AACR-Genentech Immuno-oncology Research Fellowship
The AACR-Genentech Immuno-oncology Research Fellowship represents a joint effort to encourage and support postdoctoral or clinical research fellows to conduct immuno-oncology research and to establish a successful career path in this field. Funded research can be basic, translational, or clinical in nature.
CAR T-cell based immunotherapy is remarkably effective against hematopoietic cancers but not against solid tumors, apparently because CAR T cells become “exhausted.” TET enzymes are dioxygenases that oxidize 5-methylcytosine (5mC) in DNA to 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) and other DNA demethylation intermediates. Dr. Singh and his colleagues have previously observed that TET loss-of-function in tumor-infiltrating T cells (TILs) improves tumor rejection. They traced this to an improved ability of splenic CD4+ and CD8+ TILs to promote tumor regression. In addition, Tet deficiency can impair the function of T regulatory (Treg) cells due to decreased stability of Foxp3 expression. In this project, Dr. Singh aims to define the mechanisms underlying the ability of TET deficiency to improve tumor rejection through effects on these two cell types.
Dr. Singh obtained his PhD from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, India. In his graduate research work he studied the epigenetic basis of therapy resistance in cancer stem cells at the Central Drug Research Institute, India. In his early postdoctoral training at the City of Hope Beckman Research Institute he studied the role of TET family of enzymes in somatic cell reprograming and cancer. He is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology where he is studying the role of TET proteins in immunotherapy resistance in cancer cells.
Acknowledgment of Support
I am honored to receive an AACR-Genentech Immuno-oncology Research Fellowship. This support and recognition from the AACR and Genentech will help me extend my prior research on cancer stem cells, TET enzymes, and epigenetic regulation to the field of cancer immunology and establish an independent research career.
Dr. Wang’s current research focuses on understanding how papillomavirus evades the host immune response to establish persistent infection. She previously showed that stress keratin 17 (K17) is a key regulator in the prevention of T cell infiltration in mouse papillomavirus-induced lesions. In her funded work, she aims to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying K17 expression and K17-mediated regulation of T cell infiltration using mouse papillomavirus, MmuPV1, as a model.
Dr. Wang graduated with her PhD from the cellular and molecular pathology program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is currently a postdoctoral trainee at the same university, where she is working on the role of stress keratin 17 in host immune response using mouse papillomavirus as a model.
Acknowledgment of Support
The 2020 AACR-Genentech Immuno-oncology Research Fellowship will support my proposed study of investigating mechanisms of immune response regulation by K17 in cancer and help me transition to an independent researcher with the goal of applying what I learn from this study to improve current immunotherapy efficacy.