Natasa Obermajer, PhD
University of Pittsburgh
Taming MDSC-controlled Th17-to-Treg cell conversion in ovarian cancer
Regulatory T (Treg) cells are part of the immune system and have been shown in ovarian cancer to suppresses immune cell activity and prevent the immune system from fighting ovarian cancer cells. Dr. Obermajer has shown that another type of immune system cell called T helper 17 (Th17) cells can be converted into Treg cells by the presence of myeloid-derived suppressor cells. She will identify the steps needed to convert Th17 cells into Treg cells and determine whether it is possible to do the reverse conversion of Treg cells into Th17 cells because Th17 cells have a strong anti-tumor activity that can be harnessed to fight ovarian cancer.