The following are our key focus areas of research:

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)-Associated Head and Neck Cancer

Cancers of the throat (known as the “oropharynx”) caused by HPV have sharply increased over the past decade, and HPV-related oropharyngeal cancers are projected to exceed cervical cancers in the United States by the year 2020. We study the unique immunobiology of HPV-related cancer in mouse models and human clinical trials in order to develop new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for this rapidly increasing cancer.

Mechanisms of Cancer-Mediated Immune Suppression

The focus of this research is understanding interactions of radiotherapy and chemotherapy with the immune system. Radiation has both immunosuppressive and immune stimulating effects. We have developed strategies for modeling the tumor immune microenvironment in order to unleash the beneficial immune stimulating effects of radiation-based therapies.