Peter P. Lee, MD
My research focuses on understanding the interactions between the immune system, stroma, and cancer: factors that govern development of an anti-cancer immune response, mechanisms by which cancer cells may modulate this response, and the molecular basis of immune dysfunction in cancer. We utilize state-of-the-art tools in this research, including class I/II peptide-MHC tetramers, 12-color flow cytometric analysis, immunohistology, computerized image analysis, and DNA microarrays. Furthermore, we utilize mathematical modeling and computer simulations to integrate these disparate data into coherent network information. By comprehensively studying the dynamics between cancer and the immune response using an integrative systems approach, we hope to uncover opportunities for vastly different immunotherapy approaches than what we have today. I seek to move beyond the current paradigm of eliciting immune responses against defined antigens via vaccination, as this strategy alone does not appear to be effective in a number of clinical trials to-date. Rather, I seek strategies that specifically modulate tumor-immune cell interactions and block cancer-induced immune dysfunction on a systemic and local level (at tumor sites).