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Min Fang, PhD
Studying the Role of Natural Killer Cells in Viral and Cancer Immunity
Staff Scientist, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2 Riverside Circle, Roanoke, VA 24016
Natural killer (NK) cells are a critical cell population in innate immunity, playing roles in antiviral and anti-tumor immunity. How NK cells function to address these challenges remains poorly understood, however, and so the role of NK cells in the control of cancer and viral diseases represents an important research frontier. Dr. Fang will discuss her postdoctoral work in which she elucidated mechanisms by which NK cells mediate resistance to a viral disease. She will also present her future research plans to understand the role of NK cells in viral and cancer immunity. Specifically, she will consider whether age-dependent defects of NK cells contribute to increased susceptibility to a broad array of viral infections; whether protective NK cell memory is generated during ectromelia virus infection; and the role of NK cells in anti-cancer immune responses. She will present her long-term goals to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in NK cell activation, expansion, and memory to uncover possible avenues for enhancing NK cell function in order to improve immunity against viral infections and cancers.
- Fang M, Orr MT, Spee P, Egebjerg T, Lanier LL, Sigal LJ. CD94 is essential for NK cell-mediated resistance to a lethal viral disease. Immunity, 2011, 34: 579–89.
- Xu RH, Fang M, Klein-Szanto A, Sigal LJ. Memory CD8+ T cells are gatekeepers of the lymph node draining the site of viral infection. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 2007, 104: 10992–97.
About the Speaker:
Min Fang's research focuses on viral immunology, pathogenesis, and the mechanisms of vaccine protection during infection with ectromelia, an orthopoxvirus that causes mousepox.