Waseem Qasim Research Group
Genome editing & Gene Therapy
T cell therapies
T cells encode antigen specific receptors and are central to the adaptive immune response against infections. The are long lived and maintain immunological memory, as well as having regulatory properties important for the prevention of autoimmunity. We have developed therapies based on the adoptive transfer of virus specific T cells following allogeneic transplantation, and have a particular interest in treatment of Adenovirus and CMV.
Gamma-retroviral, lentiviral and sleeping beauty transposon platforms are being used to engineer T cells. A Phase 1 study has investigated T cells enginered to express a novel sort-suicide gene. Therapies based on T cell receptor or chimeric antigen receptor transfer are being developed with key collaborators in London & internationally. Similarly, modified HIV based vectors are being developed which can transfer innate restriction factors to T cells to protect against HIV infection.
New reagents are being developed, including TALENs, CRISPR/Cas9 and base editors to modify T cells.
We have developed particular expertise in manipulating T cells under GMP conditions, allowing translational studies to progress into clinical trials.
Our work is supported by grants from NIHR, MRC, Wellcome Trust, Bloodwise and others.