Education & Certifications

  • PhD Candidate, Stanford University, Engineering, (in progress)
  • MD candidate, University of Toronto, Medicine, (in progress)
  • MS, Stanford University, Engineering (MatSci) (2019)
  • H.BSc, University of Toronto, Physics, Chemistry (2015)

All Publications

  • Viral Delivery of CAR Targets to Solid Tumors Enables Effective Cell Therapy. Molecular therapy oncolytics Aalipour, A., Le Boeuf, F., Tang, M., Murty, S., Simonetta, F., Lozano, A. X., Shaffer, T. M., Bell, J. C., Gambhir, S. S. 2020; 17: 232–40


    Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) Tcell therapy has had limited efficacy for solid tumors, largely due to a lack of selectively and highly expressed surface antigens. To avoid reliance on a tumor's endogenous antigens, here we describe a method of tumor-selective delivery of surface antigens using an oncolytic virus to enable a generalizable CAR Tcell therapy. Using CD19 as our proof of concept, we engineered a thymidine kinase-disrupted vaccinia virus to selectively deliver CD19 to malignant cells, and thus demonstrated potentiation of CD19 CAR Tcell activity against two tumor types invitro. In an immunocompetent model of B16 melanoma, this combination markedly delayed tumor growth and improved median survival compared with antigen-mismatched combinations. We also found that CD19 delivery could improve CAR Tcell activity against tumor cells that express low levels of cognate antigen, suggesting a potential application in counteracting antigen-low escape. This approach highlights the potential of engineering tumors for effective adoptive cell therapy.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.omto.2020.03.018

    View details for PubMedID 32346612

  • Phenotate: crowdsourcing phenotype annotations as exercises in undergraduate classes. Genetics in medicine : official journal of the American College of Medical Genetics Chang, W. H., Mashouri, P., Lozano, A. X., Johnstone, B., Husic, M., Olry, A., Maiella, S., Balci, T. B., Sawyer, S. L., Robinson, P. N., Rath, A., Brudno, M. 2020


    PURPOSE: Computational documentation of genetic disorders is highly reliant on structured data for differential diagnosis, pathogenic variant identification, and patient matchmaking. However, most information on rare diseases (RDs) exists in freeform text, such as academic literature. To increase availability of structured RD data, we developed a crowdsourcing approach for collecting phenotype information using student assignments.METHODS: We developed Phenotate, a web application for crowdsourcing disease phenotype annotations through assignments for undergraduate genetics students. Using student-collected data, we generated composite annotations for each disease through a machine learning approach. These annotations were compared with those from clinical practitioners and gold standard curated data.RESULTS: Deploying Phenotate in five undergraduate genetics courses, we collected annotations for 22 diseases. Student-sourced annotations showed strong similarity to gold standards, with F-measures ranging from 0.584 to 0.868. Furthermore, clinicians used Phenotate annotations to identify diseases with comparable accuracy to other annotation sources and gold standards. For six disorders, no gold standards were available, allowing us to create some of the first structured annotations for them, while students demonstrated ability to research RDs.CONCLUSION: Phenotate enables crowdsourcing RD phenotypic annotations through educational assignments. Presented as an intuitive web-based tool, it offers pedagogical benefits and augments the computable RD knowledgebase.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41436-020-0812-7

    View details for PubMedID 32366968

  • A mountable toilet system for personalized health monitoring via the analysis of excreta. Nature biomedical engineering Park, S. M., Won, D. D., Lee, B. J., Escobedo, D., Esteva, A., Aalipour, A., Ge, T. J., Kim, J. H., Suh, S., Choi, E. H., Lozano, A. X., Yao, C., Bodapati, S., Achterberg, F. B., Kim, J., Park, H., Choi, Y., Kim, W. J., Yu, J. H., Bhatt, A. M., Lee, J. K., Spitler, R., Wang, S. X., Gambhir, S. S. 2020


    Technologies for the longitudinal monitoring of a person's health are poorly integrated with clinical workflows, and have rarely produced actionable biometric data for healthcare providers. Here, we describe easily deployable hardware and software for the long-term analysis of a user's excreta through data collection and models of human health. The 'smart' toilet, which is self-contained and operates autonomously by leveraging pressure and motion sensors, analyses the user's urine using a standard-of-care colorimetric assay that traces red-green-blue values from images of urinalysis strips, calculates the flow rate and volume of urine using computer vision as a uroflowmeter, and classifies stool according to the Bristol stool form scale using deep learning, with performance that is comparable to the performance of trained medical personnel. Each user of the toilet is identified through their fingerprint and the distinctive features of their anoderm, and the data are securely stored and analysed in an encrypted cloud server. The toilet may find uses in the screening, diagnosis and longitudinal monitoring of specific patient populations.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41551-020-0534-9

    View details for PubMedID 32251391

  • A high quantum yield molecule-protein complex fluorophore for near-infrared II imaging NATURE COMMUNICATIONS Antaris, A. L., Chen, H., Diao, S., Ma, Z., Zhang, Z., Zhu, S., Wang, J., Lozano, A. X., Fan, Q., Chew, L., Zhu, M., Cheng, K., Hong, X., Dai, H., Cheng, Z. 2017; 8


    Fluorescence imaging in the second near-infrared window (NIR-II) allows visualization of deep anatomical features with an unprecedented degree of clarity. NIR-II fluorophores draw from a broad spectrum of materials spanning semiconducting nanomaterials to organic molecular dyes, yet unfortunately all water-soluble organic molecules with >1,000 nm emission suffer from low quantum yields that have limited temporal resolution and penetration depth. Here, we report tailoring the supramolecular assemblies of protein complexes with a sulfonated NIR-II organic dye (CH-4T) to produce a brilliant 110-fold increase in fluorescence, resulting in the highest quantum yield molecular fluorophore thus far. The bright molecular complex allowed for the fastest video-rate imaging in the second NIR window with ∼50-fold reduced exposure times at a fast 50 frames-per-second (FPS) capable of resolving mouse cardiac cycles. In addition, we demonstrate that the NIR-II molecular complexes are superior to clinically approved ICG for lymph node imaging deep within the mouse body.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/ncomms15269

    View details for Web of Science ID 000401626200001

    View details for PubMedID 28524850