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Immunology

City of Hope’s Department of Immunology, one ofeight major basic science (“Laboratory Research”) departments of the Beckman Research Institute, was established in 1972 by Charles Todd. At that time, immune-based therapies were used on a very limited basis in cancer treatment, reserved for conditions such as malignant melanoma and bladder cancer. Most immunotherapy treatments consisted of agents such as BCG and interferon.

In recent years, the field of cancer immunology has grown by leaps and bounds, and a wide range of neoplastic diseases, including both hematologic malignancies and solid tumors,are routinely being treated with a well-stocked armamentarium of monoclonal antibodies and other immunotherapy methods.

The Department of Immunology continues its original vision, with a dual focus on both immunology and structural biology. It has seven principal investigators with research interests in cell and tumor immunology and structure analysis, who are aided by state-of-the-art facilities in mass spectrometry and NMR, as well as a computer cluster for computational chemistry.

The unique combination of biological and structural studies and the intensive exploration of structure-function relationships have created a thriving, productive environment that has encouraged fruitful collaboration among investigators at City of Hope and at other institutions.
 
Laboratory Research

John Shively, Ph.D. -  CEA (carcinoembryonic antigen) gene family
Dr. Shively's lab specializes in the CEA (carcinoembryonic antigen) gene family. In particular, he is researching the use of anti-CEA antibodies for tumor imaging and therapy and the role of CEACAM1 in T-cell activation and mammary epithelial cell polarization.  He is also exploring the relationship of the immune system and genetics to fibromyalgia.
 
Terry Lee, Ph.D. - Optimizing the application of biomolecule mass spectrometry
Dr. Lee’s focus is optimizing the application of biomolecule mass spectrometry to “real-world” biological problems. He develops new methods for proteomic analyses by mass spectrometry including integrated microfluidic systems for sample preparation and automated methods of data acquisition and analysis.
 
Markus Kalkum, Ph.D. - Develops novel biochemical and mass spectrometric methods
Dr. Kalkum develops novel biochemical and mass spectrometric methods for the sensitive detection of functional biomolecules in complex samples. His goal is to improve the early diagnosis of emerging and frequently under-diagnosed diseases, including opportunistic fungal and bacterial infections common in transplant recipients.
 
Nagarajan Vaidehi, Ph.D. - Devises computational approaches
Dr. Vaidehi devises computational approaches to study the structure, function and dynamics of G-protein coupled receptors. Of particular interest is the interaction of chemokines, and antagonists to the chemokine receptors, that trigger leukocyte migration in immune response and inflammation. By predicting binding-site interactions of agonists and antagonists with the receptors, the drug development process is greatly streamlined.
 
Zuoming Sun, Ph.D. - Studies the mechanisms controlling T-cell activation and survival
Dr. Sun’s lab studies the mechanisms controlling T-cell activation and survival. Activation and survival of T-lymphocytes control the quality and magnitude of immune response. Manipulation of T-cell activity is therefore one of the most important treatments for 1) enhancing immune responses against pathogens and tumors and 2) inhibiting the immune responses involved in autoimmune diseases and transplant rejection.
 

Immunology Faculty

Immunology

Immunology

City of Hope’s Department of Immunology, one ofeight major basic science (“Laboratory Research”) departments of the Beckman Research Institute, was established in 1972 by Charles Todd. At that time, immune-based therapies were used on a very limited basis in cancer treatment, reserved for conditions such as malignant melanoma and bladder cancer. Most immunotherapy treatments consisted of agents such as BCG and interferon.

In recent years, the field of cancer immunology has grown by leaps and bounds, and a wide range of neoplastic diseases, including both hematologic malignancies and solid tumors,are routinely being treated with a well-stocked armamentarium of monoclonal antibodies and other immunotherapy methods.

The Department of Immunology continues its original vision, with a dual focus on both immunology and structural biology. It has seven principal investigators with research interests in cell and tumor immunology and structure analysis, who are aided by state-of-the-art facilities in mass spectrometry and NMR, as well as a computer cluster for computational chemistry.

The unique combination of biological and structural studies and the intensive exploration of structure-function relationships have created a thriving, productive environment that has encouraged fruitful collaboration among investigators at City of Hope and at other institutions.
 
Laboratory Research

John Shively, Ph.D. -  CEA (carcinoembryonic antigen) gene family
Dr. Shively's lab specializes in the CEA (carcinoembryonic antigen) gene family. In particular, he is researching the use of anti-CEA antibodies for tumor imaging and therapy and the role of CEACAM1 in T-cell activation and mammary epithelial cell polarization.  He is also exploring the relationship of the immune system and genetics to fibromyalgia.
 
Terry Lee, Ph.D. - Optimizing the application of biomolecule mass spectrometry
Dr. Lee’s focus is optimizing the application of biomolecule mass spectrometry to “real-world” biological problems. He develops new methods for proteomic analyses by mass spectrometry including integrated microfluidic systems for sample preparation and automated methods of data acquisition and analysis.
 
Markus Kalkum, Ph.D. - Develops novel biochemical and mass spectrometric methods
Dr. Kalkum develops novel biochemical and mass spectrometric methods for the sensitive detection of functional biomolecules in complex samples. His goal is to improve the early diagnosis of emerging and frequently under-diagnosed diseases, including opportunistic fungal and bacterial infections common in transplant recipients.
 
Nagarajan Vaidehi, Ph.D. - Devises computational approaches
Dr. Vaidehi devises computational approaches to study the structure, function and dynamics of G-protein coupled receptors. Of particular interest is the interaction of chemokines, and antagonists to the chemokine receptors, that trigger leukocyte migration in immune response and inflammation. By predicting binding-site interactions of agonists and antagonists with the receptors, the drug development process is greatly streamlined.
 
Zuoming Sun, Ph.D. - Studies the mechanisms controlling T-cell activation and survival
Dr. Sun’s lab studies the mechanisms controlling T-cell activation and survival. Activation and survival of T-lymphocytes control the quality and magnitude of immune response. Manipulation of T-cell activity is therefore one of the most important treatments for 1) enhancing immune responses against pathogens and tumors and 2) inhibiting the immune responses involved in autoimmune diseases and transplant rejection.
 

Immunology Faculty

Immunology Faculty

Overview
Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope is responsible for fundamentally expanding the world’s understanding of how biology affects diseases such as cancer, HIV/AIDS and diabetes.
 
 
Research Departments/Divisions

City of Hope is a leader in translational research - integrating basic science, clinical research and patient care.
 

Research Shared Services

City of Hope embodies the spirit of scientific collaboration by sharing services and core facilities with colleagues here and around the world.
 

Our Scientists

Our research laboratories are led by the best and brightest minds in scientific research.
 

City of Hope’s Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences equips students with the skills and strategies to transform the future of modern medicine.
Develop new therapies, diagnostics and preventions in the fight against cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
 
NEWS & UPDATES
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  • A hallmark of cancer is that it doesn’t always limit itself to a primary location. It spreads. Breast cancer and lung cancer in particular are prone to spread, or metastasize, to the brain. Often the brain metastasis isn’t discovered until years after the initial diagnosis, just when patients were beginning to ...
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  • Most women who are treated for breast cancer with a mastectomy do not choose to undergo reconstructive surgery. The reasons for this, according to a recent JAMA Surgery study, vary. Nearly half say they do not want any additional surgery, while nearly 34 percent say breast cancer reconstruction simply isn’t imp...
  • The leading risk factor for breast cancer is simply being a woman. The second top risk factor is getting older. Obviously, these two factors cannot be controlled, which is why all women should be aware of their risk and how to minimize those risks. Many risk factors can be mitigated, and simple changes can lead...
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  • Screening for breast cancer has dramatically increased the number of cancers found before they cause symptoms – catching the disease when it is most treatable and curable. Mammograms, however, are not infallible. It’s important to conduct self-exams, and know the signs and symptoms that should be checked by a h...
  • Rob Darakjian was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia at just 19 years old. He began chemotherapy and was in and out of the hospital for four months. After his fourth round of treatment, he received a bone marrow transplantation from an anonymous donor. Today, he’s cancer free.   In his previ...
  • In a single day, former professional triathlete Lisa Birk learned she couldn’t have children and that she had breast cancer. “Where do you go from there?” she asks. For Birk, who swims three miles, runs 10 miles and cycles every day, the answer  ultimately was a decision to take control of her cancer care. Afte...
  • More and more people are surviving cancer, thanks to advanced cancer treatments and screening tools. Today there are nearly 14.5 million cancer survivors in the United States. But in up to 20 percent of cancer patients, the disease ultimately spreads to their brain. Each year, nearly 170,000 new cases of brain ...
  • Cancer cells are masters of survival. Despite excessive damage to their most basic workings and the constant vigilance of the body’s immune system, they manage to persevere. Much of this extraordinary ability to survive falls under the control of proteins bearing the name STAT, short for signal transducer and a...
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  • Here’s a statistic you’ll hear and read frequently over the next month: One in eight women born in the United States will develop breast cancer at some point in her lifetime. Although this statement is accurate, based on breast cancer incidence rates in 2013, it’s often misunderstood. Leslie Bernstein, Ph.D., d...
  • This time of year, how can anyone not think pink? Through the power of pastel packaging, October has been etched permanently into the American public’s consciousness as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The color pink is now synonymous with breast cancer. Suffice to say, awareness has been raised. Now itR...