Immunology Department Faculty

Dr. Conejo-GarciaJose Conejo-Garcia, MD, PhD – Department Chair

The goal of Dr. Conejo-Garcia’s research program is to identify and target mechanisms governing the balance between immunosuppression and protective immunity in the tumor microenvironment, with an emphasis on the role of cancer-driven pathological myelopoiesis. 

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Dr. Kenneth WrightKenneth L. Wright, PhD – Department Vice-Chair

Dr. Wright’s laboratory is focused on two transcription factors, CIITA and PRDI-BF1. CIITA is a transcriptional activator and master regulator of the MHC Class II family of antigen presentation genes. PRDI-BF1 is a transcriptional repressor that silences CIITA and promotes terminal differentiation of immune cells.

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Dr. Abate-Daga Daniel Abate-Daga, PhD - Assistant Member

Dr. Abate-Daga's research is focused on the development of T cell-based immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer, and the translation of those preclinical findings into clinical application.

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Dennis AdeegbeDennis Adeegbe - Assistant Member 

Research in Dr. Adeegbe’s lab is in the area of immune regulation and immunotherapy in the context of cancer. The lab focuses on understanding the dynamics and functions of various immune cells that are present in solid cancers such as Lung Cancer and Melanoma with emphasis on immune-suppressive T cells and how they can be targeted for therapeutic outcomes.

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Dr. Amer BegAmer A. Beg, PhD – Senior Member

The Beg laboratory is interested in developing new strategies aimed at modulating the tumor microenvironment to increase tumor immunogenicity and response to therapeutics. Through both laboratory and clinical trial studies, ongoing projects aim to modulate activity of epigenetic and cytokine pathways to enhance immunological control of lung cancer. The Beg laboratory is also developing novel oncolytic virus strategies to generate potent anti-tumor T cell responses that can turn immune "cold" to "hot" tumors capable of responding to checkpoint inhibitors and other immunotherapeutics. 

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Dr. Pearlie BurnettePearlie K. Burnette, PharmD, PhD - Senior Member

The central hypothesis of Dr. Epling-Burnette and her colleagues is that the LGL cells accumulate as a result of dysregulated apoptosis and that these lymphocytes induce autoimmune destruction of myeloid and/or erythroid populations.

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Dr.  Linda Kelly

Linda Kelly, PhD - Senior Member

As director of the Cell Therapy Facility, Dr. Kelley is responsible for the manufacture and compliance of approved cell therapies for stem cell transplantation of malignant and benign disease, as well as experimental therapies for immune modulation of cancer treatment.

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Adam MaillouxAdam Mailloux - Assistant Member

Dr. Mailloux’s current research interests focus on the design and implementation of novel approaches to boost the effectiveness of anti-cancer immunotherapies. His research programs complement the strengths of the Immunology Program and ensure the successful evolution of our state-of-the-art Cell Therapy Facility, in coordination with senior leaders.

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Dr. Shari Pilon-Thomas

Shari A. Pilon-Thomas, PhD - Associate Member

A major goal of Dr. Pilon-Thomas’ research is to investigate approaches that overcome melanoma-mediated T cell suppression. Much of the research centers on the anti-melanoma activity of combined lymphopenia and immunotherapy.

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Dr. Paulo RodriguezPaulo Rodriguez, PhD - Associate Member

The long-term goal of Dr. Rodriguez’s research is to develop innovative strategies that restore protective immunity in cancer, leading to long lasting anti-tumor effector responses.

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Dr. Brian Ruffell
Brian Ruffell, PhD
- Assistant Member

The Ruffell Lab is focused on understanding the role of key myeloid subsets within hormone-drive malignancies in order to identify and develop novel therapeutic targets and approaches.

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Dr. Sheng WeiSheng Wei, MD – Senior Member

Research in Dr. Wei’s laboratory has focused on improving the functional status of neutrophils and analyzing human neutrophil activation and signaling pathways that control the neutrophil's biological functions.

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