CAT Laboratory

The expertise of the CAT will be applied not only to the identification of new antibodies but also to critically evaluate the potential of new targets and approaches to become scalable, commercially successful therapies. Existing collaborations with outside institutions will continue through the CAT, including the Pediatric Oncology Dream Team for rapid development of therapies for childhood cancers, the USA-China collaboration for HIV-1 cure, and several companies for the development of anti-cancer therapies. These and other collaborations are vital to keeping the CAT at the cutting edge of antibody-based science and technology, and to provide additional resources. For HIV, anti-HIV antibody/one-domain CD4-based proteins are currently the most promising because of their exceptional potency and ability to target all HIV variants. These chimeric molecules will continue to be developed with the major goal of curing HIV infection. This goal is achievable in the next several years if sufficient resources are applied. For cancer, the CAT leadership has identified many mAbs already tested in vitro and many of them in animals and some in humans, which will continue to be evaluated and developed against a number of cancers, mostly in combination with other therapeutics.

An important long-term goal is also to develop antibodies against aging. This reflects the decade long-te rm interest of the CAT Director and is also based on the huge potential of such new therapies for aging populations. The idea is to use antibodies not only against diseases of old age but also to delay aging and extend healthy life span.

Dr. Dimitrov’s Laboratory: Contribution to Science

Liposome electroformation
In the 1980″s CAT sought to understand mechanisms of biological membrane interactions and fusion.

Mechanisms of HIV-1 entry and transmission
In the 1990’s Dr. Dimitrov developed a mathematical model of the transmission of the virus in tissue cultures and found that the cell-to-ce ll transmission is much more effective than transmission by a cell-free virus. This finding had a major impact in the HIV-1 field providing a mechanism for fast transmission in vivo.

The germline/maturation hypothesis/theory far vaccine development- why AIDS vaccine is a challenge
In the 2000’s the lab was one of the few in the world which has identified broadly neutralizing mAbs (bnAbs) against emerging viruses and HIV-1.

Therapeutic human monoclonal antibodies against cancer
Development of human mAbs against cancer and a number of other mAbs, some of which have been tested in animal models and one of them, against mesothelin (5). is in human trials at Sloan Kettering.

Division of Infectious Diseases
Academic Administrative Office

818 Scaife Hall
3550 Terrace Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261

Center for Care of Infectious Diseases

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