The research interests of Emmanuel M. Gabriel, M.D., Ph.D., encompass two broad aspects of cancer and are focused on breast cancer, melanoma and gastrointestinal (GI) cancers that spread to the inner lining of the abdomen. The first area of interest investigates how the immune system fights cancer. Dr. Gabriel utilizes novel approaches in tumor imaging to study these immune mechanisms with the goal of enhancing them to improve antitumor responses. The second area of interest investigates disparities in access to cancer care, including cancer screening and surgery, and outcomes following multidisciplinary treatment to cancer.
- Cancer immunology and immunotherapy. Using disease models of breast cancer, melanoma and GI cancers, Dr. Gabriel studies how immune cells traffic to tumors and tests new approaches that alter tumor vessels in order to increase delivery of these immune cells.
- Tumor imaging. Dr. Gabriel has studied the application of intravital microscopy, a technique that can visualize cell-to-cell interactions, to human subjects undergoing cancer surgeries. The goal of this innovative application is to personalize cancer treatment by determining which patients may respond to therapy, including immunotherapy.
- Cancer outcomes and disparities. Using large national cancer databases, Dr. Gabriel has identified important health care disparities among minority populations. His next step is to develop and implement policies that minimize or eliminate these disparities to improve access to cancer care among all patients.
Significance to patient care
The main objective underlying Dr. Gabriel's research interests is to improve treatment and outcomes for patients with cancer. While there have been significant recent advances in cancer therapy, there remains patients who do not respond to or benefit from modern treatments.
Dr. Gabriel's vision is that his work in cancer immunology and tumor imaging will lead to new discoveries with direct application to patient care through a personalized approach. His work in cancer outcomes and disparities will lead to new strategies to provide better access to cancer care among minority populations.