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The Philip Lab studies immune system interactions with cancers. We use genetically-engineered mouse models to track tumor-specific T cells as they differentiate in  developing tumors (pre-malignant lesions). We make use of high-throughput population-level and single cell RNA-sequencing to capture the transcriptional activity of tumor-specific T cells over time, and we determine the differentiation state using novel epigenetic analyses including ATAC-Seq.

Tumor-specific T cells are often found in patients’ tumors, however the tumors grow unimpeded; thus the T cells have been rendered dysfunctional. The overall goal of out laboratory is to understand how tumor-specific T cells become dysfunctional, and to devise new strategies to make T cells resistant to dysfunction so they can be used for cancer immunotherapy.

To learn more about our research, read our recent paper in Nature 545, 452–456 (25 May 2017) doi:10.1038/nature22367: