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Aviad Ben-Shmuel, PhD

Aviad Ben-Shmuel, PhD

Grant Status
Active

Institution
Weizmann Institute of Science

Grant Type
Postdoctoral Fellowship

Project Title
Elucidating the Modulation of Natural Killer Cells by the Cancer Stroma in Breast Cancer

Tumor Types

Research Topics
Breast Cancer


About the Investigator:

Dr. Ben-Shmuel is working to understand how the immune response to a tumor is influenced by the non-cancerous cells that inhabit it.  Dr. Ben-Shmuel received his B.Sc. in Biotechnology at Bar-Ilan University, and continued there for graduate research in Molecular Immunology under the supervision of Dr. Mira Barda-Saad.  He is currently carrying out postdoctoral training with Dr. Ruth Scherz-Shouval at the Weizmann Institute.  As a postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Ben-Shmuel is working to determine how cells that surround a tumor can suppress the immune response to a tumor.  His postdoctoral training will provide him with the technical and intellectual expertise necessary to study the complexities of solid tumors and will lay the foundation for a future as an independent researcher.

About the Research:

Most solid tumors are surrounded by non-cancerous cells, which form a region known as the cancer stroma.  The non-cancerous cells in the stroma can have profound influences on tumor development. Immune cells usually attack a tumor and limit its growth, but stromal cells are able to suppress that normal immune response.

Dr. Ben-Shmuel is investigating the regulatory role of the cancer stroma on tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes.  He is focusing on a class of cells known as Natural Killer (NK) cells, which provide the front line of immune defense against cancer growth and metastases.  Identification of the circuits which modulate the function of NK cells will open the door to developing novel therapies that counteract the inhibitory effect of the stroma on the immune response to cancer.

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