AACR-Amgen Fellowships in Clinical/Translational Cancer Research
The AACR-Amgen Fellowships in Clinical/Translational Cancer Research represent a joint effort to encourage and support mentored young investigators to conduct clinical or translational cancer research and to establish a successful career path in this field.
Loss or downregulation of the target antigen has emerged as a major mechanism of resistance to CAR T cell therapy. Conventional CAR T cells are susceptible to immune escape because they require high target antigen density for activation. Novel designs are required to target cancers with heterogeneous antigen expression. Dr. Rotiroti and her colleagues have engineered a novel platform that amplifies the CAR T-cell response to tumor cells expressing lows levels of target antigen. They are set to deploy this platform to enhance CAR T-cell efficacy in relevant in vivo models of DLBCL.
Dr. Rotiroti developed her interest in cancer immunotherapy by joining the Fondazione Tettamanti in Monza, Italy as an undergraduate student. After her graduation (University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy), she enrolled in a doctoral program in molecular and translational medicine (University of Milano-Bicocca), continuing her research studies focused on the development of CAR T-cell therapies for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University, where she is developing new strategies to target tumors with heterogeneous antigen expression, to prevent immune escape through antigen downregulation.
Acknowledgment of Support
I am a translational researcher focused on immunology and the development of novel CAR T-cell therapies. I am strongly committed to use this fellowship to push the boundaries of my research and to develop my career as an independent investigator addressing major challenges in the field of cancer immunotherapy.
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a paradigmatic model of cancer evolution – having a long stable phase, spontaneously regressing, and then progressing to an aggressive disease, or even transforming into aggressive mature B-cell lymphoma. Although large-scale genomic/epigenomic studies have revealed the complex genomic alterations of the disease, the available information remains insufficient to explain the influence of genomic/epigenomic changes in CLL progression and transformation. Dr. Nadeu is set to decode the complex evolutionary paths of CLL through an integrative genomic/transcriptomic/epigenomic analysis of sequential tumor samples from a selected cohort of patients.
Dr. Nadeu received his doctoral degree in biomedicine from the University of Barcelona. He has contributed to a better understanding of the heterogeneous genomic landscape of chronic lymphocytic leukemia and its influence on patient outcomes. He has also been involved in the identification of novel non-coding driver mutations, the (epi)genomic characterization of mantle cell lymphoma, the use of cell-free DNA for the genomic profiling of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, and the development of new bioinformatic algorithms to characterize B-cell tumors from next-generation sequencing data.
Acknowledgment of Support
I am deeply honored to be awarded the 2021 AACR-Amgen Fellowship in Clinical/ Translational Cancer Research. My most sincere gratitude to the AACR, Amgen, and its scientific review committee. This award boosts my postdoctoral fellowship, setting the path towards an independent scientific career. I hope the results of this project will translate into better management strategies for patients.