The Tumor and Host Response (TIHR) program is a newly developed, interdisciplinary research group that focuses on the interaction between immunity and cancer. Investigators of the TIHR program perform basic and translational research aimed at understanding the role of Immune/Inflammatory responses in the pathogenesis of cancer and the application of these discoveries to the treatment of cancer. The program is comprised of 20 members from six different departments with a total annual direct research support of $6,542,810 of which $1,786,734 is from the NCI. Over this last grant period, there were 352 publications of the Tumor Immunology and Host Response Program, of which 13,6% are intra-programmatic and 34.7% are inter-programmatic. Investigators are involved in many intra- and inter-programatic interactions and collaborate with researchers in other University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center programs including Cancer Cell Biology, Breast Oncology, Prostate Oncology, and Head and Neck Oncology. The program has recently joined the Translational Research Cancer Consortium (TRC3), consisting of Immunology programs of major Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the region, The TIHR program has three main research themes: (1) to elucidate the mechanisms that regulate the interaction between cancer cells and the Innate and adaptive immune systems;(2) development of novel approaches to enhance immune responses against cancer cells;and (3) the translation of novel discoveries from the laboratory to the clinic for cancer treatment.

Public Health Relevance

The program studies how the immune system interacts with tumor cells during cancer development. Our work will not only provide opportunity to induce better immune response for cancer prevention and therapy, but also elucidate critical host factors that facilitate cancer development for targeted cancer therapy.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Subcommittee B - Comprehensiveness (NCI)
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University of Michigan Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor
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Verhaegen, Monique E; Mangelberger, Doris; Harms, Paul W et al. (2015) Merkel cell polyomavirus small T antigen is oncogenic in transgenic mice. J Invest Dermatol 135:1415-24
Chinn, Steven B; Darr, Owen A; Owen, John H et al. (2015) Cancer stem cells: mediators of tumorigenesis and metastasis in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Head Neck 37:317-26
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