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

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

Very excited to announce @GladstoneInst joining forces with @parkerici as a new PICI research ...center! Genomic immunology has incredible potential for the design and generation of next-gen cellular therapies - PICI will help us get there. https://www.parkerici.org/the-latest/pici-welcomes-dana-farber-and-gladstone-institutes/

Huge congrats to amazing work 👏🎉

Go Frankie 💪She has the best parents in the world for sure ❤️

Recent Lab News

October 2022

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

April 2022

The Pelka Lab onboarded the inaugural team. Welcome, Aditya, Isabelle, and Sham! We are excited to be working with you!

September 2021

Cancer Immunologist Karin Pelka Joins Gladstone Institutes

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August 2021

Researchers discover immune cell “hubs” hiding in tumors

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