Yvonne Chen, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering, has received a $1.25 million grant from the Cancer Research Institute to support her studies of immunotherapies for cancer.
Professor Chen is a member of the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and seeks to build better CAR-T cells, which are a type of white blood cell enhanced with engineered surface proteins that can recognize and kill tumor cells.
She is part of an inaugural group of five researchers selected for the institute’s Lloyd J. Old STAR program (for Scientists Taking Risks). The new program was named after the organization’s founding scientific and medical director. It supports highly promising researchers with outstanding accomplishments and are on track to become “stars” in cancer immunology.
Chen is also a member of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy.
Who is the Cancer Institute?
Based in New York City, it is a non-profit organization that supports research in using the immune system in therapies and potentially cures for all types of cancer. Established in 1953, the organization has invested more than $400 million in cancer research.