Student NameAlicia Hou
Faculty Mentor NameJianping Huang
CollegeCollege of Medicine
MajorBiology (Pre-professional)
MinorMusic Performance (Piano)
Research InterestsCancer, Immunotherapy, Medicine
Academic AwardsUF Presidential Gold Scholarship, Benacquisto Scholarship, UF Honors Program, UF University Research Scholars Program (URSP) Scholar, Dean's List (Fall 2018), President's Honor Roll (Fall 2018)
OrganizationsUF APSA (American Physician Scientists Association), UF Chemistry Club
Hobbies and InterestsPiano, table tennis, tennis

Research Project

Investigation of Dual-Target CAR T Cell Therapy Using CD70 and pp65 for GBM Treatment

Glioblastoma (GBM) is a common and highly aggressive brain cancer. Currently, no treatment is curative, and its 5-year survival rate is less than 10%. Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy, which involves engineering a patient’s own T cells to mount a more effective antitumor response, is a promising immunotherapy approach to GBM treatment since activated T cells are able to not only cross the blood-brain barrier but also induce a potential antitumor response. CD70 and cytomegalovirus (CMV) pp65 are tumor-specific antigens found in GBMs that have been identified as promising targets for CAR T-cell therapy. Due to the heterogeneity of GBM, using only CD70-specific CAR T cells or pp65-specific CAR T cells individually is insufficient to fully control tumor progression and prevent relapse; however, recent studies on acute myeloid leukemia (AML) showed that a compound CAR (cCAR) T cell targeting two tumor-specific antigens can generate robust anti-tumor activity and consistent cytotoxicity to cells expressing one or both target antigens. We propose to develop dual target T cells that are able to target both pp65 and CD70 and to improve the cytotoxic activity of such T cells against GBM.