Advances in mRNA Vaccine Therapies in the Fields of Cancer Immunotherapy and Infectious Diseases | UK

Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences | University of Strathclyde | Glasglow

This Workshop will be held at the Robertson Wing in room AB101.


We are excited about our upcoming event at the University of Strathclyde on Wednesday, April 24th at 1pm, and we hope you are just as excited as us! Featuring speakers Dr. Yvonne Perrie and Dr. Justin Richner, this event will explore advances in mRNA Vaccine Therapies in the fields of Cancer Immunotherapy and Infectious Diseases. 

Dr. Justin M. Richner

Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology & Immunology
University of Illinois Chicago

Dr. Richner earned his doctoral degree from the University of California at Berkeley under the mentorship of Dr. Britt Glaunsinger. He performed his post-doctoral studies at Washington University in St. Louis with Dr. Michael Diamond studying viral immunology and vaccine development. In this setting he developed, in collaboration with Moderna, a Zika virus vaccine with the novel mRNA-lipid nanoparticle gene therapy platform.  

The emergence of Zika virus (ZIKV) infection has prompted a global effort to develop safe and effective vaccines. Recent technological advances have led to a number of promising vaccine platforms including antigen-coding mRNA vaccines encapsidated in a lipid nanoparticle (mRNA-LNP). We engineered an mRNA-LNP vaccine encoding for ZIKV prM-E structural genes and tested immunogenicity and protection in mice. Two doses of modified mRNA LNPs resulted in high neutralizing antibody titers that protected against ZIKV infection and conferred sterilizing immunity. Vaccinated dams challenged with a heterologous ZIKV strain showed markedly diminished levels of viral RNA in maternal, placental, and fetal tissues, which resulted in protection against placental damage and fetal demise. Zika infection induces cross-reactive antibodies that can enhance Dengue virus (DENV) infection. To limit the generation of these cross-reactive antibodies, we designed modified prM-E RNA encoding mutations destroying the conserved fusion-loop epitope in the E protein. This variant vaccine protected against ZIKV and diminished production of antibodies enhancing DENV infection in cells or mice. A modified mRNA vaccine can prevent ZIKV disease and be adapted to reduce the risk of sensitizing individuals to subsequent exposure to DENV. Our lab is further refining the mRNA-LNP vaccines to overcome immunesuppression and combat infectious diseases which have proven a significant challenge to traditional vaccine development. 

Dr. Yvonne Perrie
Professor in Drug Delivery, Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences
University of Strathclyde

In 2016, Yvonne moved to the University of Strathclyde as Professor in Drug Delivery as part of the Global Talent Appointment Programme. Yvonne’s research is multi-disciplinary and is focused on the development of drug delivery systems to facilitate the delivery of drugs and vaccines, thus providing practical solutions for current healthcare problems.

Our past events have included distinguished researchers from around the world who are transforming nanomedicine technologies. Our goal is to provide an overview of the latest research and developments and highlight the remarkable work happening to foster learning and inspiration.

The speaker presentations at this event will be live streamed and recorded for future webinars. 

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