Jellert Gaublomme, PhD, Wins New Innovator Award from NIH
Jellert Gaublomme, PhD, assistant professor of biological sciences at Columbia University and member of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center (HICCC), has received a prestigious NIH Director's New Innovator Award from the NIH's High-Risk, High-Reward program.
The High-Risk, High-Reward program issued 72 New Innovator awards to early career investigators. Dr. Gaublomme, a member of the HICCC’s Tumor Biology and Microenvironment research program, is one of four faculty from Columbia who received the honor this year. Established in 2007, the award supports exceptionally creative early career investigators who propose innovative, high-impact projects in the biomedical, behavioral or social sciences.
The Gaublomme lab develops and applies multi-omic technologies to study biomolecular and cellular interactions during cancer development, physiology and pathology. At Columbia, Dr. Gaublomme also is a member of the Institute for Cancer Dynamics and the Data Science Institute.
About the research:
Tumors evade the immune system by silencing T cells, which receive signals from cancer cells, stromal cells, macrophages, and the extracellular matrix, among others. But these influences are not captured by in vitro studies most often used during pharmaceutical screens to identify new therapeutic targets.
Identifying signals that silence the immune system can yield therapeutic breakthroughs, as evidenced by recent advances in immune checkpoint inhibition. Recently developed CRISPR screens are a powerful method to identify such signals, but typically these assays require cells to be isolated from their native tissue before analysis.
Dr. Gaublomme proposes to pioneer a CRISPR screening method that can be used in native tissue, enabling the selection of the most promising therapeutic targets.