White blood cells help the immune system protect the body from infections and diseases. Along with attacking infections, white blood cells also have the ability to bring other cells together to help in the fight. With these known abilities of white blood cells, life science researchers have been researching ways to amplify the abilities of these cells to target specific illnesses, such as tumors.
A team of researchers from the University of California, Davis Medical Center in Sacramento were recently awarded a $1.5 million, five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to further their work on creating cells that are targeted to fight specific immune diseases.
The Sacramento research team, led by Sean Collins, as AssistantProfessor in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, will work on engineering immune cells that will control their immune response to fight and recruit other cells aimed specifically at tumor cells. Past use of immune cells as therapy methods have shown that when too many immune cells work to fight an infection it can cause the body to form even more, sometime fatal, health problems.
Professor Collins has explained that: "We are still at a very early stage in understanding how to control these cells and balance activity directed against the tumor without dangerous side effects to healthy cells."
To better understand these immune cells, the researchers will map out the genome to see different cellular pathways that exist, while looking at different genes that are involved in the final response of the immune system. With this knowledge, the team will work on developing "smart" cells that are able to target specific tumor cells, as a new tumor treatment method.
Dean of the College of Biomedical Sciences at the UC Davis Medical Center, Mark Winey, says: "We are excited to see the results of Sean's research revealing how immune cells control their movements and how they can be redirected to respond to tumors."
(Image courtesy of Biotechnology Calendar, Inc.)
With nearly $200 million in active life science funding throughout the 2016 fiscal year received from the NIH alone, the University of California, Davis Medical Center in one of the top research institutions in the country. Life science researchers at the institution use this funding to further ongoing research projects, to begin new research, and the establish new research centers and buildings. Currently funded research projects at UC Davis Medical Center include:
- $8M in Research Funding to Expand Stem Cell Trials at UC Davis
- UC Davis Inhales $2.3M in Grants for Pulmonary Research
- UC Davis Receives Over $3M in Cancer Research Funding
Interested in marketing lab supplies and products to life science researchers in Northern California? If so, consider exhibiting at the upcoming 21st Semiannual BioResearch Product FaireTM Event in Sacramento on January 19th, 2018. This event brings together lab product suppliers with hundreds of active life scientists and end users in just a few short hours to discuss the tools and technologies available for their labs.
If you are a science supply company interested in displaying products to UC Davis Medical Center researchers, visit the following link to learn more about exhibiting in the January event: