MCO alum and current assistant professor at Medical University of South Carolina Leonardo Ferreira (Ph.D. ‘16) recently published an essay about his research into immune tolerance on the Stories in Science website. In it, he details experiments where he, along with colleagues, engineered regulatory T-cells that prevented autoimmunity against engrafted islet cells in mice.
“It took a village to create these engineered anti-HLA-A2 CAR Tregs for these proof-of-concept studies, and I know it will take an even larger one to translate these findings into patients,” Ferreira writes. “By combining expertise, clearly communicating not only goals but also failures and short-comings, and coordinating tasks even in the face of a global pandemic and its restrictions to movement and face-to-face time, we were able to go from the white board into engineering anti-HLA-A2 CAR Tregs into existence…If successful, it could be the first in a wave of approaches using cells as living drugs to truly re-educate the immune systems of patients suffering from autoimmunity and inflammation.”
This essay is Stories in Science’s 200th post. The journal, co-founded by MCO Assistant Director of Graduate Programs Fanuel Muindi through the STEM Advocacy Institute, highlights the individual experiences of people who interact with STEM fields.
Check out Ferreira’s complete essay here. He tweets at @enhancerleo.