The Best of the AACR Journals Collection: Author Profiles
Title & Affiliation:
Associate Professor, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Q: What is your primary area of study/research?
A: Developing new immunotherapeutic strategies with a focus on optimizing the interplay between the innate and adaptive immune systems using intratumoral strategies with agents such as a TLR/CD40 agonist among others.
I am also interested in the biology of immune related toxicities and developing strategies to uncouple tumor immunity from autoimmunity, specifically by inhibiting inflammatory cytokines such as IL6 and IL1.
Q: What influenced your decision to embark on a research career?
A: I was an immunologist before I became an oncologist, so it was primarily my passion for tumor immunology that led me on the path to become a clinical and translational investigator. Moreover, it was my desire to help patients that truly impacted my decision to embark on a research career.
Q; What excites you most about your research area?
A: I have always been fascinated by the biology of the immune system; it is very complex, and I admit I don’t understand it very well all the time. However, now is a renaissance era for immunotherapy, and we have plenty of opportunities to develop new therapies or new strategies to help patients. The best part of this is that you get the opportunity to collaborate and learn from brilliant scientists and physicians from all over the world.
Q: What do you do for fun outside of work? What are your passions and hobbies?
A: Hiking and football/soccer are my passions outside of work. I am a goalkeeper and a big fan of the Liverpool Football Club.