Checkpoint immunotherapies harnessing cancer-killing T cells represent a major breakthrough in cancer treatment. However, solid tumors often have microenvironments that suppress the activity of these T cells. Given that cellular metabolism is tightly intertwined with T cell activity, restoring the metabolic fitness of T cells represents a promising strategy for strengthening anti-tumor immunity. However, the success of this strategy will rely on a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms at play, and how metabolic programming controls T cell functions.
To that end, Dr. Ho aims to decipher how tumor cells create an immunosuppressive environment via metabolic crosstalk between the tumor and neighboring cells. Moreover, he will investigate whether and how tumor cues dictate metabolic adaptations in “killer” T cells as well as regulatory T cells and macrophages within tumors. The ultimate goal of Dr. Ho’s work is to reveal new dimensions of immunometabolic regulation and leverage this improved understanding via therapeutic strategies that can restore effective anti-cancer immune responses and reprogram exhausted T cells in ways that can help patients with cancer.
Projects and Grants
Deciphering and Exploiting Metabolic Crosstalk in The Tumor Microenvironment For Cancer Immunotherapy
Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research / University of Lausanne | All Cancers | 2020
Targeting metabolic weaknesses of intratumoral Tregs for reprogramming the tumor microenvironment
Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research / University of Lausanne | All Cancers | 2019
UCP2-regulated immunostimulatory shift of the tumor microenvironment in melanomas
Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research / University of Lausanne | Melanoma | 2017
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