Berna Bou Tayeh
The use of immune checkpoint blockade strategies, anti-PD1 and anti-CTLA-4, to reverse T cell exhaustion and improve their cytotoxic potential has revolutionized the treatment of cancer. Other immune cells playing an important role in the defense against cancer can also undergo exhaustion under specific conditions. However, little is known about the mechanisms underlying this phenomenon and the ways to reverse it. The aim of my research is to unveil key epigenetic regulators implicated in the exhaustion of cytotoxic innate immune cells, Natural Killer cells. This work will improve our understanding of NK cell dysfunction. Moreover, we hope to be able to discover regulators that can be targeted for NK-cell based anti-cancer therapy.
I completed my BSc in Biological Sciences at the Lebanese University and my masters and PhD degrees at Aix-Marseille University, France. During my PhD, I studied the mechanisms of Natural Killer cell alterations in Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Then I worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Cambridge to deepen my understanding of the interaction between immune cells and other components of the tumor microenvironment.