Join GlyCORE in welcoming Dr. Scott Wilson, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, to the GlyCORE Seminar Series on Monday, February 6, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. in the Thad Cochran Research Center Room 1044. He will present, "Glycopolymer-based strategies for engineering immunity and tolerance."
ABSTRACT: Since Edward Jenner first used puss from a milkmaid's cowpox lesions to innoculate children against smallpox in the late 1700s, scientists have sought to develop safe and effective antigen-specific immunotherapies (ASI)s that bias the adaptive immune response towards immunity (i.e., vaccines), and more recently, tolerance (i.e., inverse vaccines). While considerable progress has been made in the development of vaccines that muster antibody-mediated immunity, the clinical success of other ASIs, such as subunit vaccines that elicit T cell-mediated immunity and inverse vaccines capable of curing autoimmunity, have yet to match their pre-clinical promise. Here, I will introduce approaches that utilized synthetic polymeric glycosylations to target antigens and immunostimulatory adjuvants to specific subsets of antigen-presenting cells for the induction of antigen-specific immunity or tolerance. In the context of immunity, I will present a polymeric glycol adjuvant used in the most clinically advanced malaria vaccine. In addition, I will highlight the development of another class of synthetic glycopolymers that, by targeting autoantigens to the liver's immunosuppressive microenvironment, elicit durable autoantigen-specific immunological tolerance marked by auto-reactive T cell anergy and functional regulatory T cells. In concert, these antigen-glycopolymer conjugate platforms represent promising clinically viable treatments for a variety of complex infections and autoimmune disorders.
Wilson earned his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2011. While at Georgia Tech, he worked with Professor Niren Murthy to develop drug delivery platforms for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease, cranial re-synostosis, acute lung injury, and osteoarthritis. As a postdoc in Professor Jeffery A. Hubbell's laboratory, his research focused on the synthesis and preclinical validation of biomaterials-based subunit vaccines that elicit cellular immunity against infections and malignancy, as well as disease-modifying inverse vaccines for autoimmunity. In 2020, Wilson joined the Johns Hopkins Biomedical Engineering Department as an assistant professor.
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