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Assistant Professor of Urology
Lab: 3217 MERFIowa City, IA 52242
BS, Microbiology, Iowa State UniversityMS, Immunobiology, Iowa State UniversityPhD, Immunology, University of Iowa
Post Doctoral, University of IowaPost Doctoral, Washington University School of Medicine
Biosciences Graduate ProgramInterdisciplinary Graduate Program in Immunology
Immunotherapy is a promising approach for the treatment of advanced solid tumors, but progress in this area is impeded by the fact that growing tumors suppress protective immunity in a variety of ways. My laboratory uses cellular and molecular techniques to explore the nature of tumor-derived immune dysfunction, focusing primarily on dendritic cell (DC) and T cell deficiencies. Our long-term goals are to develop novel, immune-based therapies for advanced solid tumors, using the knowledge gained from our pre-clinical studies. A major emphasis in the lab is to understand how obesity as a co-morbidity affects anti-tumor immunity. We recently found that obesity impairs protective anti-tumor immune responses, and leads to immunotherapeutic failure in mice with renal tumors. We are now identifying the mechanistic basis for this failure, and determining whether obese cancer patients also have altered anti-tumor immunity. Another major research emphasis in the lab is to develop novel combinatorial immunotherapies for metastatic cancers, using a variety of different murine tumor models.
Current research projects include:
1. Investigating the impact of obesity on DC and T cell function in the absence of tumor growth, with an emphasis on understanding the cellular and molecular causes of obesity-induced DC deficiency.
2. Investigating the impact of obesity on DC and T cell function in tumor-bearing mice and humans, with the goal of understanding how this impacts immunotherapeutic efficacy.
3. Developing novel nanoparticle-based immunotherapies for metastatic breast and kidney cancer.
Diet-induced obesity alters dendritic cell function in the presence and absence of tumor growth.
Eradication of metastatic renal cell carcinoma after adenovirus-encoded TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL)/CpG immunotherapy.
Synergistic Induction of Apoptosis in Primary B-CLL Cells after Treatment with Recombinant Tumor Necrosis Factor-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand and Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors.
Date Last Modified: 06/07/2014 -
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