Guppy Tank: A missing link between inflammation and ASD
September 30th, 2021 ~ 04:00pm - 05:00pm
Zoom; please register for details
Harvard's Office of Technology Development and LabCentral invite you to the latest event in the Guppy Tank series, where Harvard life-science innovators pitch their concepts to a panel of entrepreneurs and investors for constructive, in-depth feedback.
Please join us on Zoom to learn from experts on startup formation and participate in giving audience feedback.
Presented by Jun Huh, PhD, Associate Professor of Immunology in the Blavatnik Institute at Harvard Medical School
About the project:
A missing link between inflammation and autism spectrum disorders
a nascent startup soon to emerge from Prof. Jun Huh’s lab at Harvard
Medical School (HMS), intends to develop therapeutics to treat
neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
An accumulating body of evidence suggests that core behavioral symptoms
in a subset of children with ASD appear to improve during the course of a
fever (systemic inflammation). In groundbreaking work, researchers led
by Prof. Huh at HMS and Prof. Gloria Choi at MIT have elucidated the
molecular and neural mechanisms underlying this effect, demonstrating
that inflammation can ameliorate behavioral abnormalities in various
preclinical mouse models of autism. Their work explains that increased
production of a pro-inflammatory cytokine, interleukin-17a (IL-17a), not
the fever per se, drives these beneficial effects. Furthermore, the
team has shown that IL-17a, once it gains access into the brain, can
function as a neuromodulator by engaging its cognate receptor on
cortical neurons. The receptor activation restores a homeostatic level
of neural activity of the brain region associated with autism-like
symptoms. At launch, Interon intends to harness these new insights to
develop biologic and small molecules to modulate the IL-17 receptor
function to treat autism-related symptoms. Prof. Huh welcomes
constructive feedback from the Guppy Tank panelists, and from the
audience, on the commercialization strategy for these innovations.
Read about past Guppy Tank events:
Although we cannot meet in person this time, we look forward to joining you all again at LabCentral as soon as we're able!