Our Faculty : Primary Faculty

Diana M. Lopez, Ph.D

Current Research Interests
The focus of our studies have been understanding the mechanisms of tumor escape from the immune system, and our laboratory was one of the originally describing the role of the now termed myeloid derived suppressor cells. We found out that tumor cells expressing a secreted form of mucin-1 (Muc1/sec), were rejected in the animals. Further studies demonstrated that an 11 amino-acid peptide expressed in breast cancer cells , but not in tumor cells expressing the transmembrane form of Muc-1, were the cause of the tumor rejection. A patent was filed and approved for the further use of this molecule. Other studies have focused in the thymic involution that occurs in tumor bearing mice, and the mechanisms causing this phenomenon. Our most recent interest is the role of adipocytes in the involution of the thymus.

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