Innovation in Cancer, Infectious Disease Research
Stephen Isaacs, CEO of Aduro Biotech, at the launch of the IVRI on March 23. (Peg Skorpinski photos)
Doctors have had great success using vaccines to boost the immune system to fight infectious diseases like smallpox and measles, but only recently have immune system boosters been tried against cancer.
The growing success of such attempts — a booming field called immunotherapy that was pioneered at UC Berkeley — proves that studying the way the immune system deals with these two types of invaders, cancer cells and pathogens, could greatly improve therapies for both.
This is the goal of UC Berkeley’s Immunotherapeutics and Vaccine Research Institute, launched last year to explore the commonalities of cancer and infectious disease, and use discoveries in one area to improve treatment in the other.
Russell Vance and his colleagues Daniel Portnoy, Michael Eichberg and IVRI faculty director David Raulet argued for this approach in a perspective piece appearing in the current issue of the journal Science Immunology.
“The two fields are dramatically intertwined … and have much to learn from each other. More interactiveness is likely to fuel major strides in both fields,” Raulet told the website Healthline News last week. In addition to directing IVRI, Raulet is the Esther and Wendy Schekman Chair in basic cancer biology.
In the video above, Vance, an associate professor of molecular and cell biology and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, and IVRI researcher Sarah Stanley discuss how basic discoveries in one field trigger insights in the other. Stanley is an assistant professor of molecular and cell biology and a tuberculosis researcher.
Tackling Cancer at Ground Zero: Designer Molecule Inhibits Protein TargetNews
A new molecule designed by University of Adelaide researchers shows great promise for future treatment of many cancers. The new molecule successfully targets a protein that plays a major role in the growth of most cancers.READ MORE
Protein Essential for Making Stem Cells IdentifiedNews
The discovery by Stanford scientists drills a peephole into the black box of cellular reprogramming and may lead to new ways to generate induced pluripotent stem cells in the laboratory.READ MORE
Detecting Heart Damage Long Before Parkinson's Symptoms AppearNews
Mapping inflammation in the heart before diagnosis of Parkinson's disease: a new tool for tracking treatment efficacyREAD MORE