The Immunology in Cancer and Infection Laboratory focuses on advancing our understanding of the basic principles underlying an immune response to cancer (and metastases) and infection. We aim to understand these processes at the molecular level, with particular emphasis on two major pathways of resistance to immunotherapy – the CD226/CD96/TIGIT-CD155 receptor-ligand complex and the extracellular ATP/adenosine pathways. We also study the role of the innate immune system, in particular, the NK cell-ILC1/myeloid cross talk.
We have developed approaches to block these two pathways of immunotherapy resistance, including creating new agents to block lymphocyte CD96/TIGIT immune checkpoints or promote ATP accumulation while limiting adenosine-mediated immune suppression. Our findings are used to develop more effective biological and cellular therapies for human cancer, in particular, melanoma, lung cancer, head and neck cancer, and haematological cancers, such as multiple myeloma, where we aim to treat minimal residual disease. We are also deleting various genes in NK cells and myeloid cells in the context of tumour initiation and metastases, with a view to understanding the major mechanisms of immune suppression limiting NK cells and myeloid cell anti-tumour function.
We gratefully acknowledge the support of the following funding agencies: