Damon Runyon Researchers

Meet Our Scientists
Arnold S. Han, MD, PhD

Cancer immunotherapy mobilizes the body's own sophisticated defenses to target and kill cancer cells. Despite its enormous promise, immunotherapy is only effective in a subset of cancers in a small group of patients. Dr. Han is investigating the role of the immune system's T cells in human colorectal cancer, which has limited treatment success with immunotherapy. He is using unique tools to improve our fundamental understanding of tumor immunity and to directly test a new therapeutic approach based on his hypothesis that our bodies produce T cells capable of specifically targeting a patient's tumors. His proposed research explores a strategy to identify these T cells and use genetic engineering to enable them to realize their full potential. He anticipates his findings will be applicable to other types of cancers as well.

Project title: "Precision T cell receptor-based cancer therapies"
Institution: Columbia University
Award Program: Innovator
Cancer Type: Colorectal
Research Area: Tumor Immunology