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Heather Kinkead

Class 2012
Education BS, University of California, San Diego
Email hkinkea1@jhmi.edu
Mentor

Dr. Liz Jaffee

Research Interests

Tumor immunotherapy aims to stimulate immune effector cells, particularly CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, to specifically recognize tumor epitopes resulting in tumor lysis and eradication. One obstacle to this approach has been the identification of T cell epitopes that are uniquely expressed by tumors and not normal tissues. Genome-wide sequencing technologies have allowed the identification of tumor-specific mutations, termed the “mutome,” which could serve as novel antigens for cancer vaccine immunotherapy. My project focuses on identifying relevant tumor targets and stimulating an effective immune response specific for the tumor mutome, resulting in tumor eradication.