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

Stay Updated

Keep up-to-date with the latest research from the Pelka lab.

Very lucky to have Aditya as my first employee 😃

Congrats to my close colleague and friend @j_eyquem! This opens up so many important avenues of ...research - a sign of a great body of work. https://twitter.com/j_eyquem/status/1613704444499365890

Excited to share the story of the @GladstoneInst @UCSF Institute of Genomic Immunology - what ...we’ve been building over the past two years and where we’re heading in the years to come! https://gladstone.org/news/re-engineering-human-immune-system

Recent Lab News

December 2022

Karin presented at UCSF’s Division of Experimental Medicine (DEM) Seminar Series!

November 2022

Karin served as the anchor speaker for the Cancer Immunology section of the IgEquity symposium. As an avid supporter of gender equity, Karin was happy to partake in the conference! 

October 2022

Getiara Zaidi joins the Pelka Lab as Administrative Associate to Karin Pelka, and Jack Demaray joins as Research Associate. Welcome, Getiara and Jack!