*All times show in EDT

9:30 am Coffee & Networking

9:55 am Chair’s Welcome

10:00 am Industry Leader’s Keynote Panel Discussion: Targeting Infectious Diseases – What is the Strategy?

  • Raymond Goodrich Executive Director, Infectious Disease Research Center , Colorado State University
  • Wade Blair Executive Director, Biology , Gilead Sciences
  • Bonnie Howell Executive Director, Infectious Disease & Vaccines , Merck
  • Mark Exley Vice President, Cellular Immunology , AgenTus


  • The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a resurgence of investment in the infectious disease field, but why has T-cell immunity become so important?
  • This panel will address the industry leader’s thoughts on the opportunity for targeting infectious diseases like SARS-CoV-2 and HIV, the strategy to identify immunogenic targets, safety concerns with increasing inflammation, and future plans to target more infectious diseases

Characterize Natural T-Cell Activity to Best Mimic Protective Immunity Therapeutically

11:00 am Analyze T-cell Response from COVID-19 Patients to Determine the Natural Differences that Could Lead to Moderate and Severe Response

  • Paul Thomas Professor , St Jude Children’s Research Hospital


  • Benchmark the optimal T-cell response to infectious disease antigens, determining which T-cell subset is most efficient and where they should be localised for best activity
  • Review data to quantify the T-cell levels which equate to a robust response to generate protective immunity

11:30 am Morning refreshments & Virtual Speed Networking


Like speed dating, but for business! Turn on your camera and be paired at random with speakers, delegates and partners of the conference so you can meet as many people as possible. Your random connection could lead to your next collaboration!

Striking A Safe Balance with the Immune System

12:30 pm Complexities of the Immune Response in COVID-19 Disease and Post-Acute Sequelae of Coronaviruses (PASC)

  • Marcela Henao Tamayo Assistant Professor, Microbiology, Immunology & Pathology , Colorado State University


  • Evaluation of blood biomarkers to prevent, monitor and manage disease severity and sequelae
  • The role of co-morbidities in disease severity, emphasis on proinflammatory diseases
  • Long term immune response to SARS-CoV-2

Cell Therapy Approaches to Trigger a Potent Immune Response

1:00 pm Allogeneic Invariant NKT cells as Treatment for COVID-19


  • Invariant NKT cells are T-cells with NK-like properties, involved in a wide range of immunomodulatory processes
  • Endogenous iNKT cells in COVID patients are reported to be disfunctional and reduced in numbers
  • AgenTus is conducting a clinical trial to investigate the potential benefits of treating ICU COVID patients with allogeneic iNKT cells

1:30 pm Lunchtime Refreshments

2:30 pm An Allogeneic TCR-T Cell Therapy for COVID-19

  • Lu Yao Senior Scientist, Poseida Therapeutics


  • A fully allogeneic TCR-T therapy for COVID-19 was created using Poseida’s core nonviral technologies: piggyBac® DNA Delivery System, Cas-CLOVER™ Site-Specific Gene Editing System, and Booster Molecule
  • Three lead TCRs, each recognizing a different immunodominant HLA-A*02:01 restricted epitope in three separate SARS-CoV-2 proteins, were developed for optimal functional avidity
  • TCR-T products were produced and effector function was evaluated

3:00 pm Immune-Mobilising Monoclonal T-cell Receptors (ImmTAX®) for Functional Cure of HIV and Other Chronic Viral Infections

  • Lucy Dorrell Head of Disease Biology, Infectious Diseases , Immunocore


  • Introduction to ImmTAX® platform
  • In vitro & ex vivo potency of HIV-specific ImmTAX molecules
  • Clinical development of ImmTAX molecules for functional cure

3:30 pm Engineering Long-Term HIV-Specific Immunity through Chimeric Antigen Receptors and Stem Cells

  • Scott Kitchen Professor of Medicine, Director, UCLA Humanized Mouse Core Laboratory , UCLA


  • Explore how CAR-T cells have emerged as a powerful immunotherapy for various forms of cancer and show promise in treating HIV-1 infection
  • Understand an innovative stem cellbased approach to overcome persistence and function as issues with a peripheral T-cell approach, thus allowing durable, lifelong persistence of CAR expressing cells
  • Learn how UCLA’s data suggests that a stem cell-based CAR therapy stands as a feasible, long lived, and potentially more efficacious therapy for treating HIV infection and possibly for other chronic conditions

4:00 pm Chair’s Closing Remarks & End of Day 1