Phone: 713-563-3301 (Office)
Dr. Bover has more than 35 years of experience in tumor immunology and immunotherapy in Argentina, at one of the country's premier research institutes (Instituto de Investigaciones Bioquimicas, Fundacion Campomar, currently Fundacion Instituto Leloir - FIL) and foremost private oncology hospital (Instituto Alexander Fleming), before coming to MD Anderson Cancer Center.
She received firsthand training in the generation of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) from Cesar Milstein, Ph.D., who received the Nobel Prize in Medicine for the discovery of hybridoma technology and serves as an Advisor of the Fundacion Campomar. In particular, two of the antibodies generated there by Dr. Bover (FC-2.15 anti-Lewis X and FC-5.01 anti-CD63) were patented in the U.S., licensed to private companies, and used in clinical protocols in Argentina.
In Argentina, as part of the FIL and the Instituto Alexander Fleming, she established the pre-clinical and clinical protocols for applying developed mAbs and anti-human melanoma vaccines. She went on to collaborate with physicians, with the goal of pursuing translational research and developing immune therapies.
Dr. Bover is currently a full professor at MD Anderson Cancer Center and holds a joint appointment in Immunology and in Genomic Medicine. Dr. Bover is a member of the Faculty Senate, a member of the Oversight Committee of the MAF, a member of the Steering Committee for the Immunology Program of the Graduate School of Biological Sciences (GSBS), a member of the Committee Core Rigor and Reproducibility of the ABRF (Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities), an associate member of GSBS and member of the Research Clinical Committee. She is also a member of the Sociedad Argentina de Investigación Clínica (SAIC). She provides custom mAbs to MD Anderson Cancer Center and external users. She previously worked under a Glaxo-Smith-Kline/MD Anderson agreement for the clinical development of a new therapeutic mAb, immune checkpoint anti-OX40, generated at the MAF. The anti-OX40 mAb promotes the immune system attack on cancer. Since June 2007, she has overseen the daily operations of the Core and has been assisting the users of the facility with her expertise. More than 450 newly developed MAbs were delivered under her guidance. Several others patented and licensed for clinical development or disclosed under invention disclosure reports (IDRs) and licensed to biotech companies.
Phone: 713-563-3223 / 3239 (Office/Laboratory) | 713-792-9928 (Tissue Culture Room)
Long Vien has more than 25 years of experience working on monoclonal antibody (mAbs) development. While working at Tanox a biotech company, he was involved in development of therapeutic antibodies using hybridoma techniques for targets identified by project teams. He generated and produced several neutralizing antibodies clones and some of them were selected for clinical development. This experience prepared him to join MD Anderson Cancer Center as the laboratory manager of the facility. He is involved in identifying cellular markers, specifically expressed on tumor cells and tumor stem cells, and using them as targets to generate MAbs.
Felipe Amaya-Manzanares, M.Sc.
Felipe Amaya-Manzanares has more than 25 years of experience working in molecular biology, particularly on projects involving cancer research. While working at the UT Institute of Molecular Medicine Center for Stem cell and Regenerative Medicine, he participated and co-authored manuscript describing several research projects. These articles included describing the effects of white fat tissue depletion and the important role that adipocyte progenitors play on the progression of cancer. He also has successfully led the development of programs and multi-disciplinary teams to establish the Transgenic Mouse Facility (Baylor College of Medicine) and NGS Systems Facilities (The Houston Methodist Research Institute Cancer Center.) Currently, Mr. Amaya-Manzanares is working on developing immunotherapeutic agents, such as monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and therapeutic vaccines for cancer treatment. He serves as the Program Manager of the Monoclonal Antibodies Core Facility (MAF) at MD Anderson. He collaborates with cancer researchers, users of the MAF, to help them generate and characterize new mAbs against key co-stimulatory and co-inhibitory molecules of the immune system. These mAbs will be used to activate a more efficacious anti-tumor response. He is also involved in the identification of cellular markers, specifically expressed on tumor cells and tumor stem cells, that can be used as targets to generate mAbs, either to characterize cellular mechanisms or for therapeutic purposes. Felipe provides the core users with excellent expertise and advise to generate the mAbs they need for their basic, clinical, and translational research.
Janis D. Johnson
Research Histology Technician, Immunology
Janis Johnson previously worked in the Darwin Transgenic Mouse Core at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, where she obtained significant experience performing microinjections and embryonic stem cell cultures. She joined the facility in August 2008. She is currently performing mice immunization, antibody purification with Protein A, Protein G, and affinity purification with FPLC (Fast Protein Liquid Chromatography).
Zhuang Wu, MD
Research Assistant II
Zhuang Wu has worked on in pulmonary diseases in The University of Texas System for multiple years. He joined the facility in 2019. He is responsible for animal immunization, MAbs screening and hybridomas maintenance.
Phone: 713-792-9928 (Tissue Culture Room)
Diego Castro is the newest addition to the core and performs affinity and avidity testing on the different antibodies produced by the core. Previously he worked at Abbvie, a pharma company with production based in Puerto Rico.
Myrthala Moreno-Smith, Ph.D.
Research Assistant II
Myrthala Moreno-Smith, Ph.D., has worked as a research scientist in different institutions of the Texas Medical Center for the past 20 years, gaining experience and publishing articles in cancer research. She obtained her Ph.D. in natural sciences in Germany. Dr. Moreno-Smith joined the Monoclonal Antibody Core Facility in February 2022. Her work is involved in DNA sequencing and characterization of newly generated monoclonal antibodies. She is actively participating in research studies to validate a monoclonal antibody generated at the core by the former (now graduated) master's student Ahmed Muhsin and that was patented by our laboratory.