Dr. Esra Akbay received research grant from the Welch Foundation
Esra Akbay, Assistant Professor of Pathology, was awarded a research grant for $195,000 from the Welch Foundation to study the role of metabolic enzyme arginase in suppressing anti-tumor activity of immune cells. Dr. Akbay's group is studying the most aggressive form of non-small–cell lung cancer, for which there is currently no targeted therapy. For cancers that have already metastasized, only about 20% of patients who receive chemotherapy plus immunotherapy benefit from treatment. Dr. Akbay's group is trying to figure out how to make the other 80% of these cancers more sensitive to immunotherapy by targeting arginine metabolism to stimulate anti-tumor immune responses.