My lab has focused on understanding the mechanisms that determine whether T cells are activated or tolerized in vivo. We use a variety of transgenic and gene knock out mouse models to evaluate the molecular pathways that govern T cell fate. In particular, we examine how to promote T cell responses to tissues, with a goal to understand and control autoimmune and anti-tumor immune responses.
Our recent studies have examined novel ways that dendritic cells are programmed to influence T cell function in vivo. In addition we are focussed on how the tissue or tumor microenvironment can have a significant impact on T cell responses.
Importantly, my interests have also expanded to establishing an immune therapy platform. My group has developed the ability to grow tumor infiltrating T cells and characterize their properties. We have also coordinated clinical trials and are building towards a comprehensive program in immune therapy.