The tumor immune microenvironment is extremely dynamic. Tumor and immune cell subsets demonstrate significant plasticity and evolve into different functional states based on the cues received from the microenvironment.
One of the critical pathways that regulate the functional phenotype of tumor and immune cell subsets is epigenetic regulation. Based on the basic mechanistic understanding of these processes, we aim to develop strategies to target specific pathways to overcome primary and adaptive resistance to immune-based therapies. We have identified critical epigenetic pathways that regulate functional phenotypes of T cells and myeloid cells that are currently being tested in the clinic.
In addition, the lab focuses on translational studies using patient samples to identify predictive biomarkers for response to immune checkpoint therapy. Using reverse translational strategies, we test our findings using pre-clinical model systems and high-throughput single-cell technologies and computational analysis to garner mechanistic insight.
Projects in the laboratory:
- delineating epigenetic regulation of immune cell subsets and how it modulates response to immune checkpoint therapy
- development of rational tumor-specific combinatorial strategies to overcome resistance to immune checkpoint therapy
- translational and computational analysis of data derived from human patient samples
A tutorial in my laboratory would provide experience in various high throughput immunological and epigenetic techniques, as well as an understanding of basic immunology and translational research processes.