Research & Publications
My research employs mouse tumor models to study the interactions between cancer cells and the immune system with a particular focus on the promises and pitfalls of immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy.
Extensive Research Description
I have used mouse models of melanoma and colon carcinoma to show that B cell-depletion has no impact on the anti-tumor effects of PD-1 blockade, a result that lends support to the use of B cell-depleting antibodies such as rituximab for the treatment of certain autoimmune toxicities of immune checkpoint inhibitors. I have additionally used mouse models of melanoma and renal cell carcinoma to show that therapies that promote differentiation of pro-inflammatory macrophages significantly improve the efficacy of anti-PD-1 treatment and may provide a method for increasing response rates to immunotherapy.
My secondary focus is assessing the extent to which T cell exhaustion, a phenomenon seen in chronic viral infections, contributes to the immune system’s failure to eradicate melanoma cells. Using YUMMER1.7, an immunogenic mouse melanoma cell line developed by the Bosenberg lab here at Yale, I have developed an experimental protocol in which murine melanomas are excised and mice are subsequently rechallenged with the same melanoma cells, thus providing a means of addressing questions about immune memory and T cell function as they relate to melanoma.