Our Strategy & Impact

Meet the YP Fellow: Katharina Kreymborg, Ph.D.

  • Nina Kreymborg, Ph.D.
    Nina Kreymborg, Ph.D.
  • Nina with sponsor Jim Allison
    Nina with sponsor Jim Allison
  • Nina in lab
    Nina in lab
Katharina "Nina" Kreymborg, Ph.D.
New York, NY
Dr. Kreymborg’s studies hold promise for providing new targets for therapies to enhance the immune response during cancer treatment.

Katharina Kreymborg, Ph.D., is conducting postdoctoral studies at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, under the mentorship of Dr. Marcel R.M. van den Brink and Dr. James Allison, a world-leading immunologist who is noted for the discovery and development of the anti-CTLA-4 antibody ipilimumab (Yervoy™). As part of her training, Dr. Kreymborg is focusing on understanding T cell costimulatory molecules and the role they play in immunity.

Costimulatory molecules are key secondary signals that tell a T cell what to do when it has encountered a foreign or dangerous marker, or antigen. Because they can either activate or inhibit T cell activity, these molecules play a pivotal role in determining whether T cell engagement will lead to activation or inactivation of the T cell. Given this key function, targeting costimulatory pathways provides numerous therapeutic opportunities to selectively manipulate T cell responses to treat autoimmunity, graft rejection, infectious diseases, and cancer.

Through her project, Dr. Kreymborg aims to determine the impact of two newly discovered costimulatory molecules, B7x and B7-H3, on anti-tumor immune responses. Studies have demonstrated B7x as an inhibitor of the immune response, whereas B7-H3 has been implicated as both a stimulator and an inhibitor of T cells. Because overexpression of both B7x and B7-H3 have been observed on a variety of tumors, a further understanding of the roles of these costimulatory molecules could offer new openings for direct modulation of the anti-tumor immune response within the tumor microenvironment.

“I strongly believe that a better understanding of how tumors evade the immune system will allow the development of more efficient immune-based anti-tumor therapies, and I am certain that Professor Allison’s lab offers excellent conditions and an encouraging environment for this research.” -- Katharina Kreymborg, Ph.D.

A native of Germany, Dr. Kreymborg received her undergraduate degree from Eberhard-Karls-University in Tübingen, under the mentorship of Professor Hans-Georg Rammensee. For her Ph.D., she studied with Professor Burkhard Becher at the University Hospital Zurich in Zurich, Switzerland, where she was the recipient of a grant from the International Ph.D. Program in Neuroscience from the Neuroscience Center Zurich. She has been a co-author on nine publications, including a first author paper published in the prestigious Journal of Immunology in 2007 that fundamentally challenged accepted understanding of the role immune signaling molecules in the development of neurological autoimmune inflammation.

When she is not in the lab, Nina enjoys outdoor activities such as skiing, camping, and snowshoeing, traveling, and exploring the many cultural offerings that New York City has to offer.