Engineering TGF-β-resistant, Tri-Specific T-Cell Therapy for Glioblastoma Multiforme

2019 Emerging Leader Award

Yvonne Y. Chen, PhD, University of California, Los Angeles

Yvonne Chen, PhD

Dr. Chen is engineering a novel cell-based therapy to treat the most common and malignant type of brain cancer, glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), which is uniformly fatal and currently lacks effective treatment options. Although chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapies have been successfully used to treat some blood cancers, CAR T-cell treatments against GBM have not yet achieved durable responses. Dr. Chen and her team will develop a more robust CAR T-cell therapy for GBM by engineering cells to simultaneously latch on to two distinct GBM proteins, while also expressing factors that prevent immune suppression in the area surrounding the tumor. Dr. Chen is Assistant Professor at the University of California Los Angeles Samueli School of Engineering and a member of the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center Tumor Immunology Program. She earned a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Caltech and conducted postdoctoral research at Seattle Children’s Research Institute and Harvard Medical School.

published research

Jayaraman J, Mellody MP, Hou AJ, Desai RP, Fung AW, Pham AHT, Chen YY, Zhao W. CAR-T design: Elements and their synergistic function. EBioMedicine. 2020.

Hou AJ, Chen LC, Chen YY. Navigating CAR-T cells through the solid-tumour microenvironment. Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2021.

Shih RM, Chen YY. Engineering Principles for Synthetic Biology Circuits in Cancer Immunotherapy. Cancer Immunol Res. 2022.

Clubb JD, Gao TA, Chen YY. Synthetic Biology in the Engineering of CAR-T and CAR-NK Cell Therapies: Facts and Hopes. Clin Cancer Res. 2023.