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Seminar Series 2019 – John Wilson, Ph.D.
September 16 @ 9:35 am - 10:25 am
John T. Wilson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Cancer immunotherapy is revolutionizing the treatment of an ever-expanding diversity of cancer types, yielding impressive complete and durable responses in a subset of patients. However, the vast majority of patients do not respond to currently FDA approved immune checkpoint inhibitors. Our group is working to solve this emergent grand challenge in immuno-oncology through the development of molecularly engineered technologies that increase immune recognition of tumors. This talk will focus on our recent work in the design of self-assembled polymeric drug carriers that enhance the intracellular delivery and biological activity of diverse immunomodulatory cargo. Specifically, I will discuss our efforts to engineer pH-responsive materials for delivery of cancer vaccines and nucleic acid activators of the innate immune system, and describe how we are leveraging these materials to increase tumor immunogenicity and responses to immunotherapy.
John T. Wilson is an Assistant Professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Wilson graduated from Oregon State University with a B.S. in Bioengineering. He went on to pursue doctoral studies at the Georgia Institute of Technology under the mentorship of Prof. Elliot L. Chaikof in the Department of Surgery at Emory University and the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech. After completing his Ph.D. in Bioengineering, Dr. Wilson joined the laboratory of Prof. Patrick Stayton in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Washington in Seattle for a postdoctoral fellowship in the field of Immunoengineering with the support of a Cancer Research Institute (CRI) Postdoctoral Fellowship. Dr. Wilson started his independent laboratory at Vanderbilt in January of 2014 where his lab brings together expertise in polymer chemistry, nanotechnology, and immunology to develop new immunotherapeutic technologies. His group is highly multidisciplinary and is supported by productive and synergistic collaborations with oncologists, cancer biologists, immunologists, chemists, and other engineers both at Vanderbilt and other institutions. Since arriving at Vanderbilt, he has received several awards including the NSF CAREER award, an ‘A’ Award from Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, a Melanoma Research Alliance Young Investigator Award, and a Stand Up To Cancer Innovative Research Grant, and was also recognized as an Emerging Investigator by Biomaterials Scienceand a Young Innovator by Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering.