Zachary Morris, MD, PhD

Human Oncology

zmorris@humonc.wisc.edu

Department:  Human Oncology                                    

Immunology Focus area: Immuno-oncology. Translational and early phase clinical research.

Descriptive Title of Research: Exploring the impact of radiation on innate and adaptive anti-tumor immune response.   

Research Description: The efforts of my translational research laboratory focus on examining the mechanisms and pre-clinical testing of treatment approaches that combine radiation and molecular-targeted therapeutics to drive anti-tumor immune responses. We are particularly interested in the concept of in situ tumor vaccination. In situ tumor vaccination is a therapeutic strategy that seeks to convert a patient’s own tumor into a nidus for enhanced presentation of tumor-specific antigens in a way that will stimulate and diversify an anti-tumor T cell response. RT elicits an anti-tumor effect through induction of DNA damage in tumor cells, yet it has long been recognized that host immune capability and tumor immune susceptibility modulate the sensitivity of a tumor to RT. Mechanisms by which local RT may interact with the immune system include release of tumor-specific antigens, phenotypic changes in tumor cell expression of immune susceptibility markers, and local eradication of suppressive immune cell lineages. By modulating tumor immune tolerance and functional immunogenicity at a targeted site, RT may serve as an important component of in situ tumor vaccination.

Link to Publications: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/myncbi/zachary.morris.1/bibliography/49355935/public/?sort=date&direction=ascending

Graduate Program Affiliations: Pending

Lab Website: https://www.humonc.wisc.edu/index.php/Morris_Lab