UF Health Cancer Center researchers receive UF Invention of the Year awards

The UF Health Cancer Center team of Christian Jobin, Ph.D., and Rachel Newsome was honored with an Invention of the Year award from UF Innovate for their work identifying gut biome bacteria that can make lung cancer tumors responsive to immunotherapy treatment.

Christian Jobin, Ph.D., right, and Rachel Newsome received an Invention of the Year award from UF Innovate on Oct. 18.

The team was honored during UF Innovate’s annual celebration on Oct. 18. The event, called Standing InnOvation, honored nearly 600 University of Florida researchers who disclosed, optioned or licensed technologies or received an issued patent in fiscal year 2023. It crowned one Innovator of the Year and six Inventions of the Year. Each of the six licensing teams at UF Innovate chooses one Invention of the Year. Out of the 300 technologies disclosed in fiscal year 2023, licensing officers select one within their portfolio that stands out to them as having great potential.

Jobin and Newsome identified a six-strain consortia of gut biome bacteria that have the potential to make non-small cell lung cancer tumors that were previously nonresponsive to checkpoint inhibitor therapies, responsive. The team is working to identify the molecule responsible for this effect. If the inventors or commercial partners can reach the point where they have a molecule that can be administered with checkpoint inhibitor therapies, 75% of the patient population would be responsive to the therapy.

“It’s a pretty amazing change in cancer therapy,” said Rachel Harding, Ph.D., the licensing officer at UF Innovate managing this technology.

Jobin is a professor of medicine in the division of gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition in the UF College of Medicine and co-leader of the UF Health Cancer Center’s Immuno-Oncology and Microbiome research program. Newsome recently completed her doctoral degree in the cancer biology concentration and is now a postdoctoral fellow in Jobin’s lab.

In addition, Arun Srivastava, Ph.D., a UF Health Cancer Center member, and his team received an Invention of the Year award for developing generation Z single-stranded AAV serotype vectors.

Read more from UF Innovate.

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