PhD, Karolinska Institute, 1999
MD, Riga Medical Institute, 1984
I focus my research on the mechanisms of immunoediting and immune escape of malignant and pathogen-infected cells Induction of apoptosis in virus-infected or tumor cells by cytotoxic T cells (CTLs) is mediated by at least two mechanisms: granule-mediated exocytosis of cytolytic molecules and triggering of death receptors expressed on the surface of target cells. Secreted and surface associated molecules expressed by CTLs and involved in triggering death of target cells are referred to as effector molecules. In the course of tumor development and progression, immunological effector molecules can mediate multiple and sometimes opposing effects such as (i) induction of tumor cell death; (ii) enhancement of tumor immunogeneicity or/and antigeneicity; (iii) immunoediting of cancer leading to tumor immune escape, and (iiii) promotion of tumor growth. My current research interests include analysis of various effects exerted by the immune system on human tumor cells. In our work, we are aiming at: (I) Identification of signals modulating the MHC class I antigen presentation in tumor and pathogen infected cells; (II) Description of mechanism(s) leading to the reduced susceptibility of tumors to cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL)-mediated killing induced via granule exocytosis and death receptors; (III) Dissection of non-apoptotic signaling pathways transduced via surface death receptors in the regulation of tumor growth.
Topics of current research in tumor immunology
1. Mechanisms of target cell resistance to perforin/granzyme mediated killing 2. Caspase-independent control of tumor cells by bystander immune activation 3. Autocrine TNF signaling as a target in cancer therapy
Topics of current research in infectious immunity
1. Immune modulation of host cells at the early stages of malaria infection. 2. Role of malaria infection in the pathogenesis of B cell malignancies.
For detailed description of current projects visit my home page