The Cancer Immunology Program is composed of 34 investigators (29 Full and 5 Associate members) from 13 Departments. The overall goal of the Program is to understand how immune cells work in physiological and pathological conditions, in order to develop new strategies to harness the power of the immune system to fight cancer, and to understand how unique aspects of lymphocyte biology contribute to oncogenesis.
The specific aims are: 1) To discover mechanisms that lead to malignancies of the immune system and develop targeted therapies that exploit the urtique biology of immune cell malignancies;2) To study the basic mechanisms regulating immune responses and their alteration in tumor-bearing hosts, including aspects of antigen presentation, signaling, effector programs and tolerance;and 3) To develop new immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer and test them in pre-clinical and clinical studies. To achieve these goals, the Program promotes forums for interactions between laboratory scientists and clinicians who share a common interest in Cancer Immunology;provides access to sophisticated technologies that are beyond the reach of individual laboratories;and supports members, particularly junior investigators, with seed money for pilot projects for translational applications in cancer immunology. Drs. Sandra Demaria and Michael Dustin are the Co-Leaders for this Program. Total funding increased from $12,703,949 to $15,514,219 since the last competitive application. Membership has decreased from 38 to 34. Publications for the period total 333, of which 7.5% are intra-programmatic, 20.1% are inter-programmatic, and 5.4% are both intra- and inter-programmatic collaborations
Improved understanding of the intricate functioning of the immune system is essential for achieving progress in cancer treatment. This program provides the vehicle for cooperation between investigators with multidisciplinary expertise that is essential for the development of innovative therapeutic strategies exploiting the power of the immune system.
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