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Malaghan researcher named as KiwiNet Emerging Innovator

18 September 2023

Dr Patricia Rubio-Reyes has been selected as a KiwiNet Emerging Innovator for her invention which advances cutting-edge CAR T-cell therapies.

Working in the Hermans Laboratory at the Malaghan Institute, Dr Rubio-Reyes has invented a mechanism to deactivate CAR T-cells after administration, effectively providing a safety switch to ‘turn off’ CAR T-cells if they have severe side effects. 

Her invention also has wide-spread applications across other cell therapies, doubling up as a method that can be used to detect cells that have been genetically modified. She is currently in the process of finalising the patent.

As part of the year-long KiwiNet Emerging Innovator Programme, Dr Rubio-Reyes will be provided with financial support and mentorship to build industry connections and the knowledge needed to understand the commercial potential of her invention.

“After working in the lab for the last 14 years, I have found a new passion for commercialisation and this programme provides the tools for me to learn what happens between the lab and industry,” says Dr Rubio-Reyes.