Immune cells known as regulatory T cells (Treg cells) perform several important functions to support tissue health, including promoting tolerance to self, commensal bacteria, and environmental antigens; limiting responses to acute and chronic infections; and promoting tissue repair. However, while Treg cells’ ability to suppress the immune system is crucial for preventing autoimmune responses, this ability may also impact the development of tumors. Therefore, Dr. Alejandra Mendoza seeks to determine how their behavior is mediated and how it influences tumors in the context of lung cancer. In particular, she’s defining the relationship between Treg cells and peripheral (non-brain/spinal cord) nerve cells to shed light on how their interactions influence Treg cell activity as well as tissue maintenance and cancer progression. By characterizing this crosstalk, Dr. Mendoza aims to improve our understanding of crucial Treg cell processes and potentially provide new therapeutic targets for cancer treatment.
Projects and Grants
Role of "non-immune" functions of regulatory T cells in tissue homeostasis and cancer development
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center | All Cancers, Lung Cancer | 2017 | Alexander Y. Rudensky, Ph.D.
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