Immunology Department Faculty

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Dr. Conejo-Garcia

Jose Conejo-Garcia, MD, PhD – Department Chair

The goal of Dr. Conejo-Garcia’s research program is to identify and target mechanisms governing the balance between immunosuppression and protective immunity in the tumor microenvironment, with an emphasis on the role of cancer-driven pathological myelopoiesis. 

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dorina avram

Dorina Avram, PhD – Department Vice-Chair

Dr. Dorina Avram’s lab has two areas of research: (1) transcriptional and epigenetic control of immune responses to infections and in tumors, and (2) harnessing ubiquitin ligases in cancer and autoimmunity.

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Dr. Abate-Daga Daniel Abate-Daga, PhD - Assistant Member

Dr. Abate-Daga's research is focused on the development of T cell-based immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer, and the translation of those preclinical findings into clinical application.

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Dennis AdeegbeDennis Adeegbe, PhD - Assistant Member 

Research in Dr. Adeegbe’s lab is in the area of immune regulation and immunotherapy in the context of cancer. The lab focuses on understanding the dynamics and functions of various immune cells that are present in solid cancers such as Lung Cancer and Melanoma with emphasis on immune-suppressive T cells and how they can be targeted for therapeutic outcomes.

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Dr. Amer BegAmer A. Beg, PhD – Senior Member

The Beg laboratory is interested in developing new strategies aimed at modulating the tumor microenvironment to increase tumor immunogenicity and response to therapeutics. Through both laboratory and clinical trial studies, ongoing projects aim to modulate activity of epigenetic and cytokine pathways to enhance immunological control of lung cancer. The Beg laboratory is also developing novel oncolytic virus strategies to generate potent anti-tumor T cell responses that can turn immune "cold" to "hot" tumors capable of responding to checkpoint inhibitors and other immunotherapeutics. 

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Dr. Shari Pilon-Thomas

Shari A. Pilon-Thomas, PhD - Associate Member

A major goal of Dr. Pilon-Thomas’ research is to investigate approaches that overcome melanoma-mediated T cell suppression. Much of the research centers on the anti-melanoma activity of combined lymphopenia and immunotherapy.

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Dr. Paulo RodriguezPaulo Rodriguez, PhD - Associate Member

The long-term goal of Dr. Rodriguez’s research is to develop innovative strategies that restore protective immunity in cancer, leading to long lasting anti-tumor effector responses.

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Dr. Brian Ruffell
Brian Ruffell, PhD
- Assistant Member

The Ruffell Lab is focused on understanding the role of key myeloid subsets within hormone-drive malignancies in order to identify and develop novel therapeutic targets and approaches.

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Filippo VegliaFilippo Veglia, PhD - Assistant Member

Dr. Veglia’s research interest is to investigate metabolic and molecular mechanisms of immune response to cancers. His current research efforts are focused on the study of the role of myeloid cells in thwarting immune and therapeutic responses to glioblastoma (GBM). His research is also focused on the design of novel strategies for the therapeutic targeting of myeloid cells. 

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Dr. Kenneth WrightKenneth L. Wright, PhD – Senior Member

Dr. Wright’s laboratory is focused on two transcription factors, CIITA and PRDI-BF1. CIITA is a transcriptional activator and master regulator of the MHC Class II family of antigen presentation genes. PRDI-BF1 is a transcriptional repressor that silences CIITA and promotes terminal differentiation of immune cells.

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Associate Faculty

Ben Creelan, MD

Ben Creelan, MD - Associate Member 

Dr. Creelan's research focuses on translational and clinical research, specifically the development of new immune therapies, for the treatment of lung cancers. His research efforts aim to more effectively treat these cancers based on new insights into the biology of the disease.

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