By Michelson Medical Research Foundation
“When I was around the age of 14, I saw a profile in a magazine about an immunologist who was doing exciting work,” says 2019 Michelson Prizes awardee Murad Mamedov, Ph.D. “It was very interestingly framed in the context of this ongoing struggle that is constantly happening in the human body.”
Mamedov’s fascination with this dynamic ultimately narrowed his focus towards T cells, an important set of immune cells that play a vital role in the treatment of infectious and non-communicable diseases. Specifically, his work has focused on gamma-delta T cells, which are much less studied than conventional T cells and are known to be particularly poised to detect and kill tumor cells. His research project, ‘Mapping γδ (gamma-delta) T Cell Receptor Ligands,’ was selected for the Michelson Prize as it had the potential to advance cancer treatment and other significant areas of disease research. In short, it could help the human body have the upper hand in the ongoing struggle Mamedov read about as a teenager.
Now, the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and Gladstone Institutes Postdoctoral Scholar is the first author of a new study published in Nature that further elucidates the function of gamma-delta T cells and their ability to recognize and destroy cancer cells.
The team of researchers believe the findings could have a profound effect on the future of immunotherapy treatment. The team includes Mamedov’s fellow 2019 Michelson Prize recipient, Avinash Das Sahu, Ph.D. The pair met after they were awarded the Michelson Next Generation Grants in 2019. They have since combined Sahu’s computational expertise and Mamedov’s findings regarding gamma-delta T cells to further their research—a collaborative approach that has unpacked a complicated problem.
Read more about the Nature Study here.
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