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Cancer Research Institute Fellowship

Randall Carpenter

Dr. Randall Carpenter, a postdoctoral fellow in the lab, has received the prestigious Irvington Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Cancer Research Institute. Dr. Carpenter is exploring how a potential link between nerves and reactive oxygen species (ROS) influences the immune system’s ability to eliminate leukemia cells. His project is entitled “Regulation of innate and adaptive immune function in the leukemic microenvironment by sympathetic nerves and reactive oxygen species”.

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a devastating blood cancer that affects 20,000 people every year in the U.S. and causes approximately 12,000 deaths. The standard of care for AML patients is chemotherapy and blood stem cell transplantation. However, the 5-year survival rate is less than 25% due to changes in bone marrow that promote the survival of leukemic stem cells that can reactivate years after the initial disease. One change in the bone marrow during leukemia is the loss of sympathetic nerves, a process that accelerates disease and hastens death in mice. How injury to nerves causes this is unclear but may involve the loss of important communication between the nervous and immune systems. Dr. Carpenter will investigate how the sympathetic nerves regulate immune responses to leukemia within the bone marrow. The goal of this study is to harness the power of neuro-immune communication to improve the ability of immune cells to seek out and destroy cancer.

The Cancer Research Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to the conquering cancer through immunotherapies. For over 70 years CRI has supported scientific breakthroughs to help reduce and eliminate the burden of cancer. This fellowship will fund an exciting area for the Maryanovich lab, where we hope to understand the interactions between the nervous system, leukemia, and the immune system to ultimately improve immunotherapy and patient outcomes. For more information Click Here.


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