Alistair B. Russell, PhD

Dr. Russell [Merck Fellow] is investigating the mechanisms by which cells recognize influenza infection. Yearly influenza epidemics present an ongoing medical challenge, and those suffering from cancer are at a potentially increased risk of complication following infection. By identifying both cell-to-cell differences in the response to viral infection and virus-to-virus differences in the capacity to evade the host response, he hopes to develop a better understanding of the kinetics of initial infection and disease progression in individuals.

Matthew P. Miller, PhD

Dr. Miller [HHMI Fellow] is investigating how cells ensure the correct partitioning of genetic material during cell division. Errors in this process occur in nearly all tumor cells and are the leading cause of miscarriages and congenital birth defects in humans. He is using novel techniques to isolate and examine the physical binding properties of the molecules that mediate this process.

Antoine Molaro, PhD

Dr. Molaro studies how an ancient "evolutionary arms race" between Krab-Zinc-Finger genes (KZNFs) and DNA sequence elements called retrotransposons has shaped transcriptional networks of stem cells and pluripotency. Because many cancers dedifferentiate to a stem cell-like state, refined knowledge about how KZNFs act to finely modulate transcriptional control may prove essential for the development of new cancer drugs. 

Marie Bleakley, MD, PhD

Bone marrow transplantation, or allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HCT), is the only curative therapy for many patients with leukemia. Certain immune cells, called T cells, contained in the donor HCT graft can cause a "graft versus leukemia" (GVL) effect which eliminates leukemic cells. Unfortunately, there are also donor T cells in the HCT graft that can cause a condition called "graft versus host disease" (GVHD). GVHD is a life-threatening immune response that remains the major barrier to the success of transplantation. Dr.

Aude G. Chapuis, MD

Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is a particularly aggressive type of lung cancer, and mesothelioma is an equally aggressive cancer of the lining of the lung. Despite recent therapeutic advances, approximately 190,000 and 3,000 Americans respectively succumb to these cancers each year, emphasizing the urgent need for more effective treatments. Therapies that use cancer-recognizing immune T cells are especially promising. T cells specifically bind particular tumor-associated molecules (antigens) and kill bound cancer cells through proteins called "T cell receptors" (TCRs).