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Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1984, Ph.D.
Tumor immunology and immunotherapy, molecular immunology
The major goal of my research is to devise novel immune-based strategies for cancer therapy. Currently we are focusing on two approaches. One is to create "magic bullets" by genetically attaching potent toxins to antibody fragments. The resultant immunotoxins are designed to kill tumor cells selectively due to the ability of the antibody fragments to bind tumors and target them for death via the action of the attached toxin. Our long-term goal is to bring the most promising immunotoxin to clinical trials. The other strategy is the development of cancer vaccines. These vaccines contain small tumor-associated peptides that can be recognized by the immune system, along with other proteins that help initiate a potent anti-tumor immune response. So our vaccines have a one-two punch: they both efficiently deliver tumor-associated peptides to the immune system and activate tumor-specific immune effector cells. We are using mouse models to understand how these vaccines work at the molecular and cellular levels, and human systems to identify potent vaccines for the treatment of diseases such as breast cancer.
Last modified on: February 25, 2003