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Chimeric Autoantigen Receptor (CAAR) T cells as a Novel Immunotherapy for Autoreactive B Cells in Graves’ Disease

Year: 2023

Presenter Name: Mackenzie Hansen

Graves' Disease is the fourth most common autoimmune disease in the US. The main cause of Graves' Disease is the overstimulation of the thyroid gland by thyroid stimulating hormone receptor (TSHR) specific antibodies produced by autoreactive B cells. Current therapies for Graves' Disease include antithyroid drugs, radioiodine therapy, and surgery, but these do not address the underlying mechanism of the autoimmune response. Our aim is to generate a targeted method to attack the disease using engineered chimeric autoantigen receptor (CAAR) T cells. Our CAAR T cells contain varying epitopes of TSHR that autoreactive B cells will recognize, bind to, and activate. The activated CAAR T cell will then kill the autoreactive B cell. We will compare our candidate CAAR T cells to see which epitope expresses and binds most effectively. We will also perform cytotoxicity assays to measure the targeting and killing ability of our CAAR construct against B cells from Graves' Disease patients. The use of CAAR T cells specifically targeting autoreactive B cells would open a new avenue of treatment for Graves' Disease and potentially other autoimmune diseases.
University / Institution: Brigham Young University
Type: Oral
Format: In Person
SESSION C (1:45-3:15PM)
Area of Research: Health & Medicine
Faculty Mentor: Kim O'Neill
Location: Sill Center Conference Room (2:05pm)