Texas ChE Professor Jennifer Maynard and her research team have engineered “antibody-like” T cell receptors that can specifically stick to cells infected with cytomegalovirus, or CMV, a virus that causes lifelong infection in more than half of all adults by age 40. These receptors represent a new potential treatment option, could aid the development of CMV vaccines and might also be used to target brain tumors.
In the healthy immune system, CMV lies dormant as T cells circulate through the body and detect infected cells. While antibodies recognize only proteins on the surface of cells, T cells use their membrane-bound T cell receptors, or TCRs, to detect disease-associated proteins hiding inside the cellular membrane. TCRs can then tell T cells to destroy the infected cell, which is normally the case with CMV. However, for immunocompromised patients, this defensive mechanism is greatly diminished and the virus can become life-threatening… Continue reading.
WASHINGTON, D.C.— The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) has announced the pending induction of Jennifer A. Maynard, Ph.D., McMakin Associate Professor & Undergraduate Advisor, McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin, to its College of Fellows. Dr. Maynard was nominated, reviewed, and elected by peers and members of the College of Fellows For contributions to protein engineering, especially development of biologics to treat infectious diseases..