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Author Topic: What happened to the UC DAvis work?  (Read 2642 times)

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Offline Hoyland

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  • Posts: 99
What happened to the UC DAvis work?
« on: July 31, 2013, 12:09:38 AM »
UC Davis is yet to find the funding to take its HIV treatment into the clinic, despite having FDA approval to do so. I think the CIRM has once rejected a request from UC Davis because the clinical sites chosen by the Uni were either already running other trials or were too inexperienced with HIV. From this article it would seem that the CIRM has not closed the door on the UC Davis HIV team, so maybe a new application is in order?


This summer we're sponsoring high school interns in stem cell labs throughout California. We asked those students to contribute to our Instagram photos and YouTube videos about life in the lab, and write about their experiences.   

My name is Siruo Zhang and for the past eight weeks, I had been interning at the UC Davis Stem Cell Lab. As an intern, I worked under the instructions of Dr. Joseph Anderson and Sharlie Barclay from the HIV team in the lab.

My project is focused on testing for the safety of a combinatorial three gene anti-HIV vector. HIV, otherwise known as Human Immunodeficiency Virus, is a virus that targets and attacks T-cells and CD4 cells within the immune system. Over time, it begins to affect the bodyís ability to ward off infections and can subsequently develop into AIDS. Statistics show that by the end of 2011, more than 34 million people worldwide were living with HIV.

Since all of the cells that HIV attacks come from hematopoietic stem cells, gene therapy becomes a reasonable option for treating and curing individuals of HIV. The combinatorial anti-HIV vector is a lentiviral vector that contains three components: the CCR5 shRNA, the TRIM5α, and the TAR decoy. Each component targets a specific stage of HIVís life cycle, the CCR5 shRNA targets the pre-entry, the TRIM5α targets the post-entry/pre-integration, and the TAR decoy targets the post-integration. The CCR5 shRNA impedes the production of CCR5 by targeting the mRNA of CCR5, so that the viral envelope is unable to fuse with the cell membrane. The TRIM5α prevents virus uncoating, and the TAR decoy inhibits upregulation of HIV transcription.

In addition to these three anti-HIV genes, the vector also contain a CD25 pre-selective marker, which allows us to identify which cells contain the anti-HIV genes and which ones donít. To test for the safety of this vector system, four experiments were conducted, QPCR testing for proto-oncogene expression, IL2 beta and gamma flow cytometry, CFU assay, and macrophage phenotype flow cytometry.

I enjoyed this internship immensely; I learned a lot of information about HIV and about stem cells. Before this internship, I hardly knew anything about stem cells, but now I can tick off the three properties that make a stem cell a stem cell. Those three properties are self-renewal, multi-potential, and highly proliferative. The most challenging part of this internship was the first week of being in the lab. Iíve never worked in an actual lab before, so everything was new to me. I messed up sometimes at first, but I learned from my mistakes and I tried to avoid it the next time. One of my favorite experiments that I conducted during my duration as an intern was probably plasmid extraction, because Iíve done it more times than I can count.

I would like to thank my mentors, Dr. Anderson and Sharlie Barclay, for being so patient with me and answering all of my questions. Also, I would like to thank Dr. Bauer for teaching me about stem cells. Lastly, I would like to thank CIRM and the UC Davis Stem Cell Program for providing me with this amazing opportunity. As my internship comes near its end, I can probably say that this summer was the most educational and enjoyable summer Iíve ever had. I gained not only knowledge, but also experience of working in a real lab.

Sarah Zhang

Offline freewillie99

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  • Posts: 325
Re: What happened to the UC DAvis work?
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2013, 03:37:12 PM »
Is this what you were looking for?


Public release date: 3-Sep-2013
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Contact: Shaun Mason
University of California - Los Angeles
4 UCLA stem cell researchers receive CIRM Early Translational grants

Four researchers from UCLA's Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research have received Early Translational Research Awards totaling approximately $13 million from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the state's stem cell agency. The UCLA researchers received four of the 12 total awards; no other institution received more than one.

The Independent Citizens Oversight Committee, CIRM's governing body, announced at its Aug. 28 meeting in La Jolla, Calif., that grant recipients included Dr. Jerome Zack, professor of medicine and microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics; Dr. Robert Reiter, Bing Professor of Urologic Research; Dr. Donald Kohn, professor of pediatrics and microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics in the life sciences; and Dr. Gerald Lipshutz, associate professor-in-residence of surgery, urology and medicine.

The grants are part of CIRM's Early Translational Research Initiative, which aims to advance promising, innovative discoveries using stem cells. In this "early translation" phase, scientists are expected to do research that will result in the development of drugs or cellular therapies to be used in FDA-approved clinical trials, translating discoveries from the laboratory to the clinic as quickly as possible.

"Our CIRM grants highlight the excellence of the UCLA bench-to-bedside research program," said Dr. Owen Witte, director of the Broad Stem Cell Research Center.

Dr. Jerome Zack, who has dedicated his career to finding a cure for HIV/AIDS, received a grant of approximately $5.3 million. His team is working to engineer blood-producing stem cells that will create T-cells, the foot soldiers of the immune system, which recognize and attack HIV. The engineered T-cells are to be given to patients through a bone marrow transplant, a one-time treatment that will provide an inexhaustible source of immune system cells capable of eliminating HIV-infected cells. This treatment would serve as a functional HIV cure with minimal adverse effects, a great improvement over the current standard of care with expensive, regularly given drug cocktails.

CIRM was established in November 2004 by the passage of Proposition 71, the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Act, a ballot measure that provided $3 billion in funding for stem cell research at California universities and research institutions. The bill received overwhelming approval from voters and called for the establishment of an entity to make grants and provide loans for stem cell research and facilities.
Beware Romanians bearing strange gifts

Offline Hoyland

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  • Posts: 99
Re: What happened to the UC DAvis work?
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2013, 08:56:16 PM »
Thanks freewillie99. This is a different study to the UC Davies research. It employs a different approach to treating HIV.


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