My research is focused on mechanisms of immune evasion facilitated by a population of myeloid lineage cells called myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSC). This is a heterogeneous group of cells defined by the myeloid lineage marker CD11b and the ability to suppress T cell function. I have established a system to assay MDSC function in vitro and I have characterized two mouse strains where specific subsets of monocyte/macrophage cells can be traced and selectively depleted. Using these reagents, I aim to characterize the role of myeloid cells in priming or inhibiting tumor antigen specific immunity. In addition, together with the Immune Monitoring Facility, I am working to characterize MDSC populations in humans with cancer. Currently we are validating a panel of flow cytometric markers to screen human samples from healthy donors and patients enrolled in a number of clinical trials ongoing at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.