Translational Immunology

Developing tools and strategies to test and potentiate the effectiveness of ATMPS and advanced immunotherapies.

Translational Immunology

Translational Immunology at iBET

The Translational Immunology area was created in 2023 to meet a growing need in immunology competences linked to the development of new ATMPs (Gene and Cell Therapies).

Advances in both gene and cell immunotherapies rely on better understanding human immune responses.

Current approaches leading to the development of these new products rely critically on boosting immunological effectiveness while minimizing adverse immune reactions, such as immunity against the therapeutic agent or hyperinflammatory reactions. These aspects need to be considered early during product development.

Tools and Strategies

Employing immune-genetic tools and strategies to:

  • Develop universal target cells for immune potency tests
  • Generate human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-derived immune cells with defined effector functions.

The Translational Immunology team works closely with the Gene Therapy, Cell Therapy and Advanced Cell Models R&D teams to collaboratively solve the most pressing challenges at the intersection of immunology and ATMP/cell model development. 

Ongoing projects

Current research efforts are targeted at advancing hiPSC-derived immune cell differentiation and characterization for application in 3D advanced cell models and immune cell manufacturing.  

The team will also develop novel projects that will expand the iBET portfolio. On a long run, this endeavor will diffuse immunological competence to the whole institute and extend its spectrum of activities, thereby increasing excellence, competitiveness, and our stakeholders’ confidence in the ATMP field. 

Related Technologies

Universal target cells for antibody-based potency tests
Generation and genetic modification of iPSC-derived Immune Cells
Bioanalytics for cell characterization

Highlights

Establishing a universal in vitro platform to assess potency of tumor-reactive (CAR) T cells
The goal of this project is the generation of versatile tumor target cell lines that can be post-translationally decorated with antigens to allow the display of different antigen quantities and different antigen combinations.

These target cells can potentially be used for testing the binding and function of Biologicals and the cytotoxicity potency of CAR T cells, thus enriching iBET’s analytic portfolio for analysis of immune function. 

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Related Teams

Translational Immunology Lab
Nádia Duarte

Senior Scientist, Translational Immunology Lab

Strengthening immunology expertise at iBET, with a focus on developing tools and strategies to test and potentiate the effectiveness of advanced cell immunotherapies

Advanced Cell Models Lab
Catarina Brito
Catarina Brito

Lab Head, Advanced Cell Models Laboratory

Leveraging ATMP development with advanced human cell models

Cell Line Development and Molecular Virology Lab
Ana Sofia Coroadinha

Head of Cell Line Development and Molecular Virology Lab

Development and engineering of virus-based biopharmaceuticals for gene therapy and vaccines.

Stem and Immune Cells Bioengineering Lab
Margarida Serra
Margarida Serra

Lab Head, Stem and Immune Cells Bioengineering Lab

Bridging engineering and stem cell biology to accelerate the development of advanced cell therapies.