introduction to our project

Problem scenario

Say a small fictitious African country is interested in establishing pharmaceutical industries based on genetically modified organisms, particularly plant-made non-vaccine humanized compounds for medical use. This country has organized a committee of informed biologists, lawyers, business people, and other relevant members of the public, for the purposes of listening to and evaluating various proposals regarding which GMOs and GMO technologies to utilize. This committee would like to be informed of recent research in these proposed fields, based on primary literature, and it would make its decision on the proposals accordingly, taking feasibility and safety of the technology into account.

(Adapted from the BIO349H1S - Eukaryotic Molecular Biology 2006 Course Manual, p34.)

Purpose of this project

Taking together the advancements in research and biotechnology and the overall goal of medicine, which is to heal or to cure, this group aims to examine the feasibility of transgenic plant systems for the production of immune-related compounds to treat immune disorders. To do so, this review will focus on two main classes of immune compounds: antibodies and cytokines. It will briefly introduce immune disorders for which advancements have been made in treatment through immunotherapy. Furthermore, this website will discuss the technical, financial, ethical and safety issues surrounding transgenic plant systems and show that they are in fact a promising tool for recombinant cytokine and antibody production for the treatment of immune-related diseases.

We hope that you find this review both informative and comprehensive.

Weija Chiang, Alexander Collis, and Su Yuan
University of Toronto
March 29, 2006.