Therapeutics Innovation Core

The Therapeutics Innovation Core (TIC) – part of the Immunotherapy Integration Hub (IIH) – features Seattle Children’s cancer immunotherapy program’s research and development, process analytical development, pre-clinical development (PreClin) and correlative studies teams.

The TIC teams consist of biomedical engineers, chemical engineers, molecular and cellular biologists, immunologists, data scientists and computer scientists who work collaboratively in one space to make new discoveries, create new T-cell immunotherapies and improve on the manufacturing of current immunotherapies.

These teams utilize state-of-the-art technologies and scientific tests to profile T cells to discover what makes the most effective therapy. These include:

  • Advanced multiparameter flow cytometry
  • Gene expression profiling
  • Analysis of tissue biopsies to assess protein expression and markers of immune modulation

As we develop new T-cell immunotherapies, members of the TIC’s PreClin team work with the Immunotherapy Coordinating Center (ICC) to write investigational new drug (IND) applications that are submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval to begin a new clinical trial.

Clinical trials require the collection of specimens at different times during the trial and long-term follow-up of patients once the clinical trial ends. These specimens may include peripheral blood, cerebrospinal fluid and bone marrow or tissue biopsies.

The Correlative Studies Laboratory (CSL) processes specimens required by the clinical trial protocols that are collected at Seattle Children’s and other participating clinical trial sites.

By evaluating samples daily through our in-house laboratory, the CSL team is able to more quickly assess how a patient is doing and can provide real-time data to the TIC’s clinical investigators and scientific researchers.

TIC Leadership

  • Michael Jensen, MD, executive director
  • Rimas Orentas, PhD, center director, Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research
  • Joshua Gustafson, PhD, manager of process innovation
  • Adam Johnson, PhD, manager of research and development
  • Ashley Wilson, PhD, manager of immunotherapy correlative studies