Our Research

Advancing Science with Passion

The Karam Lab is focused on the tumor immune and vascular microenvironment and how it influences cancer cell growth—especially resistance to therapy. Using various preclinical animal models, such as head and neck, pancreas, and brain cancer, many of our projects aim to decipher how to harness the power of radiation therapy (RT) as a vaccine to invigorate immune response and overcome immunosuppression. Given how many immunotherapy trials are failing these days, we have been investigating cellular mechanisms that mediate resistance to radioimmunotherapy, including:

  •  Regulatory T cell (Treg) signaling, trafficking, and reprogramming
  •  Mechanisms of NK cell-dendritic interaction and inactivation by RT
  •  Induction and effect of systemic immunity and memory
  •  Effect of RT on complement activation and immunosuppression
  •  Mechanisms of neuroimmunology of cancer and elucidating the immunological effects of surgical treatment
  •  Modulation of endothelial cell trafficking of immune cells and antigen presentation by RT
  •  Effect of RT-induced fibrosis on tumor immune response and metastasis
  •  Mechanisms of tumor angiogenesis, lymphangiogenesis, and cancer cell death by Eph-ephrin signaling

Our work has resulted in clinical translation from bench to bedside. We have four clinical trials that represent direct translation of our preclinical work to patients. Patient tissue from the trials is then brought back to the lab to further advance scientific discovery, completing the circle.


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