Justin S. A. Perry, Ph.D., CRI–Mark Foundation for Cancer Research FellowUniversity of Virginia Health System

Thanks to the generous funding by the Cancer Research Institute, I am now able to join the exciting field of cancer immunotherapeutics and hopefully contribute to the discovery of novel therapies.
Area of Research: All Cancers

Macrophages are immune cells with the ability to “eat” invasive cells such as bacteria or cancer cells and stimulate a subsequent immune response against this threat. This clearance process is crucial to maintaining the health of our tissues, and especially in the case of cancer, is important for disrupting the environment that enables tumors to grow. However, not much is known about the mechanisms that link this ingestion and digestion process with the potential immune response that follows. Therefore, Dr. Justin Perry aims to pick apart this fundamentally important, yet unexplored scientific avenue. He recently identified several molecules that influence how macrophages maintain their size after engulfing other cells and found that manipulating some of the relevant genes enhanced macrophage uptake of lymphoma cells. Consequently, Dr. Perry is investigating this approach as a means to enhance immune responses against cancer and ultimately improve the effectiveness of immunotherapy for cancer patients.

Justin Perry, CRI-funded scientist: Our work in cancer immunology is leading to real, tangible benefits for cancer patients.

Projects and Grants

Regulation of phagocyte physiology during tumor cell clearance

University of Virginia Health System | All Cancers | 2018 | Kodimangalam S. Ravichandran, Ph.D.

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