Skip Navigation

Spencer Ng

Current Status: M4

Graduate Department: Immunology and Molecular Pathogenesis

Previous Education: B.Sc. (Hons.) Cancer and Cell Biology, McGIll University;  

Advisor(s): Jacques Galipeau, MD;

Hometown: Markham, ON, CA

Hobbies

Trying new restaurants, running on the Beltline, traveling, volunteering at various clinics around the city, spending time with friends and family.

Research

My research interests include cytokine biology/signaling, cellular immunobiology, immunoengineering, and translational medicine. My dissertation research involved generating novel fusion proteins that utilize common-gamma chain cytokines as a base motif. I primarily worked with interleukin-15, which is a key cytokine in the homeostasis and activation of natural killer and CD8+ memory T cells. By combining IL-15 to a ligand trap that neutralizes transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-b; which is immunosuppressive), we were able to generate a fusion protein that boosted host immunity against tumor through immune cell activation and sequestration of tumor-derived TGF-b. Another fusion consisting of IL-15 and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor resulted in a novel protein that induces differentiation of naïve B cells to regulatory B cells, capable of secreting immunosuppressive interleukin-10. Mice with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (a mouse model of multiple sclerosis) treated with this fusion protein experience significant remission of disease. Fusion proteins combining different moieties that do not naturally coexist elicit non-physiologic signaling events in immune cells that may be exploited for therapeutic gain.

Mentor Web Site(s):