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Lab News

06/29/2022: Qianqian's paper on the structure of LAG3 was published in Nature Immunology.  This was truly outstanding work by Dr. Qianqian Ming, who determined the first structure of the emerging immune checkpoint receptor LAG3. This allowed her to determine how inhibitory antibodies and the ligand FGL1 regulate LAG3 function to suppress the immune system. Paper link here:

News & Views article by Dr. Jamie Rossjohn:

Research briefing highlighting the backstory and major findings:

03/14/2022: David's paper on the high-affinity Notch ligand "DeltaMAX" was published in Nature Chemical Biology. In this paper, we describe the structure-guided directed evolution of an ultra-potent DLL4 ligand. This novel biomedical tool may be used to either agonize or antagonize Notch signaling, depending on the format in which it is presented. We explored its potential to enhance the activation of human T cells, but we anticipate it will have broad applications in immunotherapy and regenerative medicine. Check it out here:

Non-paywalled Biorxiv version here:

02/22/2022: Luca and Ruffell labs awarded a Breakthrough Award from the CDMRP Breast Cancer Research Program.

For this three-year project, our lab will engineer antibodies that inhibit cell-surface enzymes from driving breast cancer progression. Antibodies will be adapted through PROTAC-like technologies to both degrade and antagonize enzyme function.

01/31/2022: Luca lab awarded a Bankhead Coley Cancer Research Program. This three-year award from the state of Florida will support our research into the structure and signaling mechanisms of next-generation immune checkpoint receptors.

09/20/2021: Luca and Morse labs awarded a Breakthrough Award from the DoD Breast Cancer Research Program.
For this collaborative project, our lab is designing bi-specific proteins for imaging nodal metastases in breast cancer. Our long-term goal is to eliminate the invasive procedure of sentinel node biopsy altogether!
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