Koch Institute Symposium 2021

Engineering the Next Wave of Immunotherapy, 19th Annual Cancer Research Symposium

Cancer immunotherapy has revolutionized the landscape of cancer treatment, our thinking of tumor biology and clinical practice. Following the groundbreaking successes of checkpoint blockade therapy and CAR T cell therapy, culminating in multiple FDA-approved treatments and the awarding of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Medicine to Jim Allison and Tasuku Honjo, the field is currently at a critical juncture.  

While checkpoint blockade therapy has demonstrated that the immune system can be harnessed to fight cancer, the next generation of treatments will require us to understand what causes resistance in non-responders, how this can be overcome, and how these issues are best addressed clinically. Discussing these questions will be at the core of this symposium as we move towards our ultimate goal to increase the number of patients benefiting from immunotherapy


Welcome and Introduction


Targeting T Cells

Rafi Ahmed  | Emory University School of Medicine | T cell lifestyle in chronic infection and cancer: implications for immunotherapy

Chris Love |  Koch Institute at MIT | Single-cell clonotypic analysis of T cells

Michael Dougan | Massachusetts General Hospital; Harvard Medical School | In vivo blockade of immune regulator receptors in humans: Immunotherapy toxicities

Thinking Beyond T Cells

Lauren Zasadil | Koch Institute at MIT | Immune Clearance of Aneuploid Cells In Vivo

Yasmine Belkaid | National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH | Endogenous retroviruses control of responses to the microbiota

Stefani Spranger | Koch Institute at MIT | Engaging the dendritic cell compartment to induce potent anti-tumor T cell responses

Juan Mendoza | University of Chicago | Enhancing the therapeutic potential of interferons through molecular engineering


Engineering Clinical Translation

Chris Garcia | Stanford University School of Medicine | Opening new immunotherapeutic doors at the cell surface through receptor-ligand engineering

Juliana Idoyaga | Stanford University School of Medicine | Emerging dendritic cell heterogeneity: The in-betweens

Crystal Mackall | Stanford University School of Medicine | Next generation CAR T cells to overcome resistance


Panel Discussion: Clinical Translation: A Real Life Perspective

Daniel Chen | Former Chief Medical Officer, IGM Biosciences

Michael Dougan | Gastroenterologist and Internist, Massachusetts General Hospital

Kimberly Shafer-Weaver | Global Director, GU Clinical Trial Lead, Bristol Myers Squibb 

Moderators: Steven Silverstein, Chair, Melanoma Research Foundation; Jane Wilkinson, Executive Director, Koch Institute at MIT

Thank you to our sponsors:

Agilent Technologies, Inc.
Dragonfly Therapeutics, Inc.
Repertoire Immune Medicines
Ribon Therapeutics
Skyhawk Therapeutics