PCMM | Lab Highlights

March 10, 2017

Transfusing engineered red blood cells to protect against autoimmune disease

Autoimmune disease is usually treated using general immunosuppressants. But this non-targeted therapy leaves the body more susceptible to infection and other life-threatening diseases. Now, scientists at Boston Children’s Hospital, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research think they may have found a targeted way to protect the body from autoimmune disease. Their approach, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, uses transfusions of engineered red blood cells to re-train the immune system. Early experiments in mice have already shown that the approach can prevent — and even reverse — clinical signs of two autoimmune diseases: a multiple-sclerosis (MS)-like condition and Type 1 diabetes. 

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January 4, 2017

Ross Cheloha was awarded CRI Post-doctoral Fellowship

Congratulations to Ross Cheloha, who has been awarded a post-doctoral fellowship from the Cancer Research Institute (CRI).

Ross Cheloha will investigate how the BCR (B cell receptor) is trafficked within B cells in order to provide means to promote beneficial BCR activity and inhibit detrimental activity. To provide a brief background, B cells help provide immunity against infections and cancer through the action of a protein complex on their surface (B cell receptor, BCR). Abnormal BCR activity can cause B cells to become cancerous or cause autoimmune diseases.