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Diane Griffin Lab
Research in the Diane Griffin Lab focuses on the viral, cellular and immunologic determinants of diseases caused by alphaviruses and the measles virus. Our current studies aim to understand the immune-system mechanisms behind viral clearance and disease enhancement. Our team is also working to understand the pathogenesis of the measles virus, with a focus on developing new vaccines and learning how the virus induces immunosuppression.
Drew Pardoll Lab
The Pardoll Lab focuses on the regulation of antigen-specific T cell responses and studies approaches to modify these responses for immunotherapy. Pardoll has a particular interest in cancer immunology and his lab’s studies on basic immunologic mechanisms have led to the development and design of a number of cancer vaccines and discovery of key checkpoint ligands and receptors, such as PD-L2, LAG-3 and neuritin, many of which are being targeted clinically.
Our primary pursuits are discovering and elucidating new molecules that regulate immune responses, investigating the biology of regulatory T cells, and better understanding the specific biochemical signatures that allow a patient’s T cells to selectively target cancer cells.
Current projects include:
The evaluation of mechanisms of immune tolerance to cancer in mouse models of breast and pancreatic cancer. We have characterized the HER-2/neu transgenic mouse model of spontaneous mammary tumors.
This model demonstrates immune tolerance to the HER-2/neu gene product. This model is being used to better understand the mechanisms of tolerance to tumor. In addition, this model is being used to develop vaccine strategies that can overcome this tolerance and induce immunity potent enough to prevent and treat naturally developing tumors. More recently, we are using a genetic model of pancreatic cancer developed to understand the early inflammatory changes that promote cancer development.
The identification of human tumor antigens recognized by T cells. We are using a novel functional genetic approach developed in our laboratory. Human tumor specific T cells from vaccinated patients are used to identify immune relevant antigens that are chosen... based on an initial genomic screen of overexpressed gene products. Several candidate targets have been identified and the prevelence of vaccine induced immunity has been assessed .
This rapid screen to identify relevant antigenic targets will allow us to begin to dissect the mechanisms of tumor immunity induction and downregulation at the molecular level in cancer patients. More recently, we are using proteomics to identify proteins involved in pancreatic cancer development. We recently identified Annexin A2 as a molecule involved in metastases.
The analysis of antitumor immune responses in patients enrolled on vaccine studies. The focus is on breast and pancreatic cancers. We are atttempting to identify in vitro correlates of in vivo antitumor immunity induced by vaccine strategies developed in the laboratory and currently under study in the clinics. view more
Franck Housseau Lab
The Franck Housseau Lab focuses on the role of the microbiome in colorectal tumorigenesis and on developing a better understanding of the tumor immune microenvironment. The lab is currently working to define the biomarkers of a pre-existing antitumor immune response in metastatic colorectal cancer to define a population of patients eligible for checkpoint blockade therapies.
Research in the Gary S. Hayward Laboratory is related to human herpesvirus. Specifically, researchers are seeking to understand how the different classes of herpes viruses take control of transcription, DNA replication, cell cycle and other nuclear processes of their host cells and how they also block or evade apoptotic and immune responses in both the lytic and latent state.
HPTN (HIV Prevention Trials Network) Network Laboratory (NL) is responsible for collecting, testing and reporting results from biological samples; assisting in the development and quality assurance assessment of local laboratory capacity at the Clinical Trials Units (CTUs) participating in HPTN clinical trials (www.hptn.org); and identifying and implementing state-of-the-art assays and technologies to advance the scientific agenda of the Network.
The Ivan Borrello Lab focuses on the development of a novel approach of adoptive T cell therapy utilizing marrow-infiltrating lymphocytes (MILs) as a more tumor-specific T cell approach. This has led to establishing the first adoptive T cell trials at Johns Hopkins and an exploration of this approach in other diseases, including nonhematologic malignancies. The lab also examines strategies for treating minimal residual disease (MRD) in myeloma with the combination of immune modulation and whole cell-based vaccines.
Jeff Bulte Lab
The clinical development of novel immune and stem cell therapies calls for suitable methods that can follow the fate of cells non-invasively in humans at high resolution. The Bulte Lab has pioneered methods to label cells magnetically (using tiny superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles) in order to make them visible by MR imaging.
While the lab is doing basic bench-type research, there is a strong interaction with the clinical interventional radiology and oncology groups in order to bring the methodologies into the clinic.
Joel Pomerantz Laboratory
The Pomerantz Laboratory studies the molecular machinery used by cells to interpret extracellular signals and transduce them to the nucleus to affect changes in gene expression. The accurate response to extracellular signals results in a cell's decision to proliferate, differentiate or die, and it's critical for normal development and physiology. The dysregulation of this machinery underlies the unwarranted expansion or destruction of cell numbers that occurs in human diseases like cancer, autoimmunity, hyperinflammatory states and neurodegenerative disease.
Current studies in the lab focus on signaling pathways that are important in innate immunity, adaptive immunity and cancer, with particular focus on pathways that regulate the activity of the pleiotropic transcription factor NF-kB.
John Aucott Lab
Research in the John Aucott Lab focuses on the development of accurate diagnostic tests for all stages of Lyme disease. We work closely with Dr. Mark Soloski on the Study of Lyme disease Immunology and Clinical Events (SLICE), a longitudinal, matched-control study of patients diagnosed with early untreated Lyme disease. The objective is to use the collected biological samples to help identify novel Lyme disease biomarkers that can inform diagnoses, outcomes and the knowledge about disease pathophysiology.