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

  • 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 - DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.3c08034

  • Das R*, Halabi EA*, Fredrich IR, Oh J, Peterson HM, Ge X, Scott E, Kohler RH, Garris CS, Weissleder R Hybrid LNP Prime Dendritic Cells for Nucleotide Delivery. Adv Sci (Weinh). 2023;10(33):e2303576 - PMID: 37814359 - PMCID: PMC10667837 - DOI: 10.1002/advs.202303576

  • Pittet MJ, Di Pilato M, Garris C, Mempel TR Dendritic cells as shepherds of T cell immunity in cancer. Immunity. 2023;56(10):2218-2230 - PMID: 37708889 - PMCID: PMC10591862 - DOI: 10.1016/j.immuni.2023.08.014

  • Li J, Hubisz MJ, Earlie EM, Duran MA, Hong C, Varela AA, Lettera E, Deyell M, Tavora B, Havel JJ, Phyu SM, Amin AD, Budre K, Kamiya E, Cavallo JA, Garris C, Powell S, Reis-Filho JS, Wen H, Bettigole S, Khan AJ, Izar B, Parkes EE, Laughney AM, Bakhoum SF Non-cell-autonomous cancer progression from chromosomal instability. Nature. 2023;620(7976):1080-1088 - PMID: 37612508 - PMCID: PMC10468402 - DOI: 10.1038/s41586-023-06464-z

  • Gungabeesoon J, Gort-Freitas NA, Kiss M, Bolli E, Messemaker M, Siwicki M, Hicham M, Bill R, Koch P, Cianciaruso C, Duval F, Pfirschke C, Mazzola M, Peters S, Homicsko K, Garris C, Weissleder R, Klein AM, Pittet MJ A neutrophil response linked to tumor control in immunotherapy. Cell. 2023;186(7):1448-1464.e20 - PMID: 37001504 - PMCID: PMC10132778 - DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2023.02.032

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