The Sentinel

THE OFFICIAL BLOG OF THE SOCIETY FOR IMMUNOTHERAPY OF CANCER (SITC).

Get to Know Sentinel Author: Nils Rudqvist, PhD


Name: Nils Rudqvist
Rudqvist

Title: PhD

Employer: Weill Cornell Medicine

When and why did you become a SITC member?

I became a SITC member in 2016 when I joined the laboratory of Sandra Demaria at Weill Cornell Medicine. My background is in radiation physics/biology, so immunology was quite new to me. One main reason for me to join SITC was to develop the necessary skills and knowledge to become a successful investigator in the field of immuno-oncology.

Get to Know Sentinel Author: Aliyah Weinstein


Name: Aliyah Weinstein
Weinstein

Title: Graduate Student Researcher

Employer: University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

When and why did you become a SITC member?

I’ve been a SITC member since this summer, though I previously attended some satellite events organized by the society. As I am thinking ahead to a career in the field of cancer immunotherapy, it only made sense to join SITC to establish a stronger connection with the field and grow my network.

Get to Know Sentinel Author: Saman Maleki, PhD

Name: Saman Maleki, PhD
Maleki

Title: Research Associate

Employer: Lawson Health Research Institute, London, Ontario, Canada

When and why did you become a SITC member?

I become a SITC member last year after I found out about all the great educational work SITC has been doing on the field of cancer immunotherapy.

Can you briefly explain the work you are doing in the field?

I am involved in several translational immunotherapy projects. We are studying the neoantigens in tumors and how it shapes the anti-tumor immune response. We are also studying indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) and its effect on immunotherapy and conventional therapy. I am also involved in pre-clinical IND-enabling studies of several novel oncology drugs including a few immuno-oncology agents.

Get to Know Sentinel Author: Christian Hyde, MD

Name: Christian Hyde, MD

Title: Radiation Oncologist, Diplomate of the American Board of Radiology

Employer: Cancer Treatment Centers of America, in the Southeastern Region

When and why did you become a SITC member?

I joined SITC a few years ago due to a long-standing interest in immunity. One of my earliest experiences with my immune system was at age 12 during a Boy Scout project in Utah clearing trails through the woods. I was exposed to poison oak, causing a mild rash on my legs and arms. When we went back a few weeks later, I volunteered to take care of all the poison oak bushes, thinking my prior exposure had inoculated me against it. I was dead wrong. A few days later I was in the doctor’s office with my face swollen up like a balloon and weepy sores all over my body. I had to take a cortisol injection to turn down my T-cell immune response which was attacking the poison oak antigens on my skin and even attacking areas where I wasn’t directly exposed. Needless to say, I learned a lot that day about the power of the immune system and how little I understood it, and that not all exposures are protective – in fact they can rev up the immune response. We see that with cancer immunotherapy.

Get to Know Sentinel Author: Alexandra Cadena


Name: Alexandra Cadena
Cadena

Title: Research Intern

Employer: MD Anderson Cancer Center

When and why did you become a SITC member?

I became a SITC member about two years ago when I was a college student interning over the summer in the Experimental Rad Onc. Department at MD Anderson. My PI at the time encouraged me to submit an abstract to SITC on a retrospective study I did correlating tumor growth kinetics with response to immunotherapy. My abstract got accepted and I poster presented at National Harbor in 2015. After that experience, I truly fell in love with the SITC community and saw the field of immuno-oncology (IO) as the solution to shifting the scientific paradigm. What I most enjoy about being a SITC member is the diversity of talent the group draws from. I think they have really found an amazing balance of bringing all voices, from all different disciplines to the table to discuss advances in cancer immunotherapy. I find this refreshing in a world that constantly seeks to compartmentalizes and subspecialize what we know.

Get to Know Sentinel Author: Praveen Bommareddy

(Editor's Note: The Sentinel, the official blog of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer, will provide SITC Members a digital space to share their expertise and experience being in or around the field of cancer immunotherapy. To introduce these member authors to readers of The Sentinel, SITC will be publishing Q&As in the coming days.)

Bommareddy
Name:
 Praveen K Bommareddy   
           
Title: PhD candidate

Employer: Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey

When and why did you become a SITC member?

I became a SITC member in August 2016. I believe SITC is a great platform to get connected to many colleagues in the field of Cancer Immunotherapy and to be updated with the most recent advancements in cancer immunotherapy.

Get to Know Sentinel Author: Otto F. Sankey, PhD

(Editor's Note: The Sentinel, the official blog of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer, will provide SITC Members a digital space to share their expertise and experience being in or around the field of cancer immunotherapy. To introduce these member authors to readers of The Sentinel, SITC will be publishing Q&As in the coming days.)

Name: Otto F. Sankey, PhD
Dr. Sankey

Title: Regents’ Professor of Physics

Employer: Emeritus, Arizona State University, Tempe AZ

When and why did you become a SITC member? 

I've been a member for 2 years as a prostate cancer advocate. There are no known cures for metastatic prostate cancer and immunotherapy has the potential for a cure.