B cells play important roles in adaptive immune responses, and much of their behavior is dictated by the activity of their B cell receptors (BCRs). BCRs―through their ability to interact with foreign antigens―govern the survival, growth, and development of B cells. BCR activity can also become abnormal and contribute to cancer. In both myeloma and lymphoma, cancerous B cells can alter BCR activity or production to grow and/or escape BCR-targeting treatments. However, the mechanisms that control BCR transport and assembly are still unknown, so targeting approaches remain unrefined. Therefore, Dr. Cheloha is employing novel methods to track BCRs in B cells through their development in order to understand how these processes go awry in cancer. This knowledge may then be used to develop more effective approaches for patients with B cell cancers.
My project will serve to further the quest to harness the immune system to treat cancer and will provide a launch pad for my career as an independent scientist with aims of harnessing the immune system to treat cancer through chemistry-based approaches.
Projects and Grants
Study of B cell antigen receptor trafficking
Boston Children’s Hospital | Childhood Cancer, Leukemia, Lymphoma, Multiple Myeloma | 2017 | Hidde L. Ploegh, Ph.D.
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