CMM Seminar Series | Dr Rio Sugimura, Hong Kong University

10 May 2022, 1.00 PM - 10 May 2022, 2.00 PM

Dr Rio Sugimura, Hong Kong University

Zoom Webinar


Our vision is to work on the intersection of bioengineering and stem cell biology to invent new tools for understanding and treating immune disorders and cancers. We apply cutting edge approaches of single-cell RNA sequencing & molecular barcoding, organoids, and stem cell differentiation.

Functional immune cells
Previously, we identified a genetic program to derive hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells from human pluripotent stem cells (Nature 2017). Now we aim for the identification and application of the mechanisms to specify functional immune cells from human pluripotent stem cells. Off-the-shelf generation of immune cells will benefit both cell therapy and disease modeling of immunodeficiency such as X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID). We are going to employ the novel single-cell RNA sequencing and molecular barcoding strategies in collaboration with the University of Cambridge, UK.

Molecular switch of innate immune cells
We established mesoderm organoids from human pluripotent stem cells that recapitulate the specification of immune cells (J. Vis. Exp. 2019). Based on the organoid system, we are going to define the molecular switch of anti-cancer innate immune cells and harness them to target cancer. Innate immune cells (including macrophages, neutrophils, and innate lymphoid cells) determine the response to anti-PD1 immunotherapy of cancer. We envision that the identification of the molecular switch of anti-cancer innate immune cells will propel the application of cancer immunotherapy.

Remodeling tumor microenvironment
We defined a molecular mechanism that microenvironment maintains blood stem cells (Cell 2012). We established a versatile platform of organ-on-a-chip to model the microenvironment of embryonic hematopoietic tissues (Biomed. Microdevices 2020). Now we aim to decipher the tumor microenvironment. We are going to remodel the tumor microenvironment using a novel chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) technology in collaboration with the University of Pavia, Italy.

Institutional Profile: Dr SUGIMURA, Rio Ryohichi ζ‰ζ‘η«œδΈ€ - Academic Staff - People - School of Biomedical Sciences, HKU

A 'Tea with the Speaker' will follow this seminar, where Pathway 2/PGR staff and students are warmly encouraged to join in an informal discussion with the speaker following their talk. 

Contact information


Host: Dr Bethan Lloyd-Lewis

Dr Rio Sugimura

Edit this page