Natural Killer Cells Convergence Research Team - Stand Up to Cancer

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SU2C Natural Killer Cells Convergence Research Team: Integrating Experimental and Computational Pipelines to Develop Biomarkers of Tumor Cell Resistance to NK Cells

Grant Term: January 2018–December 2020

This SU2C Natural Killer Cells Convergence Research Team is conducting an in-depth study of natural killer (NK) cells and their anticancer properties using a CRISPR screen, sophisticated bioinformatics, and high-tech culture techniques. The team is engaging computational teams with follow-up in a clinical setting to model bone marrow living tissue scaffolds with humanized stromal tissue.


Natural killer (NK) cells, white blood cells that play a role in viral response, have potent antitumor properties. Moreover, NK cells are not inhibited by many of the strategies cancer cells use to evade the immune system. This SU2C Natural Killer Cells Convergence Research Team hypothesizes that the genetic makeup of a tumor may serve as a basis for targeting its destruction by NK cells.

To identify biomarkers that indicate tumor cell sensitivity or resistance to NK cells, the team is using computational approaches. Team members are also exploring novel ways in which NK cells affect tumor cells by using tools such as CRISPR screens. They are also validating these biomarkers on different experimental platforms, such as patient-derived organoids and high-throughput systems to quantify tumor cell responses to immune effector cells.

Results from this research could impact models used to develop therapies for a wide range of cancers.


The top scientists and researchers on the SU2C Natural Killer Cells Convergence Research Team come from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines, which leads them to great insights upon collaboration. Learn more about the SU2C Natural Killer Cells Convergence Research Team.

Convergence Team Members

Constantine Mitsiades, MD, PhD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Aedin Culhane, PhD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Todd Golub, MD
Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard

Jennifer Roth, MSc, MBA
Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard

Michal Sheffer, PhD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Ricardo de Matos Simoes, PhD
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Aviad Tsherniak, MSc
Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard

Alice Lustig
Stand Up To Cancer
Project Manager


Stand Up To Cancer’s research projects are designed to foster collaborative, swift translational research. The hallmarks of these efforts include rigorous application and selection procedures, sufficient funding to allow scientists to focus on the objectives of the grant, and six-monthly reviews by senior scientists. These reviews help the investigators capitalize on the latest findings, address potential roadblocks, and collaboratively evolve as the science requires. Please click on the link to see summaries of research results so far for the SU2C Natural Killer Cells Convergence Research Team.



This team started its work in January 2018. Links to publications will be posted when they are available.


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