Understanding Immune Hubs to Improve Immunotherapy

Our Research

Our lab studies the cellular interactions that shape immune responses in human tumors, focusing on how these responses are regulated. Using a combination of large-scale genomic analyses and tissue imaging approaches, we have identified hubs in tumor tissues where tumor cells come into close contact with immune cells. By characterizing the cells in these hubs, and the gene networks that are turned on in these cells, our lab aims to uncover novel ways to harness the immune system in the fight against cancer.

Our Partners

Our People

We are a brand new lab located at the Gladstone Institutes in sunny Mission Bay looking for passionate students and postdoctoral fellows to join us in our mission to decode the cellular interaction networks that shape immune responses in human tumors. We are excited to grow into a cross-disciplinary, collaborative and diverse lab that includes clinicians, immunologists, geneticists, cancer researchers, and computational biologists.

Media Highlights

Juggling Motherhood and Science
Cancer Immunologist Karin Pelka Joins Gladstone Institutes
Researchers discover immune cell “hubs” hiding in tumors
SU2C Peggy Prescott Early Career Scientist Award in Colorectal Cancer Research
Stand Up to Cancer Awards $1.1 Million in Grants to Research Teams
Faith Fight Finish Foundation Gala
‘Goodness, I’m getting emotional’: How Cowboys QB Dak Prescott brought Jerry Jones to tears at gala
Stand Up to Cancer Grants First Peggy Prescott Award in Colorectal Cancer Research

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Recent Lab News

January 2024

This month, Anna and Alisa both attended the SITC Winterschool in Austin, Texas. Scott received the Nijbakker-Morra Foundation Thesis award for his RP2 thesis, and Karin was invited to the 2024 SU2C Scientific Summit in Coronado Bay!

February 2024

This month was filled with grant writing, a visit to UC Berkeley in collaboration with the Braverman Lab, and back-to-back experiments + meetings!

March 2024

Karin gave three separate talks this month for the Cancer Immunology & Immunotherapy Monthly Program, the UCSF Computational Cancer Community, & CMP faculty! Additionally, Anna gave a presentation at the 2024 Gladstone Scientific Advisory Board Meeting. Johanna also gave a presentation at the Parnassus Supergroup, and Han spoke at a BMI Progress Talk. Productive month!