Position title: 2016-2017, 2017-2018
Advisor: Marulasiddappa Suresh
Metastatic melanoma is a formidable disease with traditional treatments such as surgery and radiation having limited success of improving overall patient survival. The goal of my research is to optimize melanoma adoptive immunotherapy utilizing a combination of effector and memory CD8+ T cells and elucidating the FoxO1/p16INK4a pathway to promote the in vivo persistence of the T cells. Our lab has developed a novel murine melanoma model that uses lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus to generate donor effector and memory CD8+ T cells. Using this model, I will study the interaction between effector and memory CD8+ T cells in vitro and in vivo. Additionally, I will determine if FoxO1 promotes the proliferative potential of virus-specific memory T cells by p16INK4a repression and whether the repression of p16INK4a enhances the efficacy of adoptive cell transfer in murine melanoma.