangelo at Georgia Tech, is being performed by researchers at GT, Duke, Emory, UGA, ULL, Rockefeller, Acorda Therapeutics, and the CDC.

Learn more about the project here and here.

Anna Romanov named Astronaut Scholar

Congratulations to Anna for winning an Astronaut Scholarship from the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF). In 2019, ASF awarded 52 scholarships to students from 38 different universities across the nation. Astronaut Scholarships are awarded to students in their junior and senior year of college studying science, technology, engineering, or mathematics with the intent to pursue research or advance their field upon completion of their final degree. Astronaut Scholars are among the best and brightest minds in STEM who show initiative, creativity, and excellence in their chosen field.

Learn more here.

Lee-Kai Sun wins Barry Goldwater Scholarship

Congratulations to Lee-Kai Sun for receiving a 2019 Barry Goldwater Scholarship! The Goldwater Scholarship is the preeminent undergraduate award for outstanding students pursuing careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering. Goldwater Scholars have been awarded 92 Rhodes Scholarships, 137 Marshall Awards, 159 Churchill Scholarships, 104 Hertz Fellowships, and numerous other distinguished awards like the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships.

“I feel incredibly honored to have been awarded the Goldwater Scholarship. I wish to devote my life to improving the lives of as many people as I can, and receiving the Goldwater makes me confident that I’m headed in the right direction,” said Sun. “I am immensely grateful towards Dr. Gabe Kwong and my graduate student mentor, Ian Miller. Their support and mentorship have allowed me to develop into the scientist I am today. In the future, I plan to explore novel strategies of immunomodulation for the treatment of refractory diseases, and pursue a M.D./Ph.D. in immunology or biomedical engineering.

LSI awarded R01 to develop activity sensors to monitor immunotherapy efficacy

LSI has received a $1.8 million grant from the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health to develop activity sensors to monitor responses to cancer immunotherapy! This work will expand our sensor platform, which has already been used to detect thrombosis, liver fibrosis, cancer, and organ transplant rejection. Read more about this work here.

Isabel Curro wins PURA Award

Congratulations to Mimi for winning a PURA Award! President’s Undergraduate Research Awards fund student salaries to conduct undergraduate research with Georgia Tech faculty and offset travel expenses for undergraduates to present their research at professional conferences.

Urine tests for organ transplant rejection

Our work on activity sensors for early and noninvasive detection of acute transplant rejection was just published in Nature Biomedical Engineering! Organ transplantation is the only effective therapy for end-stage organ diseases, yet a key barrier to successful transplantation is acute transplant rejection, in which host immune cells, predominantly T cells, recognize and destroy the foreign transplant. Detecting the onset of acute rejection is crucial for the long-term health and survival of transplant recipients. Currently, the core biopsy remains the diagnostic “gold” standard despite its invasiveness, risk of morbidity, and limited predictive power. Our nanosensors noninvasively monitor the dysregulated states of the immune system to predict the onset of rejection.

Read more about our work here

Glympse Bio selected as ‘Fierce 15’ for 2018

FierceMedTech has named Glympse Bio, co-founded by LSI director Dr. Gabe Kwong, as one of its Fierce 15 for 2018. Each year FierceMedTech spotlights 15 of the most innovative and promising startups in the medtech industry.

Read more about what makes Glympse fierce here and here.

Brandon Holt presents at Gordon Research Seminar

Brandon gave a podium talk titled “Biological Bits for Computing Classical and Quantum-Inspired Algorithms” at the Complex Active and Adaptive Material Systems Gordon Research Seminar in Ventura, CA. This conference was focused on formulating new ways to inscribe the vital functions found in biological systems into synthetic materials and complex structures. Congrats Brandon and great to hear your talk was well-received!

Dr. Kwong highlights work on protease sensors for NASH at Keystone Symposium

The global prevalence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) has risen precipitously over the past two decades in parallel with the worldwide obesity epidemic, and these diseases are associated with progressive fibrosis and an increased risk of liver cancer. The field lacks an integrated understanding of risk prediction, pathogenesis and validated biomarkers to predict or track disease progression without reliance on liver biopsies. Dr. Kwong presented work from our lab and Glympse Bio harnessing synthetic biomarkers as protease activity sensors for noninvasive monitoring of NASH.