The laboratory of Protul A. Shrikant, Ph.D., is focused on understanding molecular mechanisms that regulate clonal expansion and functional differentiation of cytotoxic T cells (CD8+ T cells) for augmenting tumor immunity.
Dr. Shrikant's research team has uncovered a central role for the energy-sensitive kinase mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) in integrating cell-extrinsic instructions that regulate metabolism and transcriptional programs in CD8+ T cells. Extending these studies, Dr. Shrikant's lab is applying the information for clinical benefit in melanoma, ovarian, prostate, breast and glial cancers in collaboration with colleagues at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Washington University and MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Additionally, Dr. Shrikant's team is further characterizing the metabolic basis for T cell clonal expansion and functional differentiation by exploring metabolic checkpoints and validating the information for adoptive cell transfer as well as vaccine-mediated cancer therapy.
- Molecular regulation of CD8+ T cell responses. Dr. Shrikant's lab is investigating metabolism-mediated transcriptional regulation of CD8+ T cell proliferation, differentiation, trafficking and survival.
- Gamma chain cytokines. A particular area of focus is the mechanisms of gamma chain cytokine action on CD8+ T cells.
- Cancer immunotherapy. Dr. Shrikant's research team is involved in preclinical validation of novel approaches for cancer immunotherapy.
Significance to patient care
Dr. Shrikant's research has produced new approaches for treating cancers that are currently undergoing clinical evaluations at multiple sites in the U.S. Identifying novel mechanisms underpinning metabolic regulation of T cell responses are likely to produce novel approaches for cancer treatment.
Multidrug resistance is a common feature of cancer recurrence, and Dr. Shrikant's team is applying fundamental information generated in murine models to overcome resistance and promote remission in ovarian cancer.
- Associate editor, Journal of Immunology, 2013-present
- Member, Cancer Immunology and Immunopathology Study Section, National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Review, 2013-present
- Member, Executive Advisory Board, Center for Immunotherapy, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, 2012-present
- Member, Scientific Advisory Panel, Iacocca Family Foundation, 2012-present
- Faculty travel award, The American Association of Immunologists, 2011
- Member, NCI-I study section, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, 2006-2010