Dr. Rullo has a unique scientific training background which encompasses organic synthesis and carbohydrate chemistry, physical biochemistry, and immunology. He completed his undergraduate studies in Biochemistry at McMaster University, and then completed his graduate studies at the University of Guelph (MSc) and the University of Toronto (PhD). This was followed by postdoctoral training at Yale University, where he developed novel small molecule based anti-cancer immunotherapeutic approaches. Dr. Rullo’s expertise in this area has allowed him to establish a unique research program at MIRC, which focuses on the development of new synthetic molecules and tools that can probe and modulate how immune machinery targets cancer cells in the presence of normal cells. His approach to expanding therapeutic options in cancer immunotherapy is quite distinctive and greatly enhances the ongoing work taking place within the field of cancer research at MIRC and McMaster University.
Dr. Rullo’s work has received several accolades which include awards such as the McMaster University Faculty of Engineering “Big Ideas” Award for innovation in chemical immunotherapy and the Canadian Foundation for Innovation JELF Award, as well as invitations to present at international and national conferences hosted by highly-esteemed groups including The American National Academy of Science and Engineering, the Canadian Chemistry Society and the Gordon Research Conference on Bioorganic Chemistry. The importance of his research has also been recognized by different funding agencies, and the work being conducted by the Rullo lab is supported by several grants including the NSERC Strategic Partnership Project Grant (2018), and most recently, the Prostate Cancer Canada Discovery Grant (2019) and an Operating Grant (2019) co-sponsored by the Canadian Cancer Research Society and CIHR. Dr. Rullo’s lab is quickly growing, and current lab members include three Chemical Biology co-op students (Eden Kapcan, Alex Wang and Nick Seriuck), as well as a Masters student (Ben Lake). Eden holds an undergraduate NSERC award, while Ben was the recipient of a highly competitive Chemical Biology-MSc NSERC Award.
With all of the current success Dr. Rullo and his students are having, we are sure these accomplishments are just early signs of great things to come!