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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
  • The body’s immune system is usually adept at attacking outside invaders such as bacteria and viruses. But because cancer originates from the body’s own cells, the immune system can fail to see it as foreign. As a result, the body’s most powerful ally can remain largely idle against cancer as the disease progres...
  • On Jan. 1, 2015, five City of Hope patients who have journeyed through cancer will welcome the new year with their loved ones atop City of Hope’s Tournament of Roses Parade float. The theme of the float is “Made Possible by HOPE.” The theme of the parade is “Inspiring Stories.” Her...
  • Are you thinking about switching from traditional cigarettes to e-cigarettes for the Great American Smokeout? Are you thinking that might be a better option than the traditional quit-smoking route? Think again. For lung expert Brian Tiep, M.D., the dislike and distrust he feels for e-cigs comes down to this: Th...
  • Hematologist Robert Chen, M.D., is boosting scientific discovery at City of Hope and, by extension, across the nation. Just ask the National Cancer Institute. The institution recently awarded Chen the much-sought-after Clinical Investigator Team Leadership Award for boosting scientific discovery at City of Hope...
  • Great strides have been made in treating cancer – including lung cancer – but by the time people show symptoms of the disease, the cancer has usually advanced. That’s because, at early stages, lung cancer has no symptoms. Only recently has lung cancer screening become an option. (Read more about the risks...
  • Identifying cures for currently incurable diseases and providing patients with safe, fast and potentially lifesaving treatments is the focus of City of Hope’s new Alpha Clinic for Cell Therapy and Innovation (ACT-I). The clinic is funded by an $8 million, five-year grant from the California Institute for Regene...
  • Cancer is a couple’s disease. It affects not just the person diagnosed, but his or her partner as well. It also affects the ability of both people to communicate effectively. The Couples Coping with Cancer Together program at City of Hope teaches couples how to communicate and solve problems as a unit. He...
  • Chemotherapy drugs work by either killing cancer cells or by stopping them from multiplying, that is, dividing. Some of the more powerful drugs used to treat cancer do their job by interfering with the cancer cells’ DNA and RNA growth, preventing them from copying themselves and dividing. Such drugs, however, l...
  • During October, everything seems to turn pink – clothing, the NFL logo, tape dispensers, boxing gloves, blenders, soup cans, you name it – in order to raise awareness for what many believe is the most dangerous cancer that affects women: breast cancer. But, in addition to thinking pink, women should...
  • In February 2003, when she was only 16 months old, Maya Gallardo was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) and, to make matters much worse, pneumonia. The pneumonia complicated what was already destined to be grueling treatment regimen. To assess the extent of her illness, Maya had to endure a spinal ...
  • Former smokers age 55 to 74 who rely on Medicare for health care services have just received a long-hoped-for announcement. Under a proposed decision from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, they’ll now have access to lung cancer screening with a low-dose CT scan. The proposed decision, announ...
  • City of Hope has a longstanding commitment to combating diabetes, a leading national and global health threat. Already, it’s scored some successes, from research that led to the development of synthetic human insulin – still used by millions of patients – to potentially lifesaving islet cell transplants. Diabet...
  • Dee Hunt never smoked. Neither did her five sisters and brothers. They didn’t have exposure to radon or asbestos, either. That didn’t prevent every one of them from being diagnosed with lung cancer. Their parents were smokers, but they’d all left home more than 30 years before any of them were diagn...
  • They may not talk about it, but women with cancers in the pelvic region, such as cervical cancer, bladder cancer and uterine cancer, often have problems controlling their urine, bowel or flatus. Although they may feel isolated, they’re far from alone. Many other women have such problems, too. In fact, nea...
  • Cancer that spreads to the liver poses a significant threat to patients, and a great challenge to surgeons. The organ’s anatomical complexity and its maze of blood vessels make removal of tumors difficult, even for specialized liver cancer surgeons. Following chemotherapy, the livers of cancer patients are not ...