Researcher Spotlight: Adam Lin, MD, PhD

Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine 

Many immunotherapies and cell therapies on the market have increased the cure rate for patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL); however, the percentage of relapse and death continues to grow per year.  The need for new therapies or improvements to current therapies is critical. “One of the promising new immunotherapies is a DNA sequence known as CpG deoxynucleotides. CpGs mimic bacterial DNA and wake up the immune system to attack the cancer cells,” explains Dr. Lin.  “While CpGs can cause an anti-tumor response by stimulating the immune system.  They are especially interesting in lymphoma as they overdrive the malignant lymphoma cells and cause them to die directly.”

For his LRF grant project, Dr. Lin proposes to engineer a CpG coated gold nanoparticle platform to improve the delivery of CpGs directly to the lymphoma and immune cells. “As a physician, translation of our research into the clinics is the ultimate goal.  The success of this proposal would lead to a collaboration with a nanoparticle company that branched out of Northwestern University to consider manufacturing for early clinical trials,” he says.  “This will be the beginning of building a new therapy option for lymphoma patients.”

Dr. Lin completed his PhD at Rice University and his MD at Baylor College of Medicine.  His devotion to lymphoma research is driven by patients who do not see improvement despite going through treatment. Dr. Lin’s long-term career goal is to become an independent physician-scientist with a clinical focus on lymphoma and stem cell transplant.  “I am in a unique position as my career evolves to bridge the gap between technological advancements and their use in clinical or personalized medicine to provide new therapeutic options for lymphoma patients,” he says.  “With the support of the LRF Postdoctoral Fellowship, along with my mentor Dr. Leo Gordon, I will be one step closer to becoming an independent investigator to achieve these goals.”