Please join us, VIRTUALLY, for our MWRI/WIP Series, Wednesday, May 19, 2021 @ 12pm
Work-in-Progress Conference & Seminar Series
“Investigating the immune microenvironment of primary estrogen receptor positive (ER+) breast cancer”
PhD candidate, Vignali and Oesterreich Labs, Department of Immunology (PMI),
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
- Immunotherapy has revolutionized outcomes in several different tumor types but is relatively unsuccessful in treating ER+ breast cancer. Our project aims to dissect the immune microenvironment through multipronged approaches for assessing the type and function of infiltrating immune cell subsets in treatment-naive tumor tissue and peripheral blood from patients with ER+ invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) and invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC), the two major histological subtypes of ER+ breast cancer. Through comprehensive global analysis of immune cells and their potential interactions, we identified macrophages and CD8 T cells as important subsets that can be potentially targeted in ER+ breast cancer to improve patient outcomes.
“Impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection in spermatogonial stem cells”
Ana Martinez Marchal, PhD.
Postdoctoral Associate. Miguel Brieño-Enriquez Lab
Magee-Womens Research Institute
- The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), led to more than 126,265,724 million infected individuals and over 2,769,853 global deaths by the end of March 2021. The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is an enveloped, positive-sense, single-stranded RNA betacoronavirus of the family Coronaviridae. The main target of these virus is the lungs, but new reports about COVID-19 indicate its effects on other organs, including kidney, brain and testis. SARS-CoV-2 uses the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor and the transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2) to invade human cells. Based on ACE2 and TMPRSS2 expression, the testis has been classified as being at high risk of infection by SARS-CoV-2. Indeed, patients with COVID-19 suffer from testicular discomfort, which can be associated with viral orchitis. Similarly, some studies have reported reduced testosterone levels in the serum from COVID-19 patients. These data suggest that COVID-19 could affect male reproductive function, in fact the presence of SARS-CoV-2 has been detected in the testis of some deceased patients of COVID-19 as well as in some semen samples of patients in the acute and recovery phase of COVID-19. Our preliminary analysis of the testis of 5 patients deceased due to COVID-19 and their respective controls showed increased germ cell apoptosis, micro thrombosis, and infiltration of lymphocyte CD3+. Strikingly, we observed that almost all the apoptotic cells were spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs). Non-apoptotic SSCs also displayed signs of DNA damage and oxidative stress. Using single nuclei RNA-seq, RNAscope, and immunohistochemistry, we will interrogate the effects of COVID-19 on human testis from the macroscopic presentation to the single cell, providing an important basis to understand the SSC alterations that may hamper fertility in COVID-19 survivors.
Date: Wednesday, May 19, 2021
Time: 12:00 to 1:00 PM
Location: VIRTUALLY–Magee-Women’s Research Institute, Conference Center, 1st Floor
For program questions, please contact Dr. Mellissa Mann @ 412-641-7950.
CME and CEU credits can be earned by attending WIP and providing required information.