Research Report 2019_20

Jian Han, MD, PhD / Public and Private Collaboration

Combining science and entrepreneurship to combat public health crises

The strength of the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology lies in the culture of collaboration and a distinctive structure that encourages entrepreneurship. HudsonAlpha was founded with a unique vision to combine the power of academic research with the resources of the commercial sector to bring discoveries to market quicker. When Faculty Investigator Jian Han, MD, PhD, began his tenure at HudsonAlpha in 2009, he already had a deep appreciation of both the academic research sec- tor and entrepreneurial endeavors. In 1996, Han founded Genaco Biomedical Products, Inc., where he developed a multiplex molecular assay for profiling pathogens as- sociated with respiratory infections. Therefore, it came as no surprise that he went on to found two companies, iRepertoire and iCubate, and co-found a third company, Diatherix, that reside on the HudsonAlpha campus.

Receptors live on the surface of T and B cells

Throughout his research career, Han has focused on developing diagnostic methods and tools to charac- terize, measure and longitudinally monitor the human immune repertoire. The immune repertoire is the sum total of functionally diverse T cells and B cells in a body at any given moment. In order for our immune system to fight off a new threat, like an infectious disease, it first has to learn to recognize it. That recognition is coordi- nated by a family of proteins called receptors that live on the surface of T cells and B cells. There are seven types of T cell and B cell receptor proteins, called chains, two of which combine to form the receptors on the surface of each T cell or B cell. Each individual chain is made up of multiple different segments, enabling millions of different unique T and B cells in every person.

Jian Han, MD, PhD, speaking and hosting at the HudsonAlpha Immmogenomics annual conference To learn more, visit


HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology

Made with FlippingBook - Online magazine maker