About Airi Harui
Dr. Harui earned a BS in Pharmaceutical Sciences at University of Kobegakuin in Kobe, Japan and her MSc in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Osaka. She earned her PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences/Immunology, from University of Osaka and theUniversity of California, Los Angeles. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow in Cancer Gene Therapy at UCLA.
Dr. Harui’s work is focused on developing a therapeutic prostate cancer vaccine that will promote a patient’s natural immunity to destroy tumor cells. Dr. Harui is combining two approaches. The first uses immune system growth factors to increase the number and function of important immune cells (dendritic cells). A second approach uses a common cold virus, called adenovirus, as a gene delivery tool to re-program patient immune cells to specifically target prostate cancer cells. To accomplish this work, Dr. Harui is developing a novel “humanized” mouse model to test her new anti-cancer, cold virus-like vaccine. She has generated a new mouse strain that contains only human immune cells isolated from individual patients. These mice are then implanted with a patient’s prostate cancer cells. This model system will enable Dr. Harui to study how a patient’s immune system interacts with the growing prostate cancer and whether her new vaccine promotes the immune system to attack the cancer cells.
Michael D. Roth, MD, Professor, Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine, Interdepartmental Program in Molecular Toxicology at the University of California, Los Angeles will be Dr. Harui’s mentor.
The 2008 Lynda and Stewart Resnick – PCF Young Investigator Award
Airi Harui, PhD
University of California, Los Angeles – Los Angeles, CA