Damon Runyon Researchers

Meet Our Scientists
Alistair B. Russell, PhD

Dr. Russell is investigating the mechanisms by which immune cells recognize influenza infection. Yearly influenza epidemics threaten immunocompromised individuals, including cancer patients, who are at an increased risk of complications following infection. His research combines virology, single-cell transcriptomic approaches, and computational biology to study innate immunity to viruses. Specifically, he aims to address the question of why immune responses to different influenza pandemics have differed so much-exploring why some strains are more or less immunogenic. He will expand his work by suggesting viral variants to create more effective vaccines that can bolster the immune response and better protect patients. These findings might suggest other therapeutic avenues, including the possibility of using such viruses in oncolytic anti-cancer therapy.

Project title: "Impact of heterogeneity on the cellular recognition of influenza"
Institution: University of California, San Diego
Award Program: Dale Frey Scientist
Cancer Type: All Cancers
Research Area: Virology