Jeffery M. Coller, PhD

Director
Center for RNA Science and Therapeutics
School of Medicine
Professor
Department of Genetics and Genome Sciences
School of Medicine
Professor
Department of Biochemistry
School of Medicine
Member
Molecular Oncology Program
Case Comprehensive Cancer Center

Research Information

Research Interests

Cancer immunotherapy is treatment that induces the immune system to attack tumor cells and is a promising therapy for a wide variety of malignancies. The Coller lab is working to develop a novel RNA-based reagent that will improve all T cell cancer immunotherapies by enhancing the proliferation capacity of tumor targeting immune cells. If successful, we will be able to partner with any corporate or academic entity developing T cell based cancer immunotherapies to improve the efficacy of their T cell therapy. In vitro transcribed (IVT) mRNA is emerging as a promising new drug class capable of delivering genetic information by transiently expressing proteins by structurally resembling natural mRNA. The advantage of mRNA (rather than integrating vectors carrying DNA) is that it poses no risk of genomic integration and will not transform the target cells to an immortalized or malignant state. Notably, our collaborators at Houston Methodist have recently shown that mRNA encoding the gene hTERT enhances the replicative capacity of human T cells, and increases the antitumor effects of CAR-T cells in an animal model of B-cell malignancy. These studies demonstrate that hTERT mRNA has great potential to improve the therapeutic benefits of CAR-T therapy. Our group is uniquely capable of developing mRNA-based therapeutics as we have developed new technology that can exquisitely control the expression of mRNA in vivo.  Using our recent discovery, we are working with our collaborators at Houston Methodist to optimize therapeutic mRNAs for the use in cancer immunotherapy.

Research Projects

Publications

Education

Doctor of Philosophy
University of Wisconsin-Madison