This is an exciting era for biomedical research. Genes can be sequenced overnight, viruses are genetically engineered in days, immune cells are definable in exquisite detail, new and powerful tools, unthinkable just a few years ago, are now at our fingertips. Finally the fruits of years of research on the highly complex immune system is yielding innovative new approaches to infectious diseases and cancers.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Yang and Dr. Anton and their laboratories were working on a host of innovative projects including:
a new vaccine concept – “vault” nanoparticles that could be developed into treating HIV for both prevention and vaccines and virus-induced cancers;
drug discoveries for enteroviruses that can cause severe and often fatal infections in infants;
the study of men who have remained HIV-uninfected despite very high risk exposures;
the study of killer T cells (CtLs) which kill virus-infected or malignant cells in people with HIV – an emerging and exciting area of cancer treatment;
the study of targeting antiviral drugs to the gut, generating CtL responses with vaults, development new genes for HIV therapy, and many other high risk innovative projects requiring extensive experiments.
It takes a lot of money to fund this type of science. The aversion of the NIH to fund these types of innovations means the innovators must focus more on grant applications than to the science itself. Indeed, Dr. Yang even wrote a book about how to write NIH grants! There is no shortage of great, creative ideas, but there is a limit to human capacity to deal with uncertainty, bureaucracy, and politics getting in the way of scientific exploration and innovation.
The Shandling Biomedical Future Fund will help us counteract the constant rollercoaster of funding so Dr. Yang and Dr. Anton can continue their vital work, invest in their brilliant trainees, and advance biomedical science.
Thank you for your support.
Dr. Otto Yang
Dr. Peter Anton
We want to hear from you. Do you share our passion for biomedical innovation? Do you want to support our physician-scientists bring new ideas to the laboratory in the search for a cure to cancer, the control of devastating viral and bacterial infections, and other biomedical challenges?
Inquiries about the Shandling Biomedical Future Fund may be directed to Heidi Saravia, Executive Director, UCLA Health Sciences Development at (310) 206-4565 and Hsaravia@mednet.ucla.edu.
Be part of the solution by donating to the Shandling Biomedical Future Fund.