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Michael Berger, PhD

Michael Berger, PhD

Grant Status

Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Grant Type
Project Grant

Project Title
Improving solid tumor immunotherapy through rewiring of T-cell’s mitochondrial metabolism

Tumor Types

Research Topics
Cancer Treatment, Immunology and Immunotherapy

Named Grant:

The ICRF – CRI Immunotherapy Project Grant

About the Investigator:

Dr. Berger is a leading researcher in T-cell metabolism and cancer research. He received his PhD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and completed postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Nobel laureate, Prof. Bruce Beutler, at The Scripps Research Institute in California. He is currently an Associate Professor of Immunology at Hebrew University, where his current work uses his findings to potentially improve the efficacy of adoptive T-cell therapy for solid tumors.

About the Research:

Tumors can restrict the nutrients available to immune cells, leading to the immune cells not functioning correctly. This can make it hard for the immune system to fight tumors. It has been found that the mitochondria (the part of the cell that produces energy) in specific immune cells, called CD8+ T cells, can become damaged when they are in the tumor environment. This damage can make the T cells act improperly and make it hard to fight the tumor.

In this study, Dr. Berger and his research team are trying to find ways to improve the function of CD8+ T cells in the tumor environment. They are looking at a protein called Ant2 and a proline biosynthesis process, which helps cells make energy.

They hypothesize that blocking Ant2 and increasing proline biosynthesis can help the CD8+ T cells work better and improve the effectiveness of treatments that use the immune system to fight tumors

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