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.
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Recent Lab News

November 2023

The Pelka Lab had the pleasure of attending the CRISPR Cures for Cancer Symposium held at Gladstone. Sara organized an IGE Symposium where Han presented! Towards the end of the month, Karin was invited to speak at the 18th International Congress of Immunology in Cape Town. Exciting month for the Pelka Lab!

December 2023

2023 ended on a high note with a Holiday lab outing at Getiara’s place! Check out our Event’s page for more pictures.

January 2024

This month, Anna and Alisa both attended the SITC Winterschool in Austin, Texas, and Karin was invited to the 2024 SU2C Scientific Summit in Coronado Bay!