Hidetaka Tanno has been the leader of the Cancer Immunology Project since 2021. He obtained his Ph.D. in 2013 from the Tokyo Institute of Technology where he studied ubiquitin-dependent protein degradation under the supervision of Prof. Masayuki Komada. After graduating, he worked as a postdoctoral fellow and focused on the development of new technologies in immunology under the supervision of Prof. George Georgiou at The University of Texas at Austin. During this time, he developed a facile single-cell sequencing technology that can determine T cell receptor (TCR) and antibody sequences at the repertoire level. At TMIMS, he is using this technology to 1) elucidate TCR repertoires in cancer patients and 2) develop new cancer therapeutics.
Recent clinical trials using cancer-specific T cell receptors (TCRs) for cancer treatments have shown promising results. However, there are still many hurdles that must be overcome. Conventional technologies for finding antigen-specific TCRs are quite low-throughput and it is hard to find cancer-specific TCRs that have great efficacy. Moreover, the obtained cancer-specific TCRs can be applied only to patients who express specific HLA alleles. Thus most patients cannot receive the therapy. To overcome these limitations, we will develop an innovative technology allowing the discovery of efficient cancer-specific TCRs that can be applied to any patients. By utilizing this technology, we will establish an efficient and safe TCR gene therapy that every cancer patient can receive.
Project Leader Hidetaka Tanno