CRI Funded Scientists

Hamza Furkan Alkan, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellowship

The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

Area of Research: All Cancers

Melanoma accounts for most skin cancer-related deaths due to its highly metastatic nature. Metastasis, the spreading of cancer cells to other locations in the body, is a difficult process for a cancer cell to survive; however, once cancer cells successfully metastasize, the disease becomes much harder to cure. This is partly because metastasizing cancer cells undergo several adaptations, including changing their metabolism, to evade immune cells and survive in circulation. Immunotherapy, a type of treatment that activates anti-cancer immune cells, is critical for melanoma treatment. Although immunotherapy cures many patients, many people do not respond. Therefore, understanding the interactions between immune and cancer cells is critical for improving therapy responses. With this grant, Dr. Alkan aims to identify unknown metabolic adaptations in metastasizing cancer cells and how these adaptations modulate their interactions with immune cells. He will identify metabolic genes that alter the ability of cancer cells to metastasize in immunocompetent and immunodeficient mice by performing a genetic screen. Then, he will study mechanisms of metabolic crosstalk between immune cells and cancer cells that can be exploited to improve immunotherapy.

Projects and Grants

Metabolic regulation of immunogenicity and metastasis

The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center | All Cancers | 2023 | Sean J. Morrison, PhD

This website uses tracking technologies, such as cookies, to provide a better user experience. If you continue to use this site, then you acknowledge our use of tracking technologies. For additional information, review our Privacy Policy.