The Vaccine & Gene Therapy Institute of Florida (VGTI Florida), a
leading nonprofit immunological research institute, is pleased to
announce the appointment of Keith Knutson, Ph.D., Program Director. Dr.
Knutson will be joining VGTI Florida along with several members of his
lab. His work will focus on immunotherapeutic approaches in breast and
ovarian cancers and how vaccines can boost immunity and help the body's
defense system fight off these cancers.
Dr. Knutson recently received a $3.7 million grant from the National
Cancer Institute (NCI) to identify immunologic biomarkers or proteins
that could be useful in identifying breast cancer patients who are
unlikely to respond to certain therapies. This can help to determine
whether a drug used in specific patient groups can be effective or
whether these patients should be treated with a different therapeutic
"Cancer is an important area of research focus for VGTI Florida, and Dr.
Knutson's work will help make great strides in the understanding and
treatment of breast and ovarian cancers," said Jay Nelson, Ph.D.,
founder and Executive Director o the institute. "Dr. Knutson is a
leader in his field and we welcome his expertise in treating two serious
diseases that affect so many millions of women around the world," said
Rafick Pierre Sékaly, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer and Co-Director of
Dr. Knutson is currently the Director of the Ovarian Cancer Immunology
and Immunotherapy Program at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota and
is also a Member of the U.S. Department of Defense's Breast Cancer
Research Program Integration Panel, the primary body that makes
decisions on funding. He is the Co-Director of the Mayo Clinic Immune
Monitoring Core which is engaged in providing a variety of different
immune monitoring and phenotyping services for research purposes across
a variety of scientific disciplines including tumor immunology,
rheumatoid arthritis, and infectious diseases.
Dr. Knutson has co-authored numerous articles in scientific journals
including The Journal of Immunology; The American
Journal of Pathology; Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy and many
others. He has a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from the University
of Washington and earned a Ph.D. in pharmacology from the University of
Georgia. He completed two postdoctoral fellowships, one in the Division
of Medical Oncology, University of Washington and another at the
Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia. Following
postdoctoral training, Dr. Knutson was awarded the Howard Temin Award
from the National Cancer Institute.
VGTI Florida is a leading immunological research institute that is on an
urgent mission to transform scientific discoveries into novel treatments
and cures for devastating chronic illnesses such as cancer and HIV/AIDS,
and infectious diseases. VGTI Florida is an independent non-profit
501(c)(3) organization located in the Tradition Center for Innovation in
Port St. Lucie, Florida. For more information, please visit www.VGTIFL.org.
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