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Wherry Laboratory


A major goal of the research in Dr. Wherry's laboratory is to understand the mechanisms of T cell exhaustion during chronic infections and cancer. Our work studying CD8 T cell responses during chronic viral infections has demonstrated that virus-specific CD8 T cells often lose effector functions and fail to acquire key memory T cell properties (i.e. become exhausted). Using approaches including high dimensional flow cytometry, transcriptional and epigenetic profiling and in vivo models we are defining cellular pathways involved in T cell exhaustion and normal memory T cell differentiation. Some areas of considerable current interest for the lab include inhibitory receptors (e.g. PD-1, LAG-3), transcription factors and inflammatory pathways. Blockade of inhibitory receptors such as PD-1 (i.e. checkpoint blockade) is now a major therapeutic approach in human cancer. Ongoing studies are examining the mechanisms of these blockades in preclinical models as well as in humans and are investigating the next generation of immune targets to reverse T cell exhaustion. In addition to T cell exhaustion, the laboratory has major interests in the biology of human T follicular helper cells (TFH). Our studies are interrogating the pathways controlling optimal TFH responses following human vaccination. Finally, additional interests in the lab include intestinal novovirus infection, respiratory infections and co-infections.




Organisms and Viruses

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Last updated: 2016-03-02T20:00:40.051-05:00

Copyright © 2016 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College
The eagle-i Consortium is supported by NIH Grant #5U24RR029825-02 / Copyright 2016