FURI | Spring 2021

Building a Regulatory Network to Explore the Immune Landscape of Mesothelioma

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Mesothelioma is a rare and deadly cancer that typically consists of tumors in the pleural cavity of the lungs. This research showcases a regulatory network using the previously built SYGNAL network and patient data to identify target regulators that could be used to inspire targeted and effective treatments. Our previous work found three immune subtypes: activated natural killer cells, plasma cells, and dendritic cells, that were significantly associated with better prognosis. Causal flows relating to significantly altered recruitment of those immune cells to the tumor microenvironment were identified and will be further investigated in vitro. In future work, this network will be expanded to other types of cancer and the information will be used to develop more effective immune therapies for cancer patients.

Student researcher

Margaret Katelyn Cook

Biomedical engineering

Hometown: Union, Kentucky, United States

Graduation date: Fall 2022