The human immune system maintains the health of the body by blocking exogenous pathogens and removing endogenous transformed cells. Immunization against pathogens has been working for centuries by utilizing the immune system to maintain human health, and vaccination has been the standard medical method for decades. Recent breakthroughs in cancer immunotherapy, such as immune checkpoint discovery and chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) -T cell manipulation, have strengthened the oncology field. The Terasaki Institute offers another approach to tailoring precision medicine for phenotypic activation or immunotherapy where genetic engineers utilize the patient's immune system, including different types of immune cells. Training the patient's immune system to fight cancer is a multi-step biological process that is difficult to predict, particularly with regard to the effectiveness of treatment. The goal is to reprogram the patient's immune cells to directly recognize the signature antigens on the surface of the cancer cells using a synthetic biological approach. Through this strategy, the Terasaki Institute develops a faster and more controllable way to modulate the immune system.
Stem Cell Engineering
Stem cells can be self-replicating and differentiate into the desired cell type. Various types of stem cells, including adipose derived stem cells, bone marrow derived stem cells, and induced pluripotent stem cells, can be used in regenerative medicine and produce cell replacement / regeneration therapies. The Terasaki Institute combines tissue engineering and genetic engineering techniques to develop stem cell-based treatment technologies, including MSC. In addition, The Terasaki Institute studies stem cell delivery technology with or without the help of a polymer scaffold. Our strategy is to develop a scaffold to provide a niche that mimics the mechanical properties of the natural extracellular matrix (ECM). Through this approach, our cell delivery scaffold can be integrated with signaling signals to regulate cell proliferation, differentiation and migration in a manner similar to the tissue engineering approach.