I received my Ph.D. degree from University of Louisville, KY in 2014 and established my career goal of becoming a tenure-track faculty and lead my own research team in studying myeloid immune cell biological functions in cancer. To accomplish this goal, I continued my postdoc training with Dr. Hedrick in La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology (LJI). The past 4 years as a postdoc with Dr. Hedrick at LJI have been incredibly valuable to me. During this time I have made a groundbreaking discovery of a new type of cell that I’ve named NeP (Neutrophil Progenitor; termed hNeP for human NeP), which performs immune suppressive functions in the cancer setting of melanoma with mouse models. This discovery was reported in my recent publication in Cell Reports. Cancer immunology studies have mainly focused on T lymphocytes, whereas the importance of myeloid-derived cells in modulating cancer immunity has only drawn attention in the past decade for their suppressive potential that may cause tolerance to immunotherapies. My discovery of NeP has provided an innovative niche for cancer immunology studies.
1. Discovery of a clonogenic unipotent pro-tumoral neutrophil progenitor in mouse and human bone marrow. 2. Myelopoiesis in health and disease 3. AMPK regulation of macrophage functions in chronic inflammation