CRI Funded Scientists

Haiwei Zhang, PhD, CRI-Irvington Postdoctoral Fellow

Boston Children's Hospital

Area of Research: Colorectal Cancer

Dr. Haiwei Zhang is exploring a groundbreaking approach to enhance immune control over colorectal tumors by disrupting DNA repair within tumor cells. Colorectal cancer, a major cancer type resistant to checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapy, necessitates improved strategies. Driven by the observation that a small subset of colorectal cancers that do respond to checkpoint inhibitors exhibit DNA repair defects, Dr. Zhang hypothesizes that inhibiting DNA repair can stimulate antitumor immunity and suppress tumor growth with checkpoint inhibitors. Employing a targeted genetic strategy in a mouse model of colorectal cancer, he aims to selectively shut down the expression of DNA repair genes in tumor cells. His investigation will assess the impact of disrupting DNA repair on immune reactions, tumor growth, and the potential escalation of the antitumor response by checkpoint inhibitors. A successful outcome would pave the way for a novel therapeutic approach to treating colorectal cancer.

Projects and Grants

Tumor-targeted disruption of mismatch repair in microsatellite stable colorectal cancer

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