Our Science – Howard Website
O.M. Zack Howard, Ph.D.
Dr Howard's recent work has shown that endogenous proteins or self-antigens can attract specialized white blood cells and they use chemokine receptors, which are a subset of G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs also known as 7-transmembrane receptors) to mediate their effects. However, these self-antigens, which are also known as autoantigens and tumor antigens, are not structurally related to chemokines and appear to differ from chemokines in that they may associate with different domains of the receptor and activate different receptor mediated signaling. What makes tumor-antigens unique is that they appear to compel immune cells behave as immune suppressors. Currently, Dr. Howard is characterizing suppressive myeloid cells induced by tumor antigens using phenotypic and functional assays. Her studies of suppressive myeloid cells are expanding to include microRNA and signal cascades essential for suppressive cell activity.
This page was last updated on 7/19/2012.