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Wistar researchers are at the forefront of scientific discovery and collaboration, accelerating laboratory discoveries into mainstream medicine recognized the world over. Wistar scientists developed life-saving vaccines against rabies, rubella, and more recently rotavirus, the most common cause of infantile and childhood diarrhea and death around the world. All of these advances are made possible by the generous support of individuals like you.


QING CHEN, M.D., PH.D.

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, TUMOR MICROENVIRONMENT AND METASTASIS PROGRAM

Metastasis accounts for more than 80 percent of deaths from cancer and remains incurable, a devastating statistic. Qing Chen, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues are particularly interested in brain metastasis, which remains a significant problem in the clinic due to its rising incidence as a consequence of prolonged survival and limited efficacy of existing systemic therapies. They study how cancer cells interact with surrounding brain cells to understand how a cancer can become metastatic. In a recent study, Dr. Chen showed how invaded breast and lung cancer cells manipulate protective cells in our brains to be able to cause cancer to spread to the brain. Her team also identified certain drugs that could be used to stop these cancers from spreading to the brain, which may lead to more effective therapies for patients in the future.

Learn more about Dr. Chen's research.

 

KAR MUTHUMANI, PH.D.

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, TRANSLATIONAL TUMOR IMMUNOLOGY PROGRAM
PROGRAM MEMBER, VACCINE CENTER

There are many infectious diseases for which no vaccines exist and others for which current vaccines offer limited protection. Wistar’s Vaccine Center focuses on creating new or more effective vaccines for some of the most dangerous and widespread diseases in the world, including the Zika virus, HIV, influenza, rabies, dengue, chikungunya, tuberculosis, malaria, Epstein-Barr, HPV, and other viruses linked to cancer. Kar Muthumani, Ph.D., and colleagues are developing DNA-based vaccines that drive immune responses to prevent and treat these viruses. Recently at Wistar, Dr. Muthumani and colleagues have demonstrated the effectiveness of a vaccine for the Zika virus that not only fights the virus but also protects the brain from harm caused by the virus.

Learn more Dr. Muthumani's research.

 

EMMANUEL SKORDALAKES, PH.D.

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, GENE EXPRESSION AND REGULATION PROGRAM

The laboratory of Emmanuel Skordalakes, Ph.D., studies the complex protein assemblies that participate in the replication and maintenance of chromosome ends, known as telomeres. Much like the plastic caps on our shoelaces that keep them from fraying, telomeres protect our chromosomes and preserve our genetic information. Telomeres can be manipulated to promote cancer proliferation. If we can block telomeres from allowing excess cell division, we may be able to develop new drugs that reduce the risk of developing cancer and other age-related diseases.

Learn more about Dr. Skordalakes's research.