Regulatory T cell (Treg) populations serve as the guardian of immune homeostasis. In the tumor microenvironment, infiltrating Tregs promote tumor growth by suppressing anti-tumor immunity, but the relative contributions of two types of Tregs—thymus-derived (tTregs) and peripheral ones (pTregs)—remain unclear. Therefore, Dr. Huang aims to provide a deeper understanding of pTreg biology through the development of novel genetic tools to potentially harness Tregs.
Specifically, he will be studying the role of pTregs in colorectal cancer using a tool to trace and deplete pTregs in mice. With this model and complementary approaches, he will interrogate how pTregs contribute to overall Treg populations within primary and distant tumors, tumor-associated lymph nodes, and surrounding tissues. He will also seek to determine how dendritic cells facilitate the induction of pTregs, and how pTregs respond to and influence the success of checkpoint immunotherapy. Overall, Dr. Huang’s proposed research will clarify the role of different subsets of Tregs in colorectal cancer and provide potential novel avenues for improving Treg-based cancer immunotherapy strategies.
Projects and Grants
A Genetic Dissection of a Role for Extrathymic Regulatory T Cells in Colorectal Cancer
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center | Colorectal Cancer | 2021 | Alexander Rudensky, Ph.D.
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