Guppy Tank: Episode 9

November 13, 2017

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Time: 4:30PM - 6:30PM
Location: Lobby

Guppy Tank is back and better than ever!

The partnership between Harvard University's Office of Technology Development and LabCentral has found you two more innovative teams to present at Guppy Tank episode 9. Two early-stage life-science projects will pitch their innovation concepts to a panel of entrepreneurs and investors for constructive, in-depth feedback regarding application priorities and their commercialization models. Come and be inspired!

Team Ally
Kai Chan, Tina Liu, George Church
Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School and Wyss Institute

Host immune responses pose a major challenge for the gene therapy field, as they often hamper not only safety but also the level and durability of gene expression. George Church and a postdoc in his lab, Kai Chan, developed a technology that reduces AAV-induced acute inflammation and increases downstream gene expression (mouse liver and muscle data show >10x increase in mRNA expression of the transgene). The technology is a short oligonucleotide inserted in the AAV genome rather than a new capsid, making it much more versatile than conventional approaches. Together with Wyss EiR Tina Liu, they are building a startup to develop this technology so it may ultimately help patients.

SIM-PAL: Simply capturing interaction throughout the proteome
Christina Woo
Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard

Many drugs interact with multiple protein targets (polypharmacology) that may increase therapeutic efficacy when properly exploited or cause unanticipated off-target effects when not fully understood. Polypharmacology occurs in diverse therapeutic areas and include even common drugs such as NSAIDs, for which little is understood about their molecular targets. The Woo lab is developing a platform termed Small molecule Interactome Mapping by Photo-Affinity Labeling (SIM-PAL) and applies it to the in cellulo characterization of drug binding sites. The platform uses (1) photochemical conjugation  (2) enrichment of the binding sites (3) targeted mass spectrometry based assignment.  SIM-PAL can be used to characterize drug interactions in the proteome in a multiplex format.

SIM-PAL are interested in discussing high value applications of SIM-PAL in drug discovery and development.

Cornella Taracido | Director of Chemical Biology at Merck
Adrian Timmers | Senior Director In vivo Pharmacology and Toxicology at AGTC