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Dinorah Friedmann-Morvinski, PhD

Dinorah Friedmann-Morvinski, PhD

Grant Status

Tel Aviv University

Grant Type
Special ICRF Initiative in Pediatric Cancer Research

Project Title
CAR T Cell Immunotherapy for the Treatment of Pediatric Brain Tumors

Tumor Types

Research Topics
Brain Cancer, Immunology and Immunotherapy, Pediatric Cancer

About the Investigator:

Dr. Friedmann-Morvinski is an expert in cancer biology and immunology whose research focuses on adult and pediatric brain tumors. Her lab seeks to understand how tumor cells change their differentiation state — also referred to as tumor plasticity — and to take advantage of this process to generate tumor heterogeneity. She also seeks to understand the role of the tumor microenvironment in this process, and to elucidate the cross-talk between tumor cells and non-cancerous cells. She believes that understanding these mechanisms and interactions will facilitate the development of novel therapeutic strategies (focusing on immunotherapy and nanomedicine) to attack these aggressive types of cancer.

About the Research:

Dr. Friedmann-Morvinski and her team propose to develop a platform for identification of novel therapeutic targets and the design of immunotherapy strategies for the treatment of pediatric brain tumors. Pediatric highgrade gliomas are very aggressive, universally fatal tumors with hardly any therapeutic options. One promising modality is genetically modifying the patient’s T cells (a type of cell in our immune systems) to express chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) that can recognize and bind molecules expressed on tumor cells and kill them. This modality has induced long-lasting remission in most patients with B cell malignancies (i.e., cancers of white blood cells), including pediatric patients. In this project, they aim to extend the potential of CAR T cell therapy to pediatric brain tumors and to overcome some of the major obstacles to the effectiveness of this strategy, such as the lack of sufficient tumor-specific targets (antigens) and an immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment (TME). Their goal is to design CAR T cells targeting newly identified specific antigens in combination with targeted nanoparticles that aim to re-model the tumor microenvironment and to enhance the efficacy and persistence of the engineered CAR T cells.


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