Cancer progression is characterized by gradual dysregulation of the immune system at multiple levels that is considered to directly contribute to unchecked tumor growth. The central theme of the Cancer Immunology (CI) Research Program is to identify mechanisms underlying the suppression of effective anti-tumor immunity that could instruct the development of novel and impactful immunotherapies. Dendritic cells (DCs), potent antigen presenting cells, initiate anti-tumor immune responses, which are subsequently mediated by CD4+ helper cells and cytotoxic T cells. Immunologists have historically focused on characterizing the role of tumor infiltrating T cells (TILs) in restraining tumor growth, but thereis emerging evidence that innate immune cells, such as DC and macrophages, are strongly affected by the tumor micro-environment (TME) and major contributors to tumor progression. The CI Research Program has three main scientific objectives. They are to: 1) Characterize mechanisms underlying DC and macrophage immune dysregulation in the tumor micro-environment; 2) Develop preclinical models to reverse innate immune dysfunction and restore immunogenicity to tumor associated antigens, and 3) Translate preclinical discoveries into cancer immunotherapy trials. The CI program has 21 members, and they represent 10 departments and 3 institutes (The Tisch Cancer Institute, Immunology Institute, Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology). As of July 1, 2014, program members were awarded $4,016,010 in NCI and other peer reviewed cancer-related direct support. Members of the CI Program have been increasingly successful in publishing their research in high impact journals. Since 2011, CI program members published 163 reports, of which 14.7% were intra-programmatic and 23.9% inter-programmatic.
TISCH CANCER INSTITUTE AT THE ICAHN SCHOOL OF MEDICINE AT MOUNT SINAI Principal Investigator/Director: Steven J. Burakoff, MD Public Health Relevance Statement: The Tisch Cancer Institute provides an infrastructure to support basic, clinical, translational and population-based research, innovative clinical care and cancer education, outreach and prevention. The TCI supports intra- and inter-disciplinary collaboration to promote transformative research efforts and to advance the field of cancer care, with particular emphasis on the unique populations within our catchment area.
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