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Blake Scott

Class 2013
Education BS, East Central University

Dr. Liz Jaffee

Research Interests

Healthy immune systems make use of various receptors and molecules, termed immune checkpoints (e.g. PD-1, CTLA-4), to reign in an immune response. These checkpoints aid in preventing an immune response from damaging healthy tissues (i.e. autoimmunity) during and after an immune response. Tumors have managed to co-opt these systems to create immunosuppressive tumor microenvironments that favor tumor survival and suppress nearby immune cells such as CD8+ and CD4+ T cells while increasing the activity of regulatory cells such as regulatory T cells (Tregs). Recent advances in checkpoint-inhibiting therapeutics have shown promise in the treatment of various malignancies. My project aims to utilize a pre-clinical small-molecule inhibitor of an immune checkpoint for the treatment of breast cancer and pancreatic ductile adenocarcinoma and to understand how this molecule can effectively modulate the immune response to reduce and/or clear tumor burdens in vivo.