Julia Kennedy-Darling, Ph.D., Postdoctoral FellowStanford University

I'm excited to see how the field evolves over the next few years.
Area of Research: All Cancers

The tumor microenvironment is a complex organization of tumor and host cells that is known to contribute towards disease progression. To analyze the spatial organization of cells within a tissue, cell-specific markers are tagged and visualized. Standard technologies are limited to analyzing just a few markers simultaneously. Since the immune system is complex, numerous parameters need to be measured within a single tissue to understand the multitude of interactions occurring. Dr. Kennedy-Darling created a platform that can analyze more than 50 different parameters simultaneously within a single tissue and is using it to analyze tissues from patients treated with checkpoint inhibitors. This should enable her to determine which factors in the tumor environment were the most important for immunotherapy success, and suggest new approaches to improve patient outcomes.

I first became interested in cancer immunotherapy through my research in imaging. [We] developed a novel technology … especially beneficial to understanding the complexity of the tumor microenvironment. I'm excited to see how the field evolves over the next few years.

Projects and Grants

Spatially defined immune cell distribution within tumor microenvironments before and after PD-L1 inhibitor treatment

Stanford University | All Cancers | 2015 | Garry P. Nolan, Ph.D.

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