Chantale Bernatchez, Ph.D.
The focus of the Tumor Infiltrating Lymphocyte (TIL) Laboratory is to address both clinical and basic research questions on the role of human T cells in anti-tumor immune responses. Our main interest is the phenotypic and functional characterization of CD8+ cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) and CD4+-helper T cell responses directly isolated and expanded from solid tumors, such as melanoma and breast cancer. We are also interested in how tumor antigen-specific CD8+ and CD4+ in isolated TIL change following immunotherapy using tumor antigen-specific vaccines, the infusion of activated tumor-specific T cells into patients (called “adoptive T-cell therapy”) and treatment of patients with immunomodulatory agents. We take an interdisciplinary approach by working together with a team of basic and clinical researchers in addressing these problems.