CRI Funded Scientists

Stanislav Dikiy, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellowship

The Scripps Research Institute

Area of Research: All Cancers

Our bodies harbor trillions of microbes throughout the gastrointestinal tract, which are collectively referred to as the gut microbiota. These microorganisms influence our physiology in myriad ways only now beginning to be understood. Interestingly, the microbiota has dramatic effects on how our immune system functions, contributing to our ability to resist and combat infections and affecting the progression of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Recent studies have established links between the composition of the microbiota and how patients respond to anti-cancer immune based therapies. One of the ways that intestinal microbes may influence the response to cancer immunotherapy, is by producing unique bioactive molecules that directly influence cells of the immune system. Dr. Dikiy proposes to study a class of these molecules, known as bile acids, and how they affect the function of T cells, which are essential for eradicating tumors in response to immunotherapies. By combining genetic manipulation of T cells, with modulating the availability of these bile acids, he will establish causal relations between these small molecules and the anti-tumor function of the immune system. Dr. Dikiy will also carry out large unbiased screens to uncover novel functional targets of these bile acids in the immune system. This approach will open new avenues of research, and potentially lead to the discovery of novel small molecule drug candidates for boosting anti-tumor immunity, and aid in the design of novel immune-based therapies utilizing the diversity of molecules produced by our microbiota.

Projects and Grants

Exploring the role of bile acid ligands in modulating anti-tumor T cell responses

The Scripps Research Institute | All Cancers | 2023 | Howard Hang, PhD

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