Research lines

  • CAR-T cells for the treatment of solid tumours

    After the success of CAR-T cells in hematologic malignancies, the translation of CAR-T cells to solid tumours is the next big challenge in the field. A main focus in the lab is the generation of CAR-T cells for breast cancer treatment.

    Advances in the field of synthetic biology and genome editing are providing us with the tools to engineer the next generation of CAR-T cells. We have different projects in the lab that aim at increasing the therapeutic index of CAR-T cells, including: 1) generation of an inducible system to selectively deliver therapeutic proteins at the tumor site, 2) preventing CAR-T cell exhaustion by genetic engineering, 3) development of signal-3 based CARs able to drive T cell accumulation and proliferation into the tumor site.

  • CAR-T cells for the treatment of hematologic malignancies

    Resistance to CD19-CAR-T cells in hematologic malignancies can appear linked to loss or downregulation of CD19 expression or an immunosuppressive tumour microenvironment. In order to avoid tumor escape to CAR-T therapies, we are developing dual CART-cells targeting two different antigens expressed in tumor cells and/or in the tumor microenvironment.

  • Understanding the limitations of CAR-T cells in preclinical studies

    The progress of CAR-T cells is limited by a poor understanding of how the design and signaling of these CAR proteins affect T cell efficacy and persistence. We focus on elucidating the mechanisms of response or resistance to CAR-T cell therapies. These studies will open the door for therapeutic intervention with genome editing strategies, specific inhibitors and/or for the rational design of combinatorial approaches. Moreover, we are collaborating with other pioneers in the field to develop novel preclinical models with the potential to predict clinical outcomes.

  • Other cancer immunotherapies and combination treatments

    While T-cell based immunotherapies have revolutionized cancer treatment, a majority of patients fail to respond or relapse after a certain period of time. We are collaborating with academic partners and industry to explore other novel treatments that have different mechanisms of action and the potential to synergize with T cell immunotherapies.