Skip to main content

Center Events


Immune checkpoint blockade therapy for breast cancer: Lessons from epithelial-mesenchymal plasticity

Anushka Dongre, PhD - Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Department of Microbiology and Immunology Cornell University

Although immune checkpoint blockade therapy has generated dramatic responses in certain cancers, the response of breast tumors has been largely limited. By establishing novel, preclinical murine models of more-epithelial or more-mesenchymal breast tumors, we demonstrate that the cellular plasticity of breast cancer cells can itself be an important determinant of responsiveness to such therapy. Moreover, interrupting certain signalling channels specifically associated with mesenchymal cancer cells, can potentiate the effects of checkpoint inhibition leading to the elimination of more-mesenchymal breast tumors. Thus, our work highlights the prospect of using the polarization of carcinoma cells on the epithelial-mesenchymal spectrum as a surrogate marker for predicting responses to immune checkpoint blockade therapy.

 Jun 03, 2024 @ 12:00 p.m.
 Medical Center | Upper Auditorium (3-7619)

Host: Dept. of Microbiology & Immunology Seminar Series and Scott Gerber, PhD

Dynamic CRISPR-Cas9 regulation enhances phage defense while minimizing autoimmunity

Joshua W. Modell, PhD - Assistant Professor of Molecular Biology & Genetics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

CRISPR-Cas systems provide bacteria with adaptive immunity against bacteriophages and other foreign genetic elements. However, there is a growing appreciation that overexpression of CRISPR-Cas components is toxic in both their native hosts and heterologous systems for gene editing. In this seminar, I will discuss the S. pyogenes CRISPR-Cas9 system and describe how it is (i) transcriptionally repressed to mitigate autoimmune toxicity in the absence of phage and (ii) rapidly induced in the presence of phage to promote bacterial survival.

 Jun 10, 2024 @ 12:00 p.m.
 Medical Center | Upper Auditorium (3-7619)

Host: Dept. Microbiology & Immunology Seminar Series and Andrew Varble, PhD