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Building better mouse models: Utilizing humanized mouse models for immunotherapy research

This webinar is brought to you by the Science/AAAS Custom Publishing Office

Building better mouse models: Utilizing humanized mouse models for immunotherapy research

Recorded 19 June 2019


Using mice as a model organism for human disease offers several advantages, including their more manageable size, rapid breeding cycle, and genetic and physiological similarity to humans. However, for therapies targeting specific aspects of the human immune system, such as natural killer cells and T cells, utilizing an in vivo model that recapitulates the specific aspects of the human immune system is a challenge. Although nude mice were previously used as the go-to model, better strains have recently been developed that enable researchers to study the effects of their therapeutic candidates. Humanized mice can engraft human hematopoietic stem cells or peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) to yield models that can exhibit enhanced myeloid cell production or natural killer cell production. These mice present an innovative, cost-effective platform for simulating human trials (at lower cost), evaluating multiple drugs alone or in combination, and producing predicative/translationally relevant data. In this webinar, our experts will discuss how they have applied humanized mouse models in their work, providing insights into both the advantages and challenges of this research method.

During the webinar, the viewers will:

  • Learn how to select the most optimal model for your research
  • Explore specific models that have been engrafted with PBMCs
  • Assess the human immune system function, including characterizing disease development and progression of graft-versus-host disease
  • Be able to ask questions during the broadcast.

This webinar will last for approximately 60 minutes.

Speaker bios

Michael Brehm, Ph.D.

University of Massachusetts Medical School
Worcester, MA

Dr. Brehm has over 25 years of experience in biomedical research, including extensive knowledge of immunological responses to infection agents and to transplantation with nonself tissues. He currently works at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS), where he is an associate professor in the Program in Molecular Medicine, a member of the Diabetes Center of Excellence, and the recipient of the Robert and Sandra Glass Term Chair in Diabetes. His research program is focused on understanding how human effector T cells are regulated in the context of autoimmune disease, alloimmunity, and tumor immunity. His laboratory is developing humanized mice to more effectively study human T-cell biology, and he is codirector of the UMMS Humanized Mouse Core. Dr. Brehm has published over 100 manuscripts and reviews, and is supported by funding from the JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation), the U.S National Institutes of Health, and the Glass Charitable Foundation.

Brian Soper, Ph.D.

The Jackson Laboratory
Bar Harbor, ME

Dr. Soper has worked at The Jackson Laboratory for more than 20 years. He has conducted research on hematopoietic stem cell biology, bone marrow transplantation, immune tolerance, and treatment strategies for a mouse model of human enzyme deficiency. He is currently manager of the Technical Information Scientist Group, providing educational resources to the scientific community. His areas of expertise include mouse models of human type 1 and type 2 diabetes and research with immunodeficient mice. Dr. Soper has extensive knowledge of the immunobiology of humanized mice reconstituted with human hematopoietic cells and of tumor-bearing humanized mice used in immuno-oncology.

Jackie Oberst, Ph.D.

Washington, D.C.

Dr. Oberst did her undergraduate training at the University of Maryland, College Park, and her Ph.D. in Tumor Biology at Georgetown University, Washington D.C. She combined her interests in science and writing by pursuing an M.A. in Journalism from the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, College Park. Dr. Oberst joined Science/AAAS in 2016 as the Assistant Editor for Custom Publishing. Before then she worked at Nature magazine, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Endocrine Society, and the National Institutes of Mental Health.

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