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Noga Ron-Harel, PhD

Noga Ron-Harel, PhD

Grant Status
Active

Institution
Technion, Israel Institute of Technology

Grant Type
Research Career Development Award

Project Title
Engaging Cellular Metabolism to Enhance T Cell Therapy in Aged Patients

Tumor Types

Research Topics
Aging, Immunology and Immunotherapy


About the Investigator:

Dr. Ron-Harel studies the metabolic regulation of T lymphocytes. She received her BA from the Technion in Chemistry and Biology, and her PhD from the Weizmann Institute in Neuroimmunology. In 2018, after postdoctoral training in Immunometabolism at Harvard Medical School, she returned to the Technion as an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Biology.

About the Research:

Aged cancer patients are less tolerant to the detrimental side effects of classical therapies than younger patients and could greatly benefit from more specific therapeutic approaches. This is especially the case for immunotherapy, as the immune response may weaken with age.  Strikingly, most preclinical and clinical studies do not include aged patients or animals. and the available information on response to immunotherapy in the aged is sparse and mostly retrospective.

Dr. Ron-Harel proposes to investigate cellular and systemic effects of aging on immunotherapy.  T lymphocytes play a central role in the immune defense against cancer. Dr. Ron-Harel’s previous studies identified metabolic dysfunction in aged T cells and demonstrated that supplementation with deficient metabolites improves T cell activation and survival. This proposal builds on those studies to identify metabolic barriers impairing T cell therapy in the aged. This could lead to the development of novel therapeutic approaches that improve therapeutic outcomes by enhancing the metabolic fitness of aged T cells.

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