Garris Lab

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Our group aims to understand the roles dendritic cells (DCs) play in the development and response to treatment of cancer.

DCs are a key bridge between innate and adaptive immunity, and are essential for cancer immunotherapy. These cells can also serve as a direct immunotherapy target, with several dendritic cell targeting agents in clinical trials. Chief among these are CD40 agonistic antibodies, which have shown great promise as a cancer treatment by virtue of their ability to turn immunologically "cold" tumors "hot".

Immunologically “hot” or T cell inflamed tumors are associated with enhanced response to cancer immunotherapy through immune checkpoint blockade, and tumor T-cell inflammation is positively associated with tumor DC infiltration. Tumor features that promote or inhibit DC functions remain incompletely understood and we hypothesize that understanding these features can lead to new immunotherapy strategies to treat cancer.

We are developing mouse models to mechanistically dissect dendritic cell functions in cancer and inflammation as we believe that tumor-dendritic cell interactions are a critical determinant of tumor immunogenicity, and that dendritic cell functions are essential for durable cancer immunotherapy response.

Recent Publications

  • Chen ACY, Jaiswal S, Martinez D, Yerinde C, Ji K, Miranda V, Fung ME, Weiss SA, Zschummel M, Taguchi K, Garris CS, Mempel TR, Hacohen N, Sen DR The aged tumor microenvironment limits T cell control of cancer. Nat Immunol. 2024;:ePub - PMID: 38745085 - DOI: 10.1038/s41590-024-01828-7

  • Kim HS, Halabi EA, Enbergs N, Kohler RH, Fei F, Garris CS, Weissleder R A non-lipid nucleic acid delivery vector with dendritic cell tropism and stimulation. Theranostics. 2024;14(7):2934-2945 - PMID: 38773971 - PMCID: PMC11103498 - DOI: 10.7150/thno.95267

  • Sarkar B, Arlauckas SP, Cuccarese MF, Garris CS, Weissleder R, Rodell CB Host-functionalization of macrin nanoparticles to enable drug loading and control tumor-associated macrophage phenotype. Frontiers in Immunology (molecular innate immunity section). 2024;15:1331480 - PMID: 38545103 - PMCID: PMC10965546 - DOI: 10.3389/fimmu.2024.1331480

  • Enbergs N*, Halabi EA*, Goubet AG, Schleyer K, Fredrich IR, Kohler RH, Garris CS, Pittet MJ, Weissleder R Pharmacological Polarization of Tumor-Associated Macrophages Toward a CXCL9 Antitumor Phenotype. Adv Sci (Weinh). 2024;11(15):e2309026 - PMID: 38342608 - PMCID: PMC11022742 - DOI: 10.1002/advs.202309026

  • Fredrich IR*, Halabi EA*, Kohler RH, Ge X, Garris CS, Weissleder R Highly Active Myeloid Therapy for Cancer. ACS Nano. 2023;17(20):20666-20679 - PMID: 37824733 - PMCID: PMC10941024 - DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.3c08034

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