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FUNDED GRANTS: 2020

GRANTS AWARDED IN 2020

COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER

Targeting HLA Antibodies with belatacept and a proteasome inhibitor in heart transplantation

 

The primary objective of this study is to define functionally relevant, mechanistically driven biomarkers that predict and monitor response to a synergistic strategy targeting HLA antibodies with belatacept and a proteasome inhibitor. This will be accomplished by performing i) detailed immunophenotyping, ii) HLA antibody characterization, and iii) intragraft molecular assessment using gene expression profiling. The secondary objective is to use these findings to develop novel, precision-based therapeutic paradigms which can ultimately be tailored to the patient’s underlying immunophenotype.

 

Principal Investigator: Marlena Habal, MD
Awarded: September 2020

Duration: 12 months
Amount of Award: $75,000

 

 

IVIVA MEDICAL, INC.

Non-synthetic Lung-on-a-chip COVID-19 Model Platform

The overall goal is to provide fellow researchers with a viable model of lung epithelium useful for modeling novel viral infection, immune response, and discovery of therapeutic strategies. The Grantee proposes to use our biologic scaffold to establish long-term culture of a human 3D lung model and introduce perturbations (e.g., lipopolysaccharide) to validate the model. The proposed model will utilize human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived alveolar epithelial and endothelial cells.

Principal Investigator: Daniel Cheng, MD
Awarded: September 2020

Duration:  12 months
Amount of Award: $74,988

 

 

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN FRANCISCO

 

SARS CoV-2-pseudotyped vectors for immune response evaluation and vaccine development

 

The overall objective is to develop SARS-CoV-2 pseudotyped lentiviral vectors for use in antibody neutralization assays using human kidney and lung cells, for investigation of antibody-dependent modulation of immunocyte infection, and for evaluation as a multivalent vaccine platform.

Principal Investigator: Noriyuki Kasahara, MD, PhD
Awarded: September 2020

Duration:  12 months
Amount of Award: $82,500

 

 

UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA, EDMONTON

SARS CoV-2-pseudotyped vectors for immune response evaluation and vaccine development

The main goal of INTERLUNG is to establish a precise and accurate system for diagnosing the rejection and chronic atrophy/fibrosis states in lung transplant patients, focusing particularly on chronic lung allograft dysfunction (CLAD), using the Molecular Microscope® Diagnostic System (MMDx) platform that incorporates microarrays (and in some cases RNA sequencing) plus machine-learning/AI approaches. This study aims to provide insight into the biology of CLAD and its relationship to rejection, and establish the clinical utility of the MMDx System as a precise and accurate diagnostic platform.

 

Principal Investigator: Philip F. Halloran, MD, PhD
Awarded: March 2020

Duration:  6 months
Amount of Award: $75,000

 

 

MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSPITAL

Engineering of distal pulmonary epithelium from human iPSCs by recapitulating fetal lung development

 

Building lungs for transplantation will require the generation of epithelial populations of well-defined developmental state, which is currently not defined or replicated by stem cell or developmental biology. To bridge this gap, Grantee will investigate neonatal human lung epithelium at single cell resolution and define transcriptome signatures, then utilize fetal developmental signals to induce formation of functional epithelium using induced pluripotent stem cells derived alveolar cells. Grantee will crosscheck engineered against native epithelium in comparative analyses and optimize the process.

 

Principal Investigator: Tong Wu, PhD
Awarded: March 2020

Duration: 12 months
Amount of Award: $100,000

 

 

COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

Genetic and Immune Predictors of Recurrent Glumerulonephritis of the Kidney Allograft

 

Recurrent glomerulonephritis (GN) is a type of kidney disease that recurs after transplantation. Despite being a leading cause of kidney transplant failure, recurrent GN is poorly understood. Grantee hypothesizes that inherited and immune factors are needed to develop recurrent GN. To identify predictors of recurrent GN, Grantee will compare genetic and immunologic factors in kidney transplants patients with and without recurrent GN. This may lead to improve donor-recipient matching and discovery of more effective therapies. The goal is to reduce recurrent GN and improve kidney transplant survival.

 

Principal Investigator: Ibrahim Batal, MD
Awarded: March 2020

Duration: 12 months
Amount of Award: $149,361

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