Lausanne University, Medical School, MD, 1997
Pre-doctoral Research Fellow and Medical Resident, Laboratory of AIDS Immunopathogenesis, University Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland, 1998-1999, leading to a Medical Doctorate in 2002
Medical Resident, Department of Internal Medicine, Cadolles Cantonal Hospital, Neuchatel, Switzerland, 2000-2001; Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland, 2001-2003
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Fred Hutch, Seattle, WA, 2003-2007
Oncology Fellow, Fred Hutch and University of Washington, 2007-2010
Dr. Chapuis’ translational research laboratory is developing novel ways to modulate the immune system to target cancer. Her research is especially focused on 1) understanding the factors associated with successful “adoptive” transfer of immune T cells and improving the therapeutic efficacy of both natural (native) and gene-modified T cells targeting viral and tumor antigens, and 2) developing methods that improve the survival, proliferation and anti-tumor activity of infused T cells so as to better eliminate tumor targets. These advances are in turn used to 3) develop clinical strategies to optimally activate therapeutic T cells to specifically eliminate cancer in patients, without the noxious side effects of chemotherapy.
Dr. Aude Chapuis is an immunotherapy researcher at Fred Hutch. She is exploring new targets and crafting T-cell receptors. To arrange an interview with Dr. Chapuis, please contact media relations at 206.667.2210 or email email@example.com.
Dr. Chapuis is an Attending Physician on the Autologous and Allogeneic Transplant Service in the Fred Hutch Bone Marrow Transplant Program at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA), a cancer treatment center that unites doctors from Fred Hutch, University of Washington Medicine and Seattle Children’s Hospital. She treats patients in both the inpatient and outpatient clinics. She also consults with patients who are contemplating transplantation and attends to patients who receive T-cell infusions in the context of adoptive immunotherapy trials at the SCCA.
Dr. Chapuis has extensive experience in developing methods for preparing certified T cell products for patients and for monitoring the transferred T cells in patients. She designs and leads adoptive immunotherapy trials aimed at targeting tumor-associated proteins (AKA: antigens). She is the Sponsor of multiple successful Investigational New Drug Applications (INDs), by which the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves clinical testing of new therapies.
Thus far, Dr. Chapuis has tracked and characterized antigen-specific T cells adoptively transferred in five clinical trials for patients with HIV, melanoma, Merkel Cell carcinoma or leukemia. In these and other trials, the overall persistence of the transferred T cells has been limited. Dr. Chapuis therefore continues developing new strategies to establish long-term T cell function and increase the tumor-binding strength (affinity/avidity) of tumor-specific T cell receptors (TCRs). TCRs are the molecular structures that bind specific antigens and direct T cells to attack abnormal, including malignant, cells. She and her lab are actively validating engineered TCRs that can be used to produce effective tumor-specific T cells. Collaboration with Dr Paul Nghiem: Targeting Merkel-Cell Carcinoma with Merkel-cell polyomavirus-specific T cells. We currently have a clinical trial open: FHCRC #2586 ‘Phase I/II – Transfer of autologous CD8+ MCPyV-specific T cells for patients with metastatic Merkel Cell Carcinoma. In the near future, the T-cell infusions will be combined with immune checkpoint blockade. In collaboration with UW’s Dr. Paul Nghiem, Dr. Chapuis is testing Merkel-Cell polyomavirus-specific T cells for patients with metastatic Merkel Cell Carcinoma.
WT1 is a cancer-promoting protein that is abnormally expressed in many tumor types and can be targeted by T cells. Dr. Chapuis recently participated in the identification and generation of a native high-affinity WT1-specific TCR. She led the optimization of clinically-applicable methods for moving the WT1-specific TCR gene into T cells.
She and her team are also targeting other tumor antigens with engineered TCRs that confer function to both CD8+ (effector) and CD4+ (helper) T cells, as opposed to more typical CD8+ only protocols. These reagents will ultimately be tested as treatments for patients with solid and liquid tumors. In particular, MAGE-A1 antigen-targeting TCRs are being developed for patients with lung and breast cancers.
Dr. Chapuis is the writer/Sponsor of a US FDA-approved IND concerning the adoptive transfer of antigen-specific T-cells as therapies for patients with solid or liquid tumors, as well as an IND for the defined production and clinical use of gene-modified T cells. She oversees the T cell production, infusion and monitoring associated with several current trials.