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Sara Schad

PhD Graduate Student

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My research is focused on understanding how T cells can be modulated to enhance their anti-tumor activity for cancer therapeutics. T cells can be genetically modified to express chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) that recognize specific antigens presented by a tumor. This treatment strategy has seen wide success in hematologic malignancies, but its efficacy in solid tumors is underwhelming, often due to immunosuppressive mechanisms established by the tumor. I am specifically working on a CAR T cell for a model of murine melanoma. Furthermore, I am assessing how various methods of immune modulation affect CAR T cell responses to tumor antigens in an effort to optimize combination therapies for melanoma.