CTSI Distinguished Seminar Series

Levitt lecture at UB.

CTSI Distinguished Seminars feature important topics in clinical and translational science presented by outstanding, and sometimes world-renowned, speakers.

Through the Seminar Series, UB's Clinical and Translational Science Institute is partnering with the five health sciences schools and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center to sponsor a round of visiting scholars in the forefront of their respective disciplines. The goal is to expose faculty, trainees and students to various pathways in clinical and translational research.

Upcoming Speaker

Dario Vignali, PhD.

Immune Inhibitory Mechanisms in Cancer

Dario Vignali, PhD

Distinguished Professor and Vice Chair

Department of Immunology 

Leader, Cancer Immunology Program

Co-Director, Tumor Microenvironment Center

Scientific Director, Fondazione Ri.MED

School of Medicine

University of Pittsburgh

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

4:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Immunotherapies targeting the PD1/PDL1 pathway have had a major impact on cancer treatment. However, only a proportion of patients respond, and an even smaller proportion exhibit a long-term, durable cure. Several mechanisms of resistance and potential combinatorial approaches will be discussed. Lack of response to inhibitory receptor (IR) blockade therapy and increased disease burden has been associated with circulating, peripheral CD8+ T cell exhaustion, which is defined by poor T cell function linked to increased IR expression (eg: PD1, LAG3, neuropilin-1 [NRP1]). LAG3 is the third IR to be targeted in the clinic, consequently garnering considerable interest and scrutiny. However, persistent antigen exposure in the tumor microenvironment results in sustained PD1/LAG3 expression, contributing to a state of exhaustion manifest in impaired proliferation and cytokine production. Lastly, regulatory T cells (Tregs) inhibit beneficial anti-tumor responses. Treg depletion enhances tumor rejection in animal models and the clinic but also leads to substantial adverse events. Thus, approaches have been sought to target Tregs in tumors while limiting systemic autoimmune and inflammatory manifestations. Thinking more holistically on the tumor microbome and understanding the various cell types, molecules and mechanisms will enhance future treatments for all patients with cancer.

Past Speakers

May 10, 2021

Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, School of Pharmacy, University of California San Francisco

"Virtual Screens of Billion Compound Libraries for Novel Ligands with New Pharmacology"

Dec. 7, 2020

Division of Infectious Diseases and Hospital Epidemiologist/Medical Director of VCU Healthcare Infection Prevention Program

"COVID-19 Pandemic: Lessons learned and will we be better prepared next time?"

Department of Internal Medicine

Dec. 1, 2020

Professor, University of Rochester Medical Center

"The Road to a COVID-19 Vaccine"

Nov. 17, 2020

Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Nephrology

"The Pursuit of Structurally Competent Research to Achieve Health Equity"

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Oct. 29, 2018

University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

"Iron in the Fire: The role of oxidized linoleic acid metabolites in pain"

Co-hosted by the School of Dental Medicine

Feb. 1, 2018

Herbert Irving Assistant Professor of Biomedical Informatics
Director, Clinical Informatics, Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center
Columbia University

Co-hosted by the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Oct. 5, 2017

Director of the National Institutes of Health
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
(NIDCR)

Co-hosted by the School of Dental Medicine

May 2, 2017

Winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (2013)
Department of Structural Biology
Stanford Univ. School of Medicine

Co-hosted by the Department of Biomedical Informatics

March 31, 2017

Associate Professor
University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
Department of Family and Community Health

Co-hosted by the School of Nursing

Feb. 10, 2017

Thomas Francis Jr. Collegiate Professor
University of Michigan School of Public Health
Department of Epidemiology

Co-hosted by the School of Public Health and Health Professions