Marcus Järås

Senior Lecturer

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Research

Targeting innate immune checkpoints in acute myeloid leukemia

The major goals of my research are to identify how acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells suppress the innate immune system and use this knowledge to develop new immunotherapies. I will accomplish this by identifying and mechanistically characterize cell surface proteins that protect leukemia cells against the innate immune system. I will also provide in vivo proof of concept for a therapeutic effect by inhibiting the identified cell surface proteins in mouse models of leukemia. The work focuses on three specific aims:

  • To identify cell surface proteins on leukemia cells that inhibit Natural killer cells (Aim 1a) or macrophages (Aim 1b) using CRISPR screens.
  • To characterize the function and expression patterns of the identified cell surface proteins in acute myeloid leukemia cells from patients.
  • To demonstrate proof of concept for a therapeutic effect by inhibiting the identified cell surface proteins in patient-derived xenograft models of leukemia.

Successful completion of these projects will identify new therapeutic targets in AML and expand our knowledge regarding how AML cells escape the immune system, findings that might be translated into new therapeutic opportunities in AML and possibly other cancer types.

UKÄ subject classification

  • Cancer and Oncology

Keywords

  • Leukemia stem cells
  • Antibodies
  • CRISPR/Cas9

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