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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
  • To celebrate the beginning of Lunar New  Year 2015, City of Hope honored not just a new lunar calendar, but also the diversity of the community it serves. On Jan. 21, as tens of thousands of people celebrated Lunar New Year (and the arrival of the Year of the Ram) in the streets of L.A.’s Chinatown, City of [&#...
  • The breakthroughs that have revolutionized cancer treatment, transforming cancer in many cases to a very manageable and even curable disease, started out as just ideas. “I will often tell patients there’s no therapy we’re using to help them that wasn’t derived from somebody’s idea in some laboratory, working la...
  • The prostate cancer screening debate, at least as it relates to regular assessment of prostate specific antigen levels, is far from over. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended against routine PSA screening for prostate cancer in 2012, maintaining that the routine use of the PSA blood test does mor...
  • Cancer patients should get more than medical treatment. They should get comprehensive, evidence-based care that addresses their full range of needs. That kind of patient-focused care is City of Hope’s specialty. Under the guidance of Dawn Gross, M.D., Ph.D., the new Arthur M. Coppola Family Chair in Suppo...
  • Think twice before tossing out those hormone replacement pills. Although a new Lancet study suggests that hormone replacement therapy could increase a woman’s risk of ovarian cancer, a City of Hope expert urges women to keep this news in perspective. Hormone replacement therapy is prescribed to help allev...
  • Don’t know what to take, or send, that friend of yours in the hospital? Try a paper plate — filled not with cookies or sweets, but an image of yourself. Ilana Massi, currently undergoing treatment at City of Hope for acute myeloid leukemia, can vouch for the power of such a gift. She’s surrounded herself [̷...
  • With precision medicine now a national priority, City of Hope has joined a novel research partnership designed to further understanding of cancer at the molecular level, ultimately leading to more targeted cancer treatments. The Oncology Research Information Exchange Network, or ORIEN, is the world’s larg...
  • The spinal cord is an integral part of the human body, connecting the brain to everything else. So when a tumor grows on the spine, any messages that the brain tries to send to the rest of the body are interrupted, making everyday tasks — such as walking — more difficult. This year an estimated 22,850 […]
  • Each year, thousands of patients with hematologic malignancies undergo allogeneic stem cell transplantation (that is, they receive a donor’s stem cells), offering them a chance at cure. Graft-versus-host disease is a potentially deadly complication of this therapy and occurs in approximately 25 to 60 perc...
  • Bertram Yuh, M.D., assistant clinical professor in the Division of Urology and Urologic Oncology at City of Hope, offers his perspective on the benefits of surgery for aggressive prostate cancer. For men walking out of the doctor’s office after a diagnosis of cancer, the reality can hit like a ton of bricks. Th...
  • Although many Hispanic women face a high risk of mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes – increasing their risk of breast and ovarian cancer – screenings for these mutations can be prohibitively expensive in Mexico and other Latin American countries. As a result, too many women don’t get the information t...
  • Providing lung cancer treatments to patients when their cancer is at its earliest and most treatable stages will now be a more attainable goal: Medicare has agreed to cover lung cancer screening for those beneficiaries who meet the requirements. The only proven way to detect lung cancer early enough to save liv...
  • At City of Hope, innovative scientific research, important clinical studies and vital construction projects are all powered by philanthropy. Generous supporters fuel a powerful and diverse range of progress in science and medicine, enabling researchers and clinicians to improve cancer treatments and create cure...
  • Trevor Hoffman was only 21 when he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, but not even cancer could keep him off his motorcycles. (He has one for racing, and a couple just for fun.) Now a cancer survivor, Hoffman, who lives in La Verne, California, wrapped up his treatment Jan. 19 – just one day […]
  • Valentine’s Day is synonymous with dinner reservations, red roses, heart-shaped boxes of chocolates and — more often than not — unrealistically high expectations. Managing those expectations is great advice for all couples on Feb. 14 — and is especially important for couples confronting a cancer diagnosis. Focu...