"Targeting Antigen-Presenting Cells In the Solid Tumor Microenvironment"
Malay Haldar, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine
September 25, 2019 @ 11:00 am to 12:00 pm
W201 Millennium Science Complex
Research in our laboratory is at the intersection of innate immune system and solid tumor biology. Specifically, we study the mononuclear phagocyte system (MPS) with an emphasis on their role in the tumor microenvironment. MPS is part of the innate immune system and comprises of monocytes, macrophages, and dendritic cells (DC). These cells are functionally, phenotypically, and developmentally heterogeneous with many distinct subsets. We are interested in understanding the molecular basis of this developmental and functional heterogeneity within the MPS. A major focus in our laboratory is to understand the role of MPS within the microenvironment of a group of solid tumors known as sarcomas. DCs and macrophages are thought to play important role in cancer by modulating host-immune responses against the tumor cells, promoting metastasis, angiogenesis, etc. Additionally, the ability of these cells to regulate lymphocyte function makes them an important determinant in the success of cancer immunotherapy. Using a combination of advanced genetically engineered mouse models in conjunction with patient-derived samples, we aim to uncover the molecular pathways underlying tumor-MPS interaction with the overarching goal of targeting them for therapeutic purposes.