Professor tvstrong
Division: Hematology & Oncology

Campus Address: WTI 510H

Phone: (205) 975-9878

Email: theresastrong@uabmc.edu

Departmental Affiliation(s):
Primary: Medicine
Secondary: Biochemistry & Molecular Genetics
Secondary: Genetics

Theresa Strong, Professor of Medicine, received her B.S. in Biology from Cook College, Rutgers University in 1985. In 1989, she received a Ph.D. in Medical Genetics from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She performed her postdoctoral studies at the University of Michigan in the laboratory of Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D. There, her work focused on understanding the molecular basis of the inherited diseases cystic fibrosis and Huntington disease. She joined the UAB faculty in 1995, and her laboratory is focused on the development of genetic immunotherapy for cancer.

Society Memberships:
American Society of Human Genetics
American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy
American Association for Cancer Research

International Society for Cellular Therapy

Research Description:
Identification of Tumor Antigens and Development of Cancer Vaccines
The major focus of our laboratory is the identification and characterization of novel tumor antigens, which may be useful in gene therapy of cancer. There is considerable evidence that the immune system can recognize tumor cells by virtue of tumor associated antigens, and a limited immune response to some of these antigens is detectable in patients. Gene therapy technology offers new strategies to stimulate the immune system to recognize tumor associated antigens and mount an effective antitumor immune response; however, current cancer immunotherapy approaches are limited. One goal of our studies is to identify novel tumor associated antigens. Characterization of these antigens will provide insight into the origin and nature of human tumor antigens as well as into basic aspects of tumor biology. These antigens may also be useful for detection and diagnosis of cancer, and may provide novel targets for immunotherapy. Our group is also working on the development of vectors for gene delivery, with an emphasis on vectors for cancer immunotherapy. We are evaluating methods to enhance the efficacy of the vectors and encoded antigens to produce more potent vaccines capable of breaking immunological tolerance. The goal of these studies is to develop cancer vaccines that may be useful to eliminate micrometastatic disease in patients at high risk for disease recurrence. Finally, I am the Director of the UAB Vector Production Facility. This resource provides the UAB translational research community with the capability of producing viral vectors and cell-based proteins in compliance with current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) for FDA-directed preclinical studies and early phase human clinical trials.

Selected Publications:
•Thacker EE, Nakayama M, Smith BF, Bird CR, Muminova Z, Strong T, Timares L, Korokhov N, O'Neill AM, de Gruiji TD, Glasgow JN, Tani K, and Curiel DT. A genetically engineered adenovirus vector targeted to CD40 mediates transduction of canine dendritic cells and promotes antigen-specific immune responses in vivo. Vaccine 27:7116-24, 2009.
•Shaw DR, Strong TV. DNA Vaccines. Front Biosci 11:1189-98, 2006
•Aldrich WA, Ren C, White AF, Zho S-Z, Kumar S, Jenkins CB, Shaw DR, Strong TV, Triozzi PL, Ponnazhagan S. Enhanced transduction of mouse bone marrow derived dendritic cells by repetitive infection with self-complementary adeno-associated virus 6 combined with immunostimulatory ligands. Gene Ther 13:29-39, 2006.
•Triozzi PL, Strong TV, Bucy RP, Allen KO, Carlisle RR, Moore SE, LoBuglio AF, Conry RM. Intratumoral administration of a recombinant canarypox virus expressing interleukin-12 in patients with metastatic melanoma. Human Gene Ther 16:91-100, 2005
•Lima J, Jenkins C, Guerrero A, Triozzi PL, Shaw DR, Strong, TV. A DNA vaccine encoding genetic fusions of carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating hormone (GM-CSF). Vaccine 23:1273-1283, 2005
•Ponnazhagan S, Mahendra G, Lima J, Aldrich WA, Jenkins CB, Ren C, Kumar S, Kallman L, Strong TV, Shaw DR, Triozzi PL. Augmentation of antitumor activity of a recombinant adeno-associated virus carcinoembryonic antigen vaccine with plasmid adjuvant. Hum Gene Ther. 15:856-64, 2004.
•Muminova ZE, Strong TV, Shaw DR. Characterization of human mesothelin transcripts in ovarian and pancreatic cancer. BMC Cancer. 4:19, 2004.
•Straughn JM, Shaw DR, Guerrero A, Bhoola S, Racelis AS, Wang Z, Chiriva-Internati M, Grizzle WE, Alvarez RA, Lim S, Strong TV. Expression of sperm protein 17 (Sp17) in ovarian cancer. Int J Cancer 108:805-811, 2004.
•Conry RM, Curiel DT, Strong TV, Moore SE, Allen KO, Barlow DL, Shaw DR, LoBuglio AF. Safety and immunogenicity of a DNA vaccine encoding carcinoembryonic antigen and hepatitis B surface antigen in colorectal carcinoma patients. Clin Cancer Res 8:2782-2785, 2002
•Wang-Johanning F, Frost A, Johanning GL, Khazeali MB, LoBuglio AF, Shaw DR, Strong TV. Expression of human endogenous retrovirus K (HERV-K) envelope transcripts in human breast cancer. Clinical Can Res 7:1553-1560, 2001.
•Blackwell JL, Li H, Gomez-Navarro J, Krasnykh V, Shaw DR, Alvarez RA, Cuirel DT, Strong TV. Using a tropism-modified adenoviral vector to circumvent inhibitory factors in ascites fluid. Human Gene Ther 11:1665-1677, 2000