Targeted immunotherapies for hematologic malignancies

| Research interest | Research group projects | Selected publications


Associate Professor
Ludwig adjunct scientist
Laboratory C. Arber-Barth
Department of oncology UNIL CHUV
Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research Lausanne

Phone +41 21 692 59 53

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Research interest

Our overall goal is to develop novel targeted immunotherapies for patients with hematologic malignancies. The group develops adoptive T cell therapies with native or engineered receptors and evaluates combinatorial strategies. The objective is to efficiently target tumor cells, mitigate immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment factors, favor tumor-targeted migration and longevity of transferred T cells, control potential toxicities, identify novel personalized targets, and move developments to the clinic.

Research group projects

  • To engineer human T cells for targeting hematologic malignancies (chimeric antigen receptors, transgenic T cell receptors, engager molecules etc)

  • To determine if function and persistence of transgenic T cells can be enhanced through (a) reactivating viruses, (b) immune checkpoint blockade or (c) vaccination

  • To develop combinatorial approaches to T cell therapy targeting both the tumor cells and their microenvironment (e.g. engineer tumor-directed migration, resistance to immune inhibitory signals)

  • To engineer signaling switches in T cells that revert tumor-associated immune inhibitory signals.

  • To evaluate 3D culture systems to better model the tumor microenvironment in vitro and apply them to evaluate transgenic T cell function

  • To identify immunogenic mutational tumor neo-antigens in patients with hematologic malignancies and to isolate their neo-antigen specific TCRs for personalized medicine applications.

We apply principles from immunology, hematology, cancer and systems biology, use gene transfer and editing technologies to engineer T cells, and collaborate with experts in protein engineering, gene editing, proteomics/ peptidomics, immunomonitoring, bioinformatics, bioengineering, clinical hematology and immuno-oncology. 

Selected publications

  • Nishimura CD, Brenner DA, Mukherjee M, Hirsch RA, Ott L, Wu MF, Liu H, Dakhova O, Orange JS, Brenner MK, Lin CY, Arber C. C-MPL provides tumor-targeted T cell receptor-transgenic T cells with co-stimulation and cytokine signals. Blood, 2017 Oct 27 [epub ahead of print]
  • Arber C, Young M, Barth P. Reprogramming cellular functions with engineered membrane proteins. Current Opinion in Biotechnology. 2017 Jul 11;47:92-101. Review. PMID: 28709113
  • Bonifant CL, Torres D, Joseph N, Velasquez MP, Szoor A, Iwahori K, Gaikwad A, Nguyen P, Arber C, Song XT, Redell M, Gottschalk S. CD123-engager T cells as novel immunotherapeutic for acute myeloid leukemia. Molecular Therapy. 2016 Sep 29;24(9):1615-26. Epup 2016 Jun 6. PMID: 27401038
  • Arber C, Feng X, Abhyankar H, Romero E, Wu MF, Heslop HE, Barth P, Dotti G, Savoldo B. Survivin specific T cell receptor targets tumor but not T cells. The Journal of Clinical Investigation. 2015 Jan;125(1):157-68. Epub 2014 Nov 21. PMID: 25415440
  • Arber C, Abhyankar H, Heslop HE, Brenner MK, Liu H, Dotti G, Savoldo B. The immunogenicity of virus-derived 2A sequences in immunocompetent individuals. Gene Therapy. 2013 Sep;20(9):958-62. Epub 2013 May 23. PMID: 23698740

Group members

  • Nicolas CAMVIEL
    PhD student
  • Isabelle GRUBER
    PhD student
  • Inès LANZ
    PhD student
  • Maude VARRIN
    Research technician

We currently have openings for:

  • Postdoctoral research fellows
  • PhD and Masters Students
  • Research technicians

If interested in a position, please email the following:

  1. Cover letter, indicating future research interests
  2. CV including list of publications
  3. Description of research experience and accomplishments
  4. Contact information for at least three references
Ch. des Boveresses 155 - CH-1066 Epalinges
Tel. +41 21 692 59 92
Fax +41 21 692 59 95
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