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Sheila Drover

BioMedical Sciences
M.Sc., Ph.D. Memorial

Associate Professor of Immunology

Faculty of Medicine
Memorial University of Newfoundland
Health Sciences Centre
St. John’s, NL Canada, A1B 3V6
Office: H1846 Labs: H1835/1844-45
t: 709-864-2896
f:
lab: 709-864-2894/2897

sdrover@mun.ca


DESCRIPTION OF RESEARCH – IMMUNE MARKERS AND IMMUNOMODULATION IN BREAST CANCER

The Drover laboratory previously showed that patients with breast cancer had a better outcome if their tumor cells expressed certain types of HLA molecules, contained large numbers of infiltrating CD4+T-cells and expressed high levels of IFN-γ.  We also found that HLA expression and evidence of immunity depended on the type of breast cancer. Cancer cells can escape immune destruction due to upregulation of inhibitory or checkpoint molecules such as PD-1 and LAG3 on immune cells and PD-L1 on cancer cells. However, these inhibitory and other molecules can be targeted by drugs such as immune checkpoint inhibitors and small kinase inhibitors.   Our current work is focusing on two areas 1) investigating the mechanism of deregulated IFN-γ and HLA pathways in HER2-positive breast cancer and 2) immunomodulation of HLA and PD-L1 on cancer cell lines using small kinase inhibitors and targeted immune therapeutics. 
 
 
Funding for Dr. Drovers’ research has come from various sources:  Medical Research Foundation Awards at Memorial University, Canadian Breast Cancer Research Alliance, Medical Research Council, CIHR and RDC, Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, (Atlantic Chapter).