Cort Breuer is currently an Immunology PhD student in the lab of Nathan Reticker-Flynn. Cort received his BS in Biological Engineering from Cornell University in 2022, where he studied lymphatic-cancer interactions and T cell mechanosensing in the lab of Esak Lee. Previously, he worked with James Moon at Massachusetts General Hospital to develop in vivo gene therapies for the immune system and with Michelle Krogsgaard at NYU Perlmutter Cancer Center to investigate structural biology of TCR signaling. Cort’s current work focuses on mechanisms of tumor-immune tolerance and decoding the antigen specificity of T cell receptors. Drawing on his engineering background, he designs new molecular tools to record how immune cells communicate and constructs therapeutics to target impaired immune responses.

Honors & Awards

  • Graduate Fellow, Arc Institute (2022-2026)

Education & Certifications

  • BS, Cornell University College of Engineering, Biological Engineering (2022)

Lab Affiliations

All Publications

  • Bioengineered in vitro models of leukocyte-vascular interactions BIOCHEMICAL SOCIETY TRANSACTIONS Lee, J., Breuer, C. B., Lee, E. 2021; 49 (2): 693-704


    Leukocytes continuously circulate our body through the blood and lymphatic vessels. To survey invaders or abnormalities and defend our body against them, blood-circulating leukocytes migrate from the blood vessels into the interstitial tissue space (leukocyte extravasation) and exit the interstitial tissue space through draining lymphatic vessels (leukocyte intravasation). In the process of leukocyte trafficking, leukocytes recognize and respond to multiple biophysical and biochemical cues in these vascular microenvironments to determine adequate migration and adhesion pathways. As leukocyte trafficking is an essential part of the immune system and is involved in numerous immune diseases and related immunotherapies, researchers have attempted to identify the key biophysical and biochemical factors that might be responsible for leukocyte migration, adhesion, and trafficking. Although intravital live imaging of in vivo animal models has been remarkably advanced and utilized, bioengineered in vitro models that recapitulate complicated in vivo vascular structure and microenvironments are needed to better understand leukocyte trafficking since these in vitro models better allow for spatiotemporal analyses of leukocyte behaviors, decoupling of interdependent biological factors, better controlling of experimental parameters, reproducible experiments, and quantitative cellular analyses. This review discusses bioengineered in vitro model systems that are developed to study leukocyte interactions with complex microenvironments of blood and lymphatic vessels. This review focuses on the emerging concepts and methods in generating relevant biophysical and biochemical cues. Finally, the review concludes with expert perspectives on the future research directions for investigating leukocyte and vascular biology using the in vitro models.

    View details for DOI 10.1042/BST20200620

    View details for Web of Science ID 000647324100013

    View details for PubMedID 33843967

  • In vivo engineering of lymphocytes after systemic exosome-associated AAV delivery SCIENTIFIC REPORTS Breuer, C. B., Hanlon, K. S., Natasan, J., Volak, A., Meliani, A., Mingozzi, F., Kleinstiver, B. P., Moon, J. J., Maguire, C. A. 2020; 10 (1): 4544


    Ex-vivo gene therapy using stem cells or T cells transduced by retroviral or lentiviral vectors has shown remarkable efficacy in the treatment of immunodeficiencies and cancer. However, the process is expensive, technically challenging, and not readily scalable to large patient populations, particularly in underdeveloped parts of the world. Direct in vivo gene therapy would avoid these issues, and such approaches with adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors have been shown to be safe and efficacious in clinical trials for diseases affecting differentiated tissues such as the liver and CNS. However, the ability to transduce lymphocytes with AAV in vivo after systemic delivery has not been carefully explored. Here, we show that both standard and exosome-associated preparations of AAV8 vectors can effectively transduce a variety of immune cell populations including CD4+ T cells, CD8+ T cells, B cells, macrophages, and dendritic cells after systemic delivery in mice. We provide direct evidence of T cell transduction through the detection of AAV genomes and transgene mRNA, and show that intracellular and transmembrane proteins can be expressed. These findings establish the feasibility of AAV-mediated in vivo gene delivery to immune cells which will facilitate both basic and applied research towards the goal of direct in vivo gene immunotherapies.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41598-020-61518-w

    View details for Web of Science ID 000560154600003

    View details for PubMedID 32161326

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7066196