Training Seminar

Training Seminar: Immunology for Drug Discovery Scientists

Monday, August 28, 8:30 – 5:00
Tuesday, August 29, 8:30 – 12:00

Instructors TBA

In order to detect the presence of potential pathogens, the immune system must interact with every body system and circulate through every tissue. The weight of the microbial threat has led to the evolution of a unique biological skill set that make the immune system incredibly powerful, but also incredibly dangerous. These unique skills and systemic reach mean that the immune system touches almost every human disease, either causally or as an avenue for therapy. In this course, we will explore therapeutic approaches that harness our knowledge of the immune system to treat human disease. From vaccines to cancer (not to mention cancer vaccines!) and diabetes to IBD, we will explore how the immune system can be shaped, engineered, and harnessed by exploring specific examples of current and future therapeutics, and the immunology behind them.


Introduction to the Unique Biology of the Immune System Pathogen Detection and Inflammation (Innate Immunity)

  • Cell-intrinsic detection and response
  • Local detection, paracrine signaling
  • Systemic responses

Cellular Immunity, Cytotoxicity

  • NK-cells
  • CD8+ T-cells
  • Macrophages
  • CD4+ T-cells


  • B-cell biology
  • Diversity of antibody function
  • Complement fixation

Immune System Interactions (The Big Picture)

  • Lymphocyte development
  • Antigen presentation (B-cell/T-cell, APC/T-cell, DC/B-cell)
  • CD4+ T-cell redux

Engineering Immunity – Monoclonal Antibody Therapies

MAB #1 - TGN1412

  • Anti-CD28 monoclonal therapy - intended to activate Treg cells
  • Actually activated all T-cells, caused cytokine storm in healthy volunteers, severe, permanent damage

MAB #2 - Natilizumab

  • Anti α4 integrin -blocks T-cells from entering brain, highly effective treatment for MS
  • Great example of rationally-designed therapy, minimal side effects
  • Fewer side-effects than most anti-inflammatory drugs, increased risk for PML

Receptor/Fc Hybrids - CD4-Fc anti-HIV

MAB Summary

  • Good for inhibiting things, sometimes can activate
  • Target must be cell-extrinsic

Engineering Immunity #2 - CAR-T Cells

The Trouble with Neoantigens

How Many Treatments Does it Take to Cure Melanoma?

Molding Immunity - Vaccines

  • History of vaccine approaches - mostly antibodies
  • Vaccine approaches - better adjuvants/better antigens
  • Vaccine approaches - prime and pull
  • Vaccine approaches - skip the vaccine (gene therapy)

Harnessing Immunity - Anti-Cancer Approaches

Checkpoint Blockade Therapies

  • History
  • Targets

Cancer Vaccines

Limitations (Neoantigens, Autoimmunity)

Instructor Bios:

Each CHI Training Seminar offers 1.5 days of instruction with start and stop times for each day shown above and on the Event-at-a-Glance published in the onsite Program & Event Guide. Training Seminars will include morning and afternoon refreshment breaks, as applicable, and lunch will be provided to all registered attendees on the full day of the class.

Each person registered specifically for the training seminar will be provided with a hard copy handbook for the seminar in which they are registered. A limited number of additional handbooks will be available for other delegates who wish to attend the seminar, but after these have been distributed no additional books will be available.

Though CHI encourages track hopping between conference programs, we ask that Training Seminars not be disturbed once they have begun. In the interest of maintaining the highest quality learning environment for Training Seminar attendees, and because Seminars are conducted differently than conference programming, we ask that attendees commit to attending the entire program, and not engage in track hopping, as to not disturb the hands-on style instruction being offered to the other participants.


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