People

Professor, Immunobiology

My graduate training was in the field of Cellular and Molecular Immunology, wherein I investigated transcriptional and post-transcriptional mechanisms employed by cytokines to regulate ICAM-1 gene expression by primary astrocytes and microglial cells of the CNS. These investigations shed new light on the role of cytokines in inflammatory diseases like Multiple Sclerosis and AIDS dementia. During my post-doctoral training, I extend these skills to conduct in vitro and in vivo cellular immunology investigations into mechanisms regulating antigen specific CD8+ and CD4+ T cell responses that determine tolerance versus immunity by developing novel murine tumor models.  As an independent investigator, I have combined these experiences to delineate the effects of antigen and cytokines on CD8+ T cell fate.  Over the past 18 years, I have supervised and mentored over 14 graduate students and 19 post-doctoral/clinical fellows and we have collectively characterized several molecular pathways guiding CD8+ T cell responses which have been successfully targeted in murine model systems and the clinic.  The achievements from our laboratory investigations have resulted in the application of IL-21 in the treatment of RCC and Melanoma, the use of rapamycin to promote CD8+ T cell memory responses for durable immunity in cancer and the ability to ex vivo produce tumor specific resident memory T (TRM) cells for clinical benefit.  The bench to bedside to bench paradigm is actively practiced by my research group and we have produced significant impact (publications and clinic) and created a useful platform for training future scientists. In addition, I was instrumental in establishing the Immune monitoring core at RPCI and was a joint leader of the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center’s Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy CCSG program.  Based on these experiences have taken up responsibilities for developing Cancer Immunotherapy at UACC and perform Immune Monitoring for clinician scientists at University of Arizona. Our ability to collaborate with basic and clinician scientists nationally and internationally is fundamental to our success at advancing novel basic science concepts for clinical benefit.


Alumni

Ferron Sonderegger

Research Specialist, Principal

Geetanjali Gupta
Research Specialist, Senior
Partha Samadder
Research Specialist, Senior