My main research project in the Glimcher Lab focuses on understanding the role of transcription factor XBP1 as a critical regulator of anti-tumor immune responses in ovarian cancer-bearing hosts. By using conditional gene-deficient mice available in our laboratory we investigate how XBP1 expression in different immune subsets of the tumor microenvironment influences the development and progression of ovarian cancer. Our overreaching goal is to develop novel immunotherapies for lethal epithelial cancers by targeting “master regulators” in tumor microenvironmental cells that promote malignancy onset and progression.
Figure legend: The microenvironment of ovarian cancer comprises multiple immunosuppressive networks that inhibit the cytotoxic activity of tumor-infiltrating T cells (TILs). We are currently investigating how XBP1 regulates the phenotype of immune cells that control or promote tumor growth and progression.