Northern California Science Writers Association

NCSWA Spring Dinner: Hacking Cells to Create Tomorrow's Medicines

  • Tuesday, April 10, 2018
  • 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Thirsty Bear Brewing Co., 661 Howard St, San Francisco CA 94105 (a short walk from the Montgomery BART station)
  • 1


  • (Log in to register. Members may bring one guest at the member price.)

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Medicine is at an inflection point, where the very idea of what we consider a drug is about to change. Today, pharmaceutical companies create chemical compounds that attack pathogens or tweak your own cells’ function to help them fight disease. But tomorrow, researchers may be able to build smart therapeutic cells that reside in the body for life, poised to respond to diseases from cancer to Alzheimer’s — or even prevent them entirely.

Join us at Thirsty Bear Brewery in San Francisco to learn about the next-level technologies being developed by Kole Roybal and his team at UC San Francisco to reprogram and repurpose immune cells into “cell-bots” — cellular robots that sense tumors or other diseased tissue and respond with an array of customizable therapeutic responses.

Roybal envisions a future in which cellular therapies act as microscopic “physicians,” capable of rapidly traveling anywhere in the body to detect, diagnose, and treat diseases by killing off sick or dangerous cells, cleaning up toxic debris, or delivering medications directly to where they’re needed.


Kole Roybal is an assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of California, San Francisco, a member of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, and an inaugural Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Investigator. His laboratory harnesses the tools of synthetic and chemical biology to engineer immune cell therapies for cancer and autoimmune diseases. He received his doctorate from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.


6 pm Drinks & mingling (cash bar)

7 pm Buffet dinner

8 pm Speaker & Q&A


MIXED GREENS SALAD tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions & sherry vinaigrette

PIQUILLO PEPPERS fire roasted sweet red peppers stuffed w/goat cheese & herbs

ASPARAGUS grilled with hard-boiled eggs & salsa verde

PATATAS BRAVAS garlicky potatoes w/spicy brava sauce & lemon aioli

AHI TUNA seared w/pimenton spice, olive & lemon marinated chick peas, pea sprouts

CHICKEN sauteed w/capers, garlic, butter & sherry

VEGAN PAELLA DE VERDURAS rice, asparagus, fava beans, baby squash, carrots,spinach, parsley, lemon zest

CHURROS fried dough, cinnamon, sugar, chocolate dipping sauce

COST: $22 members / $17 students / $45 nonmembers

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: Sign up by 5 pm PDT April 4, 2018

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