Marta Luksza, Ph.D.

Title
Assistant Professor
Department
Oncological Sciences
Institution
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Address
1470 Madison Ave.
Hess CSM Building Sixth Floor, Room 119
City, State, Zip
New York, NY 10029
Phone
212-824-9353
E-mail
marta.luksza@mssm.edu
Website
https://www.mountsinai.org/profiles/marta-luksza
Research Field
Immunology; Virology
Award Year
2019

Research

The Luksza lab will explore how immune interactions drive the evolution of cancers and viruses. The power of the immune system lies in its adaptability: Immune cells can learn to recognize and fight pathogens and tumors. Unfortunately, many of these foes are equally flexible: Viruses evolve to avoid immune detection and cancers activate mechanisms that promote immune tolerance. As a postdoctoral fellow, I developed mathematical models for predicting how viruses and cancer cells will evolve—work that has already been used to help select strains for the seasonal flu vaccine. Now, combining these models with techniques in evolutionary and computational immunology and machine learning, our group will analyze large genetic datasets from patient populations to assess how cancers develop resistance to immunotherapies and how influenza viruses mutate to escape immune surveillance. Our findings could lead to the design of an effective universal flu vaccine, or of powerful personalized cancer therapeutics.

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