CRI Funded Scientists

Dillon G. Patterson, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow

Harvard Medical School

Area of Research: All Cancers

Immunotherapy is a cancer treatment that uses the immune system of an individual to fight cancer. Immune checkpoint blockade is one type of immunotherapy that works by blocking proteins that act as brakes to immune cells and enables the immune system to destroy cancer cells.  Although this approach is effective for many patients, not everyone receives clinical benefit. Part of the reason involves small chemical modifications to DNA and associated proteins that impact how immune cells, called T cells, can respond to immune checkpoint blockade. Dr. Patterson’s proposal aims to identify the factors responsible for these molecular changes to DNA. Dr. Patterson will use novel experimental tools that enable them to delete any gene in T cells and evaluate how this perturbation impacts T cell response to cancer cells.  Completion of this proposal will identify factors that alter DNA in T cells and control T cell responses to cancer. These studies should lead to new understanding of why T cells fail to control tumors and ways to improve immune checkpoint blockade and other T cell-based immunotherapies.

Projects and Grants

Epigenetic regulation of terminally exhausted T cells

Harvard Medical School | All Cancers | 2023 | Arlene H. Sharpe, MD, PhD

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