Arthur HurwitzDepartment of Microbiology and Immunology, Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, National Institutes of Health (NIH), Frederick, MD, USA F1000 Faculty Member (since 17 April 2002)
Investigator, Laboratory of Molecular Immunoregulation
EDUCATION AND BACKGROUND:
Dr Hurwitz received his PhD from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in 1994, where he studied the role of the blood-brain barrier in HIV infection of the central nervous system (CNS) with Drs Bill Lyman and Joan Berman. He continued his training at University of California, Berkeley as a Postdoc with Dr Jim Allison. His studies were on the role of T cell costimulatory signals in modulating anti-tumor and autoimmune responses. In 1999, Dr Hurwitz was appointed Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Immunology and Urology at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY. His research program moved to the Center for Cancer Research in 2003, where he continues to study T cell tolerance to antigens relevant in anti-tumor immunity and autoimmune disease in animal models. esearch
One of the unique features of the immune system is its ability to distinguish between self- and non-self-antigens. As T cells develop in the thymus, most T cells with specificity for self-antigens are eliminated (aka, negative selection) and T cells that recognize foreign antigens associated with self-MHC receive a signal to be exported to the periphery (aka, positive selection). However, some T cells with specificity for self-antigen/self-MHC are retained and reside in the periphery as anergic (unresponsive) or ignorant (god forbid). These cells are vital to understanding the immune response to cancer, which arises from self-tissues expressing predominantly self-antigens, and to understanding autoimmune diseases, where self-reactive T cells contribute to pathology of self-tissues.
Our lab studies T cell tolerance to antigens relevant to cancer and autoimmune disease. We are interested in understanding how these self-reactive T cells exist in the peripheral immune system and what signals are required to activate them. We propose that there is a unique link between immunity to tumors and autoimmune disease and that a greater understanding of this relationship will lead to more successful treatments of both diseases. There are 3 on-going projects that address these issues: (1) a melanoma project, where we are studying T cell responses to a melanoma antigen, TRP-2, (2) a prostate cancer project, where we are studying T cell tolerance in a murine model of primary prostate cancer, and (3) a new project studying the role of inflammation in prostate carcinogenesis.
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