Basic Science Research

Our basic science research is comprised of our preclinical investigative teams led by internationally-recognized scientists focused on unlocking the power of the immune system to aid in the fight against cancer. In partnership with their clinical colleagues, breakthroughs at the lab bench are translated to clinical trials and new therapies for cancer patients.

Bahjat Laboratory
Under the leadership of Keith S. Bahjat, Ph.D., the Bahjat Laboratory is interested in understanding the signals that regulate the expansion and function of CD8+ T cells, and why seemingly healthy, normal T cells would be rendered incapable of killing their intended target. The laboratory utilizes models of microbial infection to elicit a robust, well-characterized T cell response. Read more.


Basic Immunology Laboratory
The main focus of the Laboratory of Basic Immunology, led by Andrew D. Weinberg, Ph.D., is to understand T cell activation during disease states.  We have explored ways to manipulate the fate of antigen-specific T cells to enhance tumor-specific memory in hosts with cancer or down-regulate antigen-specific responses in autoimmune disease. Read more.


Cancer Immunobiology Laboratory
The long-term goal of the Laboratory of Cancer Immunobiology, led by Hong-Ming Hu, Ph.D., is to understand how the immune system senses tumor cells and develop effective cancer vaccines and immunotherapy strategies. Read more.


Cancer Immunotherapy Laboratory 
The goal of the Laboratory of Cancer Immunotherapy, led by William L. Redmond, Ph.D., is to determine the molecular mechanisms by which tumors induce immune suppression. Ultimately, understanding how tumors escape destruction by the immune system will guide the development of novel anti-tumor therapies. Read more.


Immunologic Monitoring Core Laboratory
The Core Laboratory of Immunologic Monitoring, under the leadership of Keith S. Bahjat, Ph.D., measures patients' immune responses to different anti-cancer immunotherapy interventions, such as experimental cancer vaccines, to assess their effectiveness. Read more.


Integrated Therapies Laboratory
The Integrated Therapies Laboratory is a collaborative research effort between Michael J. Gough, Ph.D., and Marka R. Crittenden, M.D., Ph.D. It encompasses their overlapping research interest into the ability of cytotoxic therapy to provide large-scale cancer cell death in vivo, while modifying the profile of immune cells within the tumor. Read more.


Molecular and Tumor Immunology Laboratory
The Laboratory of Molecular and Tumor Immunology, led by Bernard A. Fox, Ph.D., hypothesizes that a primary reason for the failure of past tumor vaccine strategies is that the magnitude of the antitumor immune response is insufficient to mediate tumor regression. One answer to this is to create a lymphopenic host, reconstitute that host with lymphocytes and then inoculate with a tumor vaccine. Read more.