Dr Rubio Reyes received her PhD in Microbiology and Genetics from Massey University, New Zealand, under the supervision of Professor Bernd Rehm. In her PhD she studied the production and use of bacterially derived polyester beads as a vaccine delivery system for Mycobacterium tuberculosis antigens and immune modulators. Her research demonstrated the potential of beads displaying the antigen Rv1626 to protect mice in an experimental model of tuberculosis infection. Posteriorly she worked as a Research Scientist at a small start-up company developing mastitis diagnostic tests.
CAR-T cell therapy is only effective in the treatment of haematological cancers and when it targets antigens that are homogenously produced on malignant cells. I am interested in investigating CAR modifications to facilitate their use in other settings and finding new biomarkers to design CARs targeting solid tumours. After a number of years acquiring experience in areas like Molecular Biology and Microbiology, I am looking forward to understanding the immune system in order to develop new vaccines and therapies.
My project focuses on addressing the hurdles that impede the use of CAR-T cell therapy for the treatment of solid tumours. We will also incorporate a safety off-switch into the CARs as a mechanism to manage their toxicity.