Josh is a research phase MD/PhD student. Following undergraduate work on hematopoiesis in Daniel Link’s lab at Washington University and a Masters in Philosophy of Science from University College London, he’s come to Mount Sinai to work in the labs of Miriam Merad and Jeremiah Faith. His research examines the role of the microbiota in cancer immune responses. He is particularly interested in the contribution of the microbiota to cancer immunotherapy effectiveness and colon cancer tumorigenesis.
Fiona is an MD/PhD student interested in the burgeoning field of Neuroimmunology. She is currently studying the effects of ionizing radiation on microglia and the role this exposure plays in modulating the glioblastoma tumor microenvironment.
Andrew is an MD/PhD candidate studying the roles of myeloid cells in the human lung adenocarcinoma microenvironment. Members of the myeloid lineages represent an important link between initial tissue damage at the tumor lesion and the development of an adaptive lymphocyte-driven immune response. He endeavors to define the diversity of this group of cells, describe their functions, and identify therapeutic targets. His project takes advantage of Mount Sinai’s lung cancer screening program which attracts hundreds of patients each year to build large cohorts, and conduct a wide range of molecular assays including single-cell RNA sequencing followed by protein validation by CyTOF/flow cytometry and immune-imaging. Functional validation will include ex-vivo and murine models. He is also actively engaged with Mount Sinai’s student-run clinic. He enjoys cooking, hiking, and walking his dog in Central Park.
Ivan is a Fulbright PhD student from Spain developing his thesis in the area of cancer biology and immunology. He did his bachelor in Biotechnology at Pablo de Olavide’s University (Spain) where he conducted research in the field of aging, studying age related gene expression changes in non-coding regulatory RNAs across different organs. He pursued a Master’s degree in Personalized Medicine and Translational Research at the University of Granada (Spain) where he got interested in the field of cancer research and metastasis, basing his master thesis on the characterization of circulating tumor cells in breast and prostate cancer patients using mass cytometry (CyTOF) and digital PCR. He was awarded with a Fulbright fellowship to pursue his PhD studies and joined the Merad Lab where he is currently working on characterizing the heterogeneity of the myeloid compartment in solid tumors as well as the mechanisms by which cancer cells shape the tumor immune microenvironment, thus influencing disease progression and metastasis.
Cancer-associated stromal cells have been described to promote tumorigenesis in part by preventing immune cell invasion into the tumor mass resulting in increased T cell accumulation at the tumor boundary. Navpreet’s project aims to explore the molecular crosstalk between the immune and stromal compartments within the tumor microenvironment and how these interactions can be manipulated to promote immune cell invasion and effector function within the tumor mass upon immunotherapeutic treatment.
Fundings: T32 Immunology Institute Training Grant
Previous research by Dr. Salmon has shown that the extracellular matrix (ECM) associated with established solid tumors influences T cell localization. John’s project aims to better characterize the contribution of cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs), a prominent producer of ECM proteins, within the tumor microenvironment. Using early stage human lung tumors, John aims to further our understanding of CAF biology during disease progression and how they influence surrounding immune cells. Through next generation sequencing, imaging, flow cytometry and CyTOF approaches, John will investigate genes/proteins found in different CAF subtypes that will be further explored using in vitro 3D models and validated in in vivo mouse models of lung cancer.
Steven Chen is an MD/PhD student studying the contribution of CD103+ dendritic cells to anti-tumor immunity in lung cancer using pooled CRISPR screens. He will also be characterizing the immune landscape of colorectal cancer using single cell RNA-sequencing and CyTOF on patient biopsy samples.