The Burger Lab is focused on uncovering factors regulating T cell responses against lung cancer to inform the design of next generation cancer immunotherapies. In recent years, major breakthroughs have been made in the development of therapies that can activate T cells to fight cancer. One class of these immunotherapies, called immune checkpoint inhibitors (e.g. anti-PD-L1), is now approved as a first-line treatment for lung cancer patients. While these therapies are remarkably effective in some patients, the majority of patients do not benefit from this approach. The Burger Lab seeks to understand why and to find ways to improve therapy design and better predict patient outcome. We utilize genetically engineered mouse models of lung cancer to investigate T cell crosstalk with tumors and understand, at a basic level, what determines whether T cells can effectively recognize and kill cancer cells. Recently, we made a surprising observation that T cells compete with each other in their effort to control tumors, limiting the effectiveness of the T cell response. The lab is actively exploring what underlies this T cell competition and investigating therapeutic approaches to better synergize T cells against cancer.
The Burger lab is currently accepting PhD students. Please apply to the Program in Biomedical Sciences at OHSU.
The lab is also recruiting a postdoctoral scholar and an experienced research technician. Please direct inquiries to Dr. Burger firstname.lastname@example.org
The Burger Lab promotes a positive and inclusive environment, where all voices are heard and valued, and team spirit is the rule. We interact and collaborate with many labs within the Knight Cancer Institute and the Molecular Microbiology and Immunology department at OHSU to do creative and cutting-edge science together, toward the common goal of curing cancer.