ChE SEMINAR: "Molecular Engineering to Turn Immunity On and Off"

Jeff Hubbell - University of Chicago

WHERE: North Campus Research Complex Building 32, Auditorium show on map

WHEN: December 1, 2022 1:30 pm-2:30 pmADD TO CALENDAR


The ChE seminar series features guest speakers. U-M ChE faculty and graduate students are especially encouraged to attend.

The immune system exists in a delicate balance of mounting active, effector responses to fight infection from invading pathogens and to kill mutated cells, while existing in an active state of tolerance to the non-self contents of the gut and on the skin and to self proteins throughout the body. Dysfunction can lead to susceptibility to infection and cancer on the one hand, and to allergy and autoimmunity on the other. We are developing immunotherapies to tip this balance one way or the other – for example engineering cytokines to create an immune response against mutated self in cancer, or engineering cytokines create tolerogenic environments and engineering antigen delivery systems to inverse vaccinate against an autoimmune disease to re-establish immunological tolerance to self.

Jeffrey Hubbell is Eugene Bell Professor in Tissue Engineering at the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering of the University of Chicago. Previous to moving to Chicago, he was on the faculty of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL, where he served as Director of the Institute of Bioengineering and Dean of the School of Life Sciences), the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich and University of Zurich, the California Institute of Technology, and the University of Texas in Austin. He holds a BS from Kansas State University and a PhD from Rice University, both degrees being in chemical engineering. He was elected to the US National Academy of Engineering in 2010, the National Academy of Inventors in 2014, the National Academy of Medicine in 2019, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2021.

Hubbell uses biomaterials and protein engineering approaches to investigate topics in regenerative medicine and immunotherapeutics. In regenerative medicine, he focuses on biomaterial matrices that mimic the extracellular matrix and on growth factor - extracellular matrix interactions, working in a variety of animal models of regenerative medicine. In immunotherapeutics, he focuses on nanomaterials in vaccines that target lymphoid-resident antigen presenting cells and on protein engineering approaches to deliver antigen to the spleen and liver for inverse vaccines to induce tolerance to protein drugs and in autoimmunity. His interests are both basic and translational, having founded or co-founded six biomedical companies based on his technology, namely Focal, in Boston, acquired by Genzyme; Kuros Biosciences, in Zurich, in the domain of regenerative medicine; Anokion and Kanyos Bio, in Boston, both in the domain of immunological tolerance; Clostra Bio, in Chicago, in the domain of food allergy, founded together in with Prof. Cathryn Nagler at the University of Chicago; Arrow Immune, in the domain of cancer immunotherapy, founded together with Jun Ishihara at Imperial College London and Melody Swartz at the University of Chicago; and HeioThera, in the domain of autoimmunity and inflammation, founded together with Jun Ishihara at Imperial College London.