Preclinical Models of Immune-Mediated Diseases to Enable Development of Novel Immunomodulatory Therapies

(November 15, 2018)

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Webinar Description:

Immunotherapeutic strategies have transformed the treatment of a variety of diseases including cancer, autoimmune diseases, and a range of pulmonary conditions; however, much work remains to bring the full promise of these strategies to benefit more patients. Novel combination therapies along with emerging immunomodulatory strategies stand poised to take treatment paradigms of these diseases to the next level. We will discuss Biomodels preclinical models, capabilities and expertise in immunoncology, autoimmune diseases (inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, and arthritis), graft-versus-host-disease, and pulmonary diseases (asthma and acute respiratory distress syndrome) for the development of next-generation therapies including antibodies, combinations, anti-cancer vaccines (nucleic acid or peptide-based), cell-based therapies (e.g. CAR-T, etc.), microbe or virus-derived therapies, and many others. Biomodels’ custom syngeneic models, immune-humanized mouse models, and microbiome-focused models are leveraged rationally to capture expected mechanisms of action and offer high resolution readouts. Additionally, Biomodels downstream expertise and capabilities can provide a wealth of mechanistic insights through a variety of ex-vivo immunoassays that include multi-color flow cytometry, immunophenotyping, multiplex cytokine analyses, T cell specificity assays, tumor-specific antibody detection, and many more.


Benjamin G. Cuiffo, PhDBenjamin G. Cuiffo, PhD

Principal Scientist

Biomodels, LLC

Dr. Cuiffo joined Biomodels in 2015 after completing his postdoctoral studies at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, where he was an American Cancer Society Fellow. His postdoctoral work centered upon elucidating the molecular mechanisms of tumor metastasis in preclinical in vitro and in vivo models. Ben brings additional expertise in the biology of tumor- initiating (cancer stem cells) and invasive phenotypes, oncogenic signaling pathways, and noncoding RNAs in cancer. He received his Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology from Brandeis University, where he developed novel strategies to target the RAS oncogene in animal models of leukemia. As the Lead Oncology Scientist at Biomodels, Ben’s active collaboration with clients has optimized the utility, efficiency and translational meaningfulness of a broad range of developing small molecules and immunologically-based therapies.

Caitlin ParelloCaitlin SL Parello, PhD

Scientist II

Biomodels, LLC

Dr. Parello joined Biomodels in 2016 as an Associate Scientist after completing her post-doctoral studies in the Department of Pathology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Her post-doctoral work focused on identifying myelin protein-derived peptides to which human or murine HLA-DR15.01 or HLA-DR04.01 restricted T cells are reactive, with the downstream goal of developing a clinically relevant, humanized murine model of Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis (EAE) as a model for Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Dr. Parello received her PhD from Boston University School of Medicine in 2014, where she adapted two murine models of Shiga Toxin 2- induced kidney injury, and was an NIH- funded pre-doctoral fellow and Russek award winner. Her current research interests combine her background in adaptive immunity and murine model development, and are largely related to translational microbiome research. These interests include the interaction of the microbiome and immune system, the potential dysbiosis mediating inflammatory/autoimmune disorders, determining if restoration of eubiosis can be therapeutic for such disorders, and the development of clinically relevant animal models with which to probe these exciting questions. At Biomodels, Dr. Parello has established the Germ-Free/Gnotobiotic murine isolator facility, and serves as the lead scientist on microbiome- related studies.

Andrew BorkowskiAndrew W. Borkowski PhD

Scientist I

Biomodels, LLC

Dr. Borkowski joined Biomodels in 2017 as an Associate Scientist after completing his postdoctoral studies in the department of Immunology and Microbial Science at The Scripps Research Institute. His postdoctoral work focused on elucidating novel mechanisms of wound healing based on the recognition of lipid antigens in the skin. Andrew received his Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from the University of California, San Diego in 2014, where he discovered a role for toll-like receptor 3 in skin permeability barrier repair. Dr. Borkowski has diverse interests in the field of immunology, including host-microbe interactions, the influence of the microbiome on human health, and the dynamics of physical and immunological barrier surfaces. Andrew’s Biomodels’ portfolio focuses on projects associated with innate and adaptive immunity at barrier sites, and interventions targeting inflammatory and autoimmune disorders.

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(November 15, 2018)