University of Alabama School of Medicine, Birmingham, AL Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology
Research Focus: Immunotherapy
Cancer Type: Ovarian Cancer
Award: Young Investigator
A novel T cell quiescence mechanism in anti-ovarian tumor responses
Research in the Hu laboratory focuses on transcriptional regulation of cell development and function in the immune system. One goal of the laboratory is to identify novel regulatory genes/networks of T cell quiescence and determine their roles in T cell homeostasis, tolerance, and immune responses. Knowledge obtained from these studies will help design new therapeutic strategies that would manipulate T cell quiescence/activation for the treatment of autoimmune and infectious diseases and cancer. Another direction of the research in the Hu laboratory is to understand the hierarchical regulatory networks of key transcription factors that are engaged in hematopoiesis/lymphopoiesis.
The proposed work will have a profound effect on the field by defining a novel mechanism for the loss-of-function of anti-tumor T cells in ovarian cancer, which may be applicable to other lethal epithelial tumors. The accomplishment of the work will provide both a mechanistic rationale and proof-of-concept for new interventions aimed at maximizing the effectiveness of adoptively transferred tumor-reactive T cells. The long-term goal is to develop improved treatment options for ovarian cancer in clinic through adoptive transfer of tumor-reactive T cells, which are genetically modified to overcome tumor-induced immune suppression.
At time of the award: Wistar Institute, Philadelphia, PA
Assistant Professor, Tumor Microenvironment and Metastasis Program, Vaccine Center Member