Research in Immunology

Immunology Program's Basic Research

Immune receptors and adjuvant discovery

This program is devoted to studying the receptors that bridge innate and adaptive immunity and directly activate or inactivate the immune system. These receptors include the TLRs, C-type lectin family receptors and the TNFR superfamily receptors.

Biology of dendritic cells (DCs), cell biology and biochemistry of antigen processing and presentation and tumor antigen discovery

This program is focused on DC development, DC activation, DC antigen processing and DC antigen presentation, as well as the interaction of DC cells with other cell types of the innate and adaptive immune systems. Both MHC class I- and II-mediated antigen processing and presentation are being studied.

Regulation of the decision between activation/differentiation, survival/apoptosis, memory/effector function and immunity/tolerance

In particular, we study the decisions made by CD4+ helper T cells, CD8+ killer T cells, regulatory T cells and tumor-specific T cells.

Hematopoietic stem cell biology

We study the regulation of stem cell self-renewal, proliferation and differentiation.

RNA-based research

This program is devoted to studying RNA surveillance pathways that protect the immune system [e.g., nonsense-mediated decay (NMD)], as well as using RNA-based approaches [e.g., RNA interference (RNAi) and RNA-DC therapy] to modify the immune system in order to protect against infections and cancer and to identify the factors critical for these responses.

Center for Cancer Immunology Research Clinical Immunology Program

The new Center for Cancer Immunology Research (CCIR) is one of the six collaborative programs in biomedical research that make up the McCombs Institute for the Early Detection and Treatment of Cancer. The CCIR state-of-the-art facility for immunology research provides a platform for integrating basic and clinical immunology research programs.

  • Bone marrow transplantation immunology
  • Leukemia and lymphoma research
  • Viral immunology and oncology research
  • DC- and T cell-based immunotherapy for cancer
  • UV-irradiation-induced immunosuppression and skin carcinogenesis