Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) is pleased to welcome Corina Amor to the faculty as a CSHL fellow. Amor’s current work is focused on senescent (aging) cells. As senescent cells accumulate, they can lead to age-related diseases like cancer. She studies how aging cells are able to evade the immune system and what kinds of treatments can fight them.
Amor studied immunology and aging in Scott W. Lowe’s laboratory at the Gerstner Sloan Kettering Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, where she got her Ph.D. “Age is the biggest risk factor for the development of many diseases,” she says. “Research has shown that the biggest therapeutic impact in human health will come from understanding aging biology. It’s a very exciting time in the field.”
Amor is developing strategies to restore immune function using “CAR T cell” therapy. A patient’s T cells (a type of immune cell) are taken from the blood and modified to include synthetic chimeric antigen receptors or CAR. The CAR T cells are reprogrammed in the laboratory to attack cells of the researchers’ choice. To combat aging, Amor targets senescent cells, essentially restoring the immune system’s normal functions in an aging body. She hopes that her work will help researchers develop therapeutic approaches to fighting cancer, aging, and age-related diseases.
“I think CSHL is the place to study this exciting senescence biology,” Amor says. Her Ph.D. advisor, Lowe, is a former deputy director of the CSHL Cancer Center. Notable researchers such as 2009 Nobel laureate Carol Greider made significant discoveries about senescence at the Laboratory. “Furthermore, CSHL is a very supportive environment for young research groups. I’m really looking forward to becoming a part of the CSHL community.”