Dr. Kristin Anderson, a postdoctoral research fellow in Dr. Philip Greenberg’s lab at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, has received the Ann and Sol Schreiber Mentored Investigator Award of $75,000 for one year from the Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance. The funding will support Anderson’s research in developing strategies to improve the ability of the immune system’s T cells to kill ovarian cancer.
Anderson is among 23 scientists from 14 medical centers across the nation to receive a total of $5.25 million in new OCRA funding. Anderson’s research focuses on developing molecular engineering strategies that improve the function, persistence and migration of genetically engineered anti-tumor cells. For this project, Anderson and her team are working to boost anti-tumor immune responses by genetically engineering large numbers of T cells that could better target cancer-associated proteins.
Certain tumor-associated metabolic features can play a role in preventing T cells from killing tumors. “This project aims to better understand the metabolic mechanisms by which ovarian tumors evade T cell killing, and to develop strategies to invigorate anti-tumor T cells in the nutrient-poor tumor environment,” Anderson said.
This year, including ongoing grants and programs, ORCA is investing nearly $9 million in oviarian cancer research. “Scientists need our support at every stage of their careers in a severely underfunded field,” said Audra Moran, president and CEO of OCRA. “OCRA invests in the future by supporting those most likely to make an impact.”
Jill Christensen, is a former media relations specialist at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, and is a graduate of the University of Washington with a B.A. in journalism and psychology. Her experience has led her to pursue a career at the Hutch, combining her passion for health and science with her communication skills.