Debilitating diseases and expensive therapies affect governments, communities and individuals substantially, requiring the discovery of new and improved treatments. TAG recipients are mainly focused on diseases such as cancer, with an emphasis on melanoma, and HIV/AIDS all of which are in need of revolutionary approaches. The specific projects funded by the JCTM are listed below.

Principal Investigator

Project Title

Research Area

Pamela Bjorkman of Caltech

Thwarting HIV evasion of antibody avidity with novel antibody architectures


David Eisenberg of UCLA

An inexpensive, vaginally applied preventative for sexual transmission of HIV


Scott Fraser of Caltech

Molecular exosome sensor for diagnosis


Peter Dervan & Barbara Wold of Caltech. Owen Witte of UCLA.

Translational studies of Py-Im polyamide AR-ARE antagonists


Caius Radu, Sanaz Memarzadeh, Oliver Dorigo of UCLA & James Heath of Caltech

Novel immunotherapies against chemotherapy refractory ovarian cancer


Sherie Morrison & John Timmerman of UCLA

Antibody-Interferon fusion proteins for cancer treatment


Jiaoti Huang & Owen Witte of UCLA

Tissue biomarkers to predict the risk of prostate cancer in patients with increased PSA and negative prostate biopsies


John Timmerman & Michael Jung of UCLA

Toll-like receptor 7 agonist-antibody conjugates for the treatment of cancer


Ray Deshaies of Caltech & Kathleen Sakamoto of UCLA

Exploiting aneuploidy for cancer therapy


Roger Lo & Antoni Ribas of UCLA

Rational targeting of B-RAF inhibitor-resistant melanomas


Thomas Graeber & Roger Lo of UCLA

Phospho-proteomic profiling to define uncharacterized mechanisms of resistance to BRAF inhibitors in patients with metastatic melanoma


Sarkis Mazmanian of Caltech & Martin Hewison of UCLA

Novel therapies for IBD based on optimization of Vitamin D by Gut Bacteria

Inflammatory bowel disease

Henry Lester of Caltech & Marie-Francoise Chesselet of UCLA

Neuroprotection in early-stage Parkinson's disease by nicotine-receptor interaction: Target identification and mechanism of action in mice

Parkinson's Disease

Dianne Newman of Caltech & Sally Ward of CHLA

In pursuit of novel antimicrobial targets: exploring the connection between phenazines, iron speciation and antibiotic resistance in cystic fibrosis airways

Cystic Fibrosis

Dan Kahn of UCLA

Pregnancy enhanced T regulatory cell function to treat autoimmune disease

Autoimmune Disease

Itzhak Fried of UCLA & Christof Koch of Caltech

Using electric fields to control epileptic seizures


Jane Deng, Genhong Cheng & Huiying Li of UCLA

Alterations in the nasal microbiome following influenza infections


Axel Scherer of Caltech & Bahram Jalali of UCLA

Integration of imaging flow cytometry with PCR technology for High Throughput Screening of complex biological fluid

Clinical Diagnostics

Special projects



James Heath (Caltech)

Defining an effective T-cell response for Cancer Immunotherapies


Mark Davis (Caltech)

Circulating microRNAs as diagnostic markers of RNAi in Tumours


Caltech & UCLA Collaboration

Melanoma Consortium


Pin Wang (USC)

Dendritic Cell-Targeted Melanoma Immunotherapy


Owen Witte of UCLA

Identifying TCR based immune therapies for prostate and ovarian cancer.