Tumor Microenvironment and Cancer Immunology Program

fluorescently stained tumor sample

Escaping detection

The tumor microenvironment is filled with noncancerous cells and molecules that are nevertheless an integral part of cancer.

Some tumors hijack these neighbors to help build physical walls around themselves. Many trick the microenvironment to help grow new blood vessels to supply them with energy. Tumors can also fool the immune system to escape detection, and can even mobilize immune cells to promote their growth. 

Director's statement

We are exploring how the interplay between cancer cells, the microenvironment and immune cells regulates the growth and metastasis of solid and hematologic malignancies. Our program members have diverse interests including the microbiome, cell migration/invasion, cell signaling, angiogenesis and immunology; and are highly collaborative, generating new ideas and fresh angles to treat cancer. 

– Linda Bradley, Ph.D., Program Director



The role of Tks adaptor proteins in invadopodia formation, growth and metastasis of melanoma.

Iizuka S, Abdullah C, Buschman MD, Diaz B, Courtneidge SA

Oncotarget 2016 Nov 29 ;7(48):78473-78486

The PI3K pathway in B cell metabolism.

Jellusova J, Rickert RC

Crit Rev Biochem Mol Biol 2016 Sep ;51(5):359-378

Frizzled proteins are colonic epithelial receptors for C. difficile toxin B.

Tao L, Zhang J, Meraner P, Tovaglieri A, Wu X, Gerhard R, Zhang X, Stallcup WB, Miao J, He X, Hurdle JG, Breault DT, Brass AL, Dong M

Nature 2016 Oct 20 ;538(7625):350-355

E3 Ubiquitin Ligase Fbw7 Regulates the Survival of Mature B Cells.

Ramezani-Rad P, Leung CR, Apgar JR, Rickert RC

J Immunol 2020 Mar 15 ;204(6):1535-1542

Parallel Lineage-Tracing Studies Establish Fibroblasts as the Prevailing In Vivo Adipocyte Progenitor.

Cattaneo P, Mukherjee D, Spinozzi S, Zhang L, Larcher V, Stallcup WB, Kataoka H, Chen J, Dimmeler S, Evans SM, Guimarães-Camboa N

Cell Rep 2020 Jan 14 ;30(2):571-582.e2

The AKT isoforms 1 and 2 drive B cell fate decisions during the germinal center response.

Zhu Z, Shukla A, Ramezani-Rad P, Apgar JR, Rickert RC

Life Sci Alliance 2019 Dec ;2(6)

Striking a Balance-Cellular and Molecular Drivers of Memory T Cell Development and Responses to Chronic Stimulation.

Hope JL, Stairiker CJ, Bae EA, Otero DC, Bradley LM

Front Immunol 2019 ;10:1595

Prebiotic Potential of Culinary Spices Used to Support Digestion and Bioabsorption.

Peterson CT, Rodionov DA, Iablokov SN, Pung MA, Chopra D, Mills PJ, Peterson SN

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2019 ;2019:8973704

Analysis of <i>A4gnt</i> Knockout Mice Reveals an Essential Role for Gastric Sulfomucins in Preventing Gastritis Cystica Profunda.

Kawakubo M, Komura H, Goso Y, Okumura M, Sato Y, Fujii C, Miyashita M, Arisaka N, Harumiya S, Yamanoi K, Yamada S, Kakuta S, Kawashima H, Fukuda MN, Fukuda M, Nakayama J

J Histochem Cytochem 2019 Oct ;67(10):759-770

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