Misty Jenkins-Projects

Misty Jenkins-Projects

Researcher: 

Projects

Targeting SLAMF7 for the treatment of myeloma

Immune-based therapies are revolutionising the outcomes of many types of cancer, effectively providing a fourth modality of treatment in addition to surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Objective responses have been observed in a wide range of cancer sub-types including multiple myeloma, which is an incurable disease. The monoclonal antibody Elotuzumab (Elo) targets SLAMF7, an adhesion molecule that is over-expressed on multiple myeloma plasma cells.

This project investigates the mechanisms by which Elo and lenalidomide induces NK-mediated control over myeloma.

Team members: Kelden Richardson (PhD student), in collaboration with Dr Paul Neeson and Professor Phil Darcy (Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre).

Investigating the generation of effective anti-tumour CAR-T responses

In this project, we are investigating the immune synapse requirements by CAR-T cells, generating new chimeric antigen receptors to dissect signalling requirements for an effective dual-specific T cells response to cancer, and understanding the establishment of memory CAR-T cells.

Team members: Alexander Davenport (PhD student) and Dr Ryan Cross, in collaboration with Professor Michael Kershaw, Dr Paul Neeson and Professor Phil Darcy at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.

Investigating the mechanism of cytotoxic lymphocyte detachment from dying cancer cells

Cytotoxic lymphocytes are white blood cells which are essential eliminators of virus-infected and cancerous target cells. They form an immunological synapse with their target and secrete toxic cargo, inducing target cell death. Killer cells then detach, and demonstrate an efficient ability for serial killing several targets in quick succession.

We have recently discovered that there are some circumstances when the killer doesn’t ‘release’ from targets, causing severe immune dysregulation in the form of increased cytokine production and recruitment of inflammatory cell types. We are currently investigating the consequences of this inflammation in vivo.

This project will identify the mechanisms of killer cell detachment and thereby novel targets for therapeutic intervention.

Team members: Laura Kilpatrick (PhD student), in collaboration with Professor Joseph Trapani from the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.