Rodriguez, A. (Engelhard)

April 19, 2018 by seg2z@virginia.edu

Rodriguez, A. (Engelhard)

Graduate Student

Research Interest:

It has long been the central dogma of immunity that adaptive immune responses are exclusively generated in secondary lymphoid organs (examples: Lymph nodes, Peyer’s patches and spleen). However, we are now recognizing that such immune responses can be generated outside of these organs and within novel structures called tertiary lymphoid structures (TLS). These structures are ectopic accumulations of lymphoid cells that exhibit the same microarchitecture and functionality as secondary lymphoid organs. They are commonly found in a number of chronic inflammatory disorders, particularly cancer. However, the mechanisms that trigger their formation in cancerous tissues remains unknown. Furthermore, it remains controversial whether TLS positively or negatively influence antitumor immune responses. My research focuses on these unknowns. Understanding the mechanism(s) that control the development of TLS in cancerous tissue can provide new therapeutic options for cancer patients.