CRI Funded Scientists

Uday Tak, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow

University of Colorado at Boulder

Area of Research: All Cancers

The human immune response to cancer and infection depends on a molecular defense network orchestrated by two proteins known as cGAS and STING. These proteins sense and activate an immune response upon detection of cancer cells which prevents the formation of tumors. However, when this system fails, cancer cells are able to grow uncontrollably and are able to resist antitumor therapies. The cGAS / STING network is currently a target of many promising anticancer therapeutics, however, many of the biological rules that govern how these proteins activate the immune response to cancer are not well understood. If the mechanisms by which these proteins function was understood, it would allow for a greater degree of control over this pathway, which paves the way for personalized pharmacological treatment of specific cancers. This will lead to earlier detection of cancer, higher first-line treatment efficacy, lower hospital costs, and improved quality of life for patients to beat cancer.

Here, Dr. Tak will investigate these proteins using state-of-the-art techniques to visualize this pathway in living cells. He then aims to use this knowledge to understand how STING activates different immune responses with the goal of using this information to augment STING-directed anticancer therapies. He also seeks to engineer a new class of biosensors to detect immunological markers produced by cGAS during cancer. Detection of these biomarkers will allow for early detection of cancers and will provide quantitative information to direct the course of personalized antitumor therapy.

Projects and Grants

Mechanistic basis for STING signaling in immunity to cancer

University of Colorado at Boulder | All Cancers | 2021 | Aaron Whiteley, 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.