My current research focuses on developing new T cell receptor (TCR)-based immunotherapy to treat late-stage prostate cancer (PCa). Three major aspects are: 1. Identification of cancer-specific epitopes of PCa; 2. Inventing new techniques to isolate rare reactive T cells and define corresponding TCR sequences; 3. Improving the potency of candidate TCRs by multiple methods of genetic engineering. Our work has profiled the immunopeptidomic signature of prostatic acid phosphatase (PAP), a prostate tissue antigen, on HLA-A*02:01. This knowledge allowed us to define the first set of TCR sequences targeting PAP. These candidates might lead to potential therapeutic reagents with further engineering and modification. In parallel, I am developing new workflows to isolate cognate TCRs using a multi-parametric definition of single T cells. These new workflows enable us to isolate candidate TCRs for PAP and other potential targets with higher specificity and sensitivity. 


Associated Faculty

Owen Witte, M.D.