The 2018/2019 J.T. Donald Lecture: Carolyn Bertozzi - Targeting the Glycocalyx for Cancer Immune Therapy


Maass Chemistry Building Room 10, 801 rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montreal, QC, H3A 0B8, CA


Successful tumors are able to evade the immune system, which is otherwise capable of killing transformed cells. Therapies that prevent this evasion have become revolutionary treatments for incurable cancers. This presentation will focus on our recent work targeting immune suppressive Siglec receptors and their sialylated glycan ligands, which are abundant within the cancer glycocalyx. We found that Siglec-ligand interactions can confer resistance to antibody-dependent cell cytotoxicity
mediated by monoclonal antibody cancer drugs such as Herceptin. Based on this, we designed biotherapeutic molecules termed antibody-enzyme conjugates that selectively remove sialic acids from tumor cells and render them susceptible to immune cell killing. Editing the cancer cell glycocalyx with antibody-enzyme conjugates represents a new approach to cancer immune therapy.


Carolyn Bertozzi is the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Chemical & Systems Biology and Radiology (by courtesy) at Stanford University, and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. She completed her undergraduate degree in Chemistry from Harvard University in 1988 and her Ph.D. in Chemistry from UC Berkeley in 1993. After completing postdoctoral work at UCSF in the field of cellular immunology, she joined the UC Berkeley faculty in 1996. In June 2015, she joined the faculty at Stanford University coincident with the launch of Stanford's ChEM-H institute.

Prof. Bertozzi's research interests span the disciplines of chemistry and biology with an emphasis on studies of cell surface glycosylation pertinent to disease states. Her lab focuses on profiling changes in cell surface glycosylation associated with cancer, inflammation and bacterial infection, and exploiting this information for development of diagnostic and therapeutic approaches, most recently in the area of immuno-oncology. She has been recognized with many honors and awards for her research accomplishments. She is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, and American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She has been awarded the Lemelson-MIT Prize, the Heinrich Wieland Prize, and a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, among many others.

Contact Information

JP Lumb
Jean-Philip.Lumb [at]