Natural Killer (green) and Dendritic (magenta) cells in a melanoma tumor model.
Kevin Barry (unpublished data)
Welcome to the Barry Lab. Our goal is to determine the mechanisms by which the immune system recognizes and responds to cancer. Harnessing the immune system through the use of immunotherapies (drugs that aim to reactivate the immune system to kill cancers) has revolutionized the way clinicians treat patients. However, much work is still needed to better understand and improve these therapies. The research in our lab focusses on how a subtype of immune cells, termed innate immune cells, recognize cancer and regulate immune responses to this disease. We have identified a novel group (or axis) of innate immune cells, consisting of natural killer and dendritic cells, that mark melanoma patients who will respond to immunotherapy and have increased overall survival. Using human immunology, models of cancer, and cutting-edge methods (such as intravital imaging, multiparameter flow cytometry, and single cell RNAseq) we are working to elucidate the pathways controlling innate immune responses to cancer. Our goal is to generate the basic scientific understanding needed to generate novel therapies to boost protective immune responses to cancer.