Understanding Immune Hubs to Improve Immunotherapy

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Our Research

Our lab studies the cellular interactions that shape immune responses in human tumors, focusing on how these responses are regulated. Using a combination of large-scale genomic analyses and tissue imaging approaches, we have identified hubs in tumor tissues where tumor cells come into close contact with immune cells. By characterizing the cells in these hubs, and the gene networks that are turned on in these cells, our lab aims to uncover novel ways to harness the immune system in the fight against cancer.

Our Partners

Our People

We are a brand new lab located at the Gladstone Institutes in sunny Mission Bay looking for passionate students and postdoctoral fellows to join us in our mission to decode the cellular interaction networks that shape immune responses in human tumors. We are excited to grow into a cross-disciplinary, collaborative and diverse lab that includes clinicians, immunologists, geneticists, cancer researchers, and computational biologists.

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Stay Updated

Keep up-to-date with the latest research from the Pelka lab.

Recent Lab News

June 2024

We started June by celebrating Sara's successful Quals Exam - we are so proud of your hard work, Sara! 

Meanwhile, Karin was an invited speaker at the JCA-AACR Joint Conference on Colorectal Cancer in Kyoto, Japan and also visited Boston, MA to present for the Dana-Farber Cancer Immunology Seminar Series. Productive month!

May 2024

In exciting news, Jack was accepted into both Harvard and UC Berkeley to pursue his PhD! We are all so happy for Jack for his remarkable efforts!

The Pelka Lab also attended the Genomic Immunology Retreat at The Exploratorium where Karin, Anna, and Han all presented. To celebrate, we made a toast to all of our hard work and to more successful months like this one!

April 2024

April was nothing short of successful! To start, Han was awarded a National Science Foundation Fellowship - major congrats to Han and this amazing accomplishment! She also presented at the Tools and Tech RIPS meeting (go Han)!

To close this eventful month, Karin was an invited speaker at the AAI conference in Chicago and also gave talks at the PICI Symposium in Healdsburg and the Keystone Symposia in Banff, Canada. The Pelka Lab's on a roll!