CRI Funded Scientists

Luke Postoak, PhD , CRI-Irvington Postdoctoral Fellow

Washington University School of Medicine

Area of Research: All Cancers

Dr. Luke Postoak is investigating the process of antigen cross-presentation, where dendritic cells degrade cancer cells to present their proteins to CD-8+ T cells, activating killer T cell activity. Previous research in his parent lab established that this process relies on a unique molecule—WDFY4—expressed solely on dendritic cells. Despite this knowledge, the role of WDFY4 in antigen cross-presentation remains unclear. 

Dr. Postoak’s hypothesis proposes that WDFY4 acts as a scaffold, directing the intracellular trafficking of tumor antigens and facilitating their presentation on the cell surface for CD8+ T cells. To explore this, he is conducting studies to identify other molecules near WDFY4 in dendritic cells, creating a list of WDFY4 partners. Subsequently, a functional test will be performed to screen and identify partners that regulate the cross-presentation process. 

The objective of his research is to enhance our understanding of the mechanisms underlying cross-presentation. Additionally, by identifying novel modulators of anti-tumor immunity through this process, Dr. Postoak’s work may unveil new therapeutic targets. 

Dr. Postoak is supported by the CRI Irvington Postdoctoral Fellowship to Promote Racial Diversity.

Projects and Grants

Wdfy4 in cross-presentation and immunity 

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