We study the interactions of tumor cells and immune cells to better understand how to break immune tolerance with therapeutic strategies. We use human tumors and immunocompetent animal models to study complex interactions. One area we have been interested in is tumor cell-intrinsic factors that block and suppress anti-tumor immune responses such as the Axl receptor tyrosine kinase (Aguilera et al, Nature Communications, 2016).
Through studying these interactions we aim to nominate new therapeutic targets that could enhance responses to the current growing options of immunotherapies. This could be in identifying ideal therapeutic combinations or developing new therapeutic agents to validate in complex biologic systems.