Jakob von Moltke, PhD

Immunotherapies that take the brakes off the immune response and direct cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) to hunt down tumors have revolutionized cancer treatment in the last decade. Stories of patients who are cured by immunotherapy even after exhausting all other treatment options are increasingly common – but unfortunately, only a minority of patients achieve such remarkable benefits. Now, two pressing challenges are to understand why immunotherapy fails in non-responders and to develop new or modified therapies that achieve durable remission for these patients as well.

Yi Yin, PhD

Dr. Yin is using newly developed state-of-the-art single cell sequencing technology to examine how DNA repair mechanisms go awry and contribute to cancer initiation and progression, as well as response to chemotherapy. Cancer cells usually have characteristic loss-of-heterozygosity, copy number variation and other types of genome rearrangements.

Brian H. Shirts, MD, PhD

Clinical testing for inherited cancer risk often leads to identification of rare genetic variants, but it is uncertain if these variants affect cancer risk. This uncertainty is difficult for cancer patients who want to know the best way to prevent future cancers in themselves and their families.