Kristen E. Pauken, Ph.D.
Areas of Research
- Immunology Research
- Immunotherapy Research
- Cancer Biology Research
- Systems Biology
The Pauken lab seeks to understand how perturbing immune regulation by administering PD-1-based immunotherapy impacts CD8+ T cell fate and function both in the setting of protective anti-cancer responses, as well as pathogenic immune-driven toxicities. Our long-term goal is to develop strategies to uncouple the protective benefits of PD-1 immunotherapy from the pathogenic side effects, making immunotherapy safer and more effective for patients.
The Pauken lab utilizes mouse models of cancer and autoimmunity to interrogate: 1) the cellular and molecular drivers of CD8+ T cell fate and functional potential in the settings of cancer and autoimmunity, 2) how anatomical location interfaces with CD8+ T cell differentiation, and how these two factors impact sensitivity to immunotherapy agents such as PD-1 inhibitors, and 3) how the presence of one chronic disease state (e.g. cancer) influences T cell differentiation and function in other chronic disease states (e.g. autoimmunity), and how this ultimately impacts response to immunotherapy.
Our lab uses high dimensional flow cytometry, immunofluorescence microscopy, and single cell RNA seq to interrogate CD8+ T cell differentiation state and function in cancer and autoimmunity. Moreover, the lab utilizes the T cell receptor (TCR) sequence as a molecular barcode to enable focusing of analyses to the populations of highest interest to each disease setting. Projects in the Pauken lab can: exclusively focus on cancer, exclusively focus on autoimmunity, or combine the two to interrogate how multiple disease states in the same individual impact the ensuing immune response.
Join Our Lab
The Pauken Laboratory is currently hiring! Contact Dr. Pauken for more information and/or questions.
Pauken KE*, Lagattuta KA, Lu BY, Lucca LE, Daud AI, Hafler DA, Kluger HM, Raychaudhuri S, Sharpe AH*. *co-corresponding authors.
TCR-sequencing in cancer and autoimmunity: barcodes and beyond.
Trends in Immunology. 43(3):180-194. PMID: 35090787; PMCID: PMC8882139. 2022.
Pauken KE*, Shahid O*, Lagattuta KA*, Mahuron KM*, Luber JM*, Lowe MM, Huang L, Delaney C, Long JM, Fung ME, Newcomer K, Tsai KK, Chow M, Guinn S, Kuchroo JR, Burke KP, Schenkel JM, Rosenblum MD, Daud AI, Sharpe AH, Singer M. *equal contribution.
Single-cell analyses identify circulating anti-tumor CD8 T cells and markers for their enrichment
Journal of Experimental Medicine. 218(4):e20200920. PMID: 33651880; PMCID: PMC7933992; 2021.
Collier JL*, Weiss SA*, Pauken KE, Sen DR, Sharpe AH. *equal contribution.
Not-so-opposite ends of the spectrum: CD8 T cell dysfunction across chronic infection, cancer and autoimmunity.
Review, Nature Immunology. 22(7):809-819. PMID: 34140679; PMCID: PMC9197228; 2021.
Pauken KE, Sammons MA, Odorizzi PM, Manne S, Godec J, Khan O, Drake AM, Chen Z, Sen D, Kurachi M, Barnitz RA, Bartman C, Bengsch B, Huang AC, Schenkel JM, Vahedi G, Haining WN, Berger SL, and Wherry EJ.
Epigenetic stability of exhausted T cells limits durability of reinvigoration by PD-1 blockade.
Science. 354(6316): 1160-1165. PMID: 27789795; PMCID: PMC5484795; 2016.