Hacking Immune Cells To Expand Their Therapeutic Potential

Our Research

In the Roybal Lab, we harness the tools of synthetic and chemical biology to enhance the therapeutic potential of engineered immune cells. We take a comprehensive approach to cellular engineering by developing new synthetic receptors, signal transduction cascades, and cellular response programs to enhance the safety and effectiveness of adoptive cell therapies. We also study the logic of natural cellular signaling systems, and the underlying principles of cellular communication and collective cell behavior during an immune response. These interests are complementary as cell engineering is often informed by knowledge obtained from studying natural mechanisms of cell regulation refined by evolution.

Our Partners


Our People

The Roybal Lab is a dedicated group of students, post-docs, physicians, and staff scientists with diverse backgrounds ranging from basic science to cellular engineering and synthetic immunology. Each member brings expertise in their field to our unique and highly collaborative research environment.


Media highlights of Roybal Lab's research.
'Smart' immune cells kill tumours and stop them regrowing in mice
Attacking glioblastoma and other solid tumors with CAR-Ts that target multiple antigens
Tweaking Mother Nature, biologists aim for better cancer-fighting cells
'Cell Bots' Chase Down Cancer, Deliver Drugs Directly to Tumors
Synthetic Notch receptors were featured in Notable Advances 2016
Kole Roybal receives the inaugural Sartorius & Science Magazine Prize in Regenerative Medicine and Cell Therapy 2018
Boosting the immune system to fight cancer
Cell Design Labs, Little Partner Of Kite Pharma, Pushes T-Cell Engineering Frontier

Stay Updated

Keep up-to-date with the latest research from the Roybal lab.

Aerosol concentration is higher at the source, but distancing in a classroom all day long will not ... protect you. If someone is smoking in a classroom all day long, being 4 m or 6 m away won't help reduce your smoke inhalation. You need to remove the smoke from the room.


My lab at Stanford is hiring. We work on engineering new cancer immunotherapies and understanding ... their activity in early phase trials. Open postdoc positions as well as a technician with animal experience. Contact me if interested! Please retweet!

Today, ArsenalBio CEO @kdrazan will be presenting at the 40th Annual @jpmorgan Healthcare ... Conference. Attending the virtual event? Tune into his presentation from 11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. EST/8:30 - 9:00 a.m. PST. https://bwnews.pr/3JGzCq8 #JPM22 #JPM2022 #EngineeredToCure

Recent Lab News

October 2021

Make sure to register and attend the IgEquity Symposium on Oct 22! Camillia and Casey founded this organization years ago to support gender equity in immunology, and Julie has since served as director.  It’s an exceptional event with top notch speakers such as Akiko Iwasaki, don’t miss out!


Get tickets here!

September 2021

September 20th through 27th is Postdoc appreciation week in the Roybal Lab!  Dan G., Dan P., Ray, and Joe, thank you for your enduring patience, enthusiasm, and willingness to mentor the Roybal lab PhD students and Staff Scientists.  We hope you enjoyed your night out! 


August 2021

Kole is now a tenured Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at UCSF.  Congratulations on this well-deserved promotion. This is a huge milestone and we are so proud of you!

July 2021

Joe Muldoon (co-advised by Justin Eyquem and Kole Roybal) received a Cancer Research Institute (CRI) Irvington Postdoctoral Fellowship this month.  Go Joe!

Also, this summer we welcome Maria Chirinos as an undergraduate researcher in the Roybal Lab.  Maria is a biology student at CCSF with plans to transfer to U.C. Berkeley and complete a B.S. in cell and molecular biology.  She is working on shRNA validation for targets associated with T cell activation.