The Hargreaves lab explores how tumor-associated immune cells can be exploited to treat cancer. The tumor microenvironment is a complex community of cells surrounding the tumor that helps cancer cells thrive. The most abundant of these cells are tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs), immune cells that have been shown to actively promote the growth of new blood vessels, aid in the spread of cancer, and promote resistance to therapy. TAMs secrete immunosuppressive factors that make the tumor invisible to the immune system. Recent research indicates, however, that these cells can be reprogrammed to alert the immune system to fight the tumor. Our research combines biochemistry, functional genomics, and state-of-the-art screening technologies to identify epigenetic regulators that control TAM activation and reprogramming. My lab will test these novel regulators in mouse models of cancer to assess their role in promoting tumor growth, immune protection, and responses to chemotherapy and immunotherapy. This work will provide a deeper understanding of TAM function and has important implications for enhancing the current state of cancer immunotherapy by uncovering a new set of therapeutic targets designed to boost immune system defenses against tumors.