Professional Education

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Stanford University, IMMUN-PHD (2015)
  • Bachelor of Arts, University of California Berkeley, Molecular and Cell Biology (2006)

Research & Scholarship

Lab Affiliations


All Publications

  • Ablative Tumor Radiation Can Change the Tumor Immune Cell Microenvironment to Induce Durable Complete Remissions CLINICAL CANCER RESEARCH Filatenkov, A., Baker, J., Mueller, A. M., Kenkel, J., Ahn, G., Dutt, S., Zhang, N., Kohrt, H., Jensen, K., Dejbakhsh-Jones, S., Shizuru, J. A., Negrin, R. N., Engleman, E. G., Strober, S. 2015; 21 (16): 3727-3739


    The goals of the study were to elucidate the immune mechanisms that contribute to desirable complete remissions of murine colon tumors treated with single radiation dose of 30 Gy. This dose is at the upper end of the ablative range used clinically to treat advanced or metastatic colorectal, liver, and non-small cell lung tumors.Changes in the tumor immune microenvironment of single tumor nodules exposed to radiation were studied using 21-day (>1 cm in diameter) CT26 and MC38 colon tumors. These are well-characterized weakly immunogenic tumors.We found that the high-dose radiation transformed the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment resulting in an intense CD8(+) T-cell tumor infiltrate, and a loss of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC). The change was dependent on antigen cross-presenting CD8(+) dendritic cells, secretion of IFNγ, and CD4(+)T cells expressing CD40L. Antitumor CD8(+) T cells entered tumors shortly after radiotherapy, reversed MDSC infiltration, and mediated durable remissions in an IFNγ-dependent manner. Interestingly, extended fractionated radiation regimen did not result in robust CD8(+) T-cell infiltration.For immunologically sensitive tumors, these results indicate that remissions induced by a short course of high-dose radiotherapy depend on the development of antitumor immunity that is reflected by the nature and kinetics of changes induced in the tumor cell microenvironment. These results suggest that systematic examination of the tumor immune microenvironment may help in optimizing the radiation regimen used to treat tumors by adding a robust immune response. Clin Cancer Res; 21(16); 3727-39. ©2015 AACR.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-14-2824

    View details for Web of Science ID 000361909100021

  • Allogeneic IgG combined with dendritic cell stimuli induce antitumour T-cell immunity. Nature Carmi, Y., Spitzer, M. H., Linde, I. L., Burt, B. M., Prestwood, T. R., Perlman, N., Davidson, M. G., Kenkel, J. A., Segal, E., Pusapati, G. V., Bhattacharya, N., Engleman, E. G. 2015; 521 (7550): 99-104


    Whereas cancers grow within host tissues and evade host immunity through immune-editing and immunosuppression, tumours are rarely transmissible between individuals. Much like transplanted allogeneic organs, allogeneic tumours are reliably rejected by host T cells, even when the tumour and host share the same major histocompatibility complex alleles, the most potent determinants of transplant rejection. How such tumour-eradicating immunity is initiated remains unknown, although elucidating this process could provide the basis for inducing similar responses against naturally arising tumours. Here we find that allogeneic tumour rejection is initiated in mice by naturally occurring tumour-binding IgG antibodies, which enable dendritic cells (DCs) to internalize tumour antigens and subsequently activate tumour-reactive T cells. We exploited this mechanism to treat autologous and autochthonous tumours successfully. Either systemic administration of DCs loaded with allogeneic-IgG-coated tumour cells or intratumoral injection of allogeneic IgG in combination with DC stimuli induced potent T-cell-mediated antitumour immune responses, resulting in tumour eradication in mouse models of melanoma, pancreas, lung and breast cancer. Moreover, this strategy led to eradication of distant tumours and metastases, as well as the injected primary tumours. To assess the clinical relevance of these findings, we studied antibodies and cells from patients with lung cancer. T cells from these patients responded vigorously to autologous tumour antigens after culture with allogeneic-IgG-loaded DCs, recapitulating our findings in mice. These results reveal that tumour-binding allogeneic IgG can induce powerful antitumour immunity that can be exploited for cancer immunotherapy.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nature14424

    View details for PubMedID 25924063

  • Allogeneic IgG combined with dendritic cell stimuli induce antitumour T-cell immunity NATURE Carmi, Y., Spitzer, M. H., Linde, I. L., Burt, B. M., Prestwood, T. R., Perlman, N., Davidson, M. G., Kenkel, J. A., Segal, E., Pusapati, G. V., Bhattacharya, N., Engleman, E. G. 2015; 521 (7550): 99-U254
  • In Vivo T Cell Activation Induces the Formation of CD209(+) PDL-2(+) Dendritic Cells PLOS ONE Davidson, M. G., Alonso, M. N., Kenkel, J. A., Suhoski, M. M., Gonzalez, J. C., Yuan, R., Engleman, E. G. 2013; 8 (10)
  • Th17 Cells Induce Th1-Polarizing Monocyte-Derived Dendritic Cells JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY Davidson, M. G., Alonso, M. N., Yuan, R., Axtell, R. C., Kenkel, J. A., Suhoski, M. M., Gonzalez, J. C., Steinman, L., Engleman, E. G. 2013; 191 (3): 1175-1187


    In chronically inflamed tissues, such as those affected by autoimmune disease, activated Th cells often colocalize with monocytes. We investigate in this study how murine Th cells influence the phenotype and function of monocytes. The data demonstrate that Th1, Th2, and Th17 subsets promote the differentiation of autologous monocytes into MHC class II(+), CD11b(+), CD11c(+) DC that we call DCTh. Although all Th subsets induce the formation of DCTh, activated Th17 cells uniquely promote the formation of IL-12/IL-23-producing DCTh (DCTh17) that can polarize both naive and Th17 cells to a Th1 phenotype. In the inflamed CNS of mice with Th17-mediated experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, Th cells colocalize with DC, as well as monocytes, and the Th cells obtained from these lesions drive the formation of DCTh that are phenotypically indistinguishable from DCTh17 and polarize naive T cells toward a Th1 phenotype. These results suggest that DCTh17 are critical in the interplay of Th17- and Th1-mediated responses and may explain the previous finding that IL-17-secreting Th cells become IFN-γ-secreting Th1 cells in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis and other autoimmune disorders.

    View details for DOI 10.4049/jimmunol.1203201

    View details for Web of Science ID 000322010100024

  • B cells promote insulin resistance through modulation of T cells and production of pathogenic IgG antibodies NATURE MEDICINE Winer, D. A., Winer, S., Shen, L., Wadia, P. P., Yantha, J., Paltser, G., Tsui, H., Wu, P., Davidson, M. G., Alonso, M. N., Leong, H. X., Glassford, A., Caimol, M., Kenkel, J. A., Tedder, T. F., McLaughlin, T., Miklos, D. B., Dosch, H., Engleman, E. G. 2011; 17 (5): 610-U134


    Chronic inflammation characterized by T cell and macrophage infiltration of visceral adipose tissue (VAT) is a hallmark of obesity-associated insulin resistance and glucose intolerance. Here we show a fundamental pathogenic role for B cells in the development of these metabolic abnormalities. B cells accumulate in VAT in diet-induced obese (DIO) mice, and DIO mice lacking B cells are protected from disease despite weight gain. B cell effects on glucose metabolism are mechanistically linked to the activation of proinflammatory macrophages and T cells and to the production of pathogenic IgG antibodies. Treatment with a B cell-depleting CD20 antibody attenuates disease, whereas transfer of IgG from DIO mice rapidly induces insulin resistance and glucose intolerance. Moreover, insulin resistance in obese humans is associated with a unique profile of IgG autoantibodies. These results establish the importance of B cells and adaptive immunity in insulin resistance and suggest new diagnostic and therapeutic modalities for managing the disease.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nm.2353

    View details for Web of Science ID 000290250400038

    View details for PubMedID 21499269

  • Development of an Orthotopic Model of Invasive Pancreatic Cancer in an Immunocompetent Murine Host CLINICAL CANCER RESEARCH Tseng, W. W., Winer, D., Kenkel, J. A., Choi, O., Shain, A. H., Pollack, J. R., French, R., Lowy, A. M., Engleman, E. G. 2010; 16 (14): 3684-3695


    The most common preclinical models of pancreatic adenocarcinoma utilize human cells or tissues that are xenografted into immunodeficient hosts. Several immunocompetent, genetically engineered mouse models of pancreatic cancer exist; however, tumor latency and disease progression in these models are highly variable. We sought to develop an immunocompetent, orthotopic mouse model of pancreatic cancer with rapid and predictable growth kinetics.Cell lines with epithelial morphology were derived from liver metastases obtained from Kras(G12D/+);LSL-Trp53(R172H/+);Pdx-1-Cre mice. Tumor cells were implanted in the pancreas of immunocompetent, histocompatible B6/129 mice, and the mice were monitored for disease progression. Relevant tissues were harvested for histologic, genomic, and immunophenotypic analysis.All mice developed pancreatic tumors by two weeks. Invasive disease and liver metastases were noted by six to eight weeks. Histologic examination of tumors showed cytokeratin-19-positive adenocarcinoma with regions of desmoplasia. Genomic analysis revealed broad chromosomal changes along with focal gains and losses. Pancreatic tumors were infiltrated with dendritic cells, myeloid-derived suppressor cells, macrophages, and T lymphocytes. Survival was decreased in RAG(-/-) mice, which are deficient in T cells, suggesting that an adaptive immune response alters the course of disease in wild-type mice.We have developed a rapid, predictable orthotopic model of pancreatic adenocarcinoma in immunocompetent mice that mimics human pancreatic cancer with regard to genetic mutations, histologic appearance, and pattern of disease progression. This model highlights both the complexity and relevance of the immune response to invasive pancreatic cancer and may be useful for the preclinical evaluation of new therapeutic agents.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-09-2384

    View details for Web of Science ID 000279903100017

    View details for PubMedID 20534740

  • Innate and adaptive immune response to apoptotic cells JOURNAL OF AUTOIMMUNITY Peng, Y., Martin, D. A., Kenkel, J., Zhang, K., Ogden, C. A., Elkon, K. B. 2007; 29 (4): 303-309


    The immune system is constantly exposed to dying cells, most of which arise during central tolerance and from effete circulating immune cells. Under homeostatic conditions, phagocytes (predominantly macrophages and dendritic cells) belonging to the innate immune system, rapidly ingest cells and their debris. Apoptotic cell removal requires recognition of altered self on the apoptotic membrane, a process which is facilitated by natural antibodies and serum opsonins. Recognition, may be site and context specific. Uptake and ingestion of apoptotic cells promotes an immunosuppressive environment that avoids inflammatory responses to self-antigens. However, it does not preclude a T cell response and it is likely that constant exposure to self-antigen, particularly by immature dendritic cells, leads to T cell tolerance. Tolerance occurs by several different mechanisms including anergy and deletion (for CD8+T cells) and induction of T regulatory cells (for CD4+T cells). Failed apoptotic cell clearance promotes immune responses to self-antigens, especially when the cellular contents are leaked from the cell (necrosis). Inflammatory responses may be induced by nucleic acid stimulation of Toll like receptors and other immune sensors, specific intracellular proteins and non-protein (uric acid) stimulation of inflammasomes.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jaut.2007.07.017

    View details for Web of Science ID 000251338000015

    View details for PubMedID 17888627

  • Autoimmunity stimulated by adoptively transferred dendriticis cells is initiated by both alpha beta and gamma delta T cells but does not require MyD88 signaling JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY Martin, D. A., Zhang, K., Kenkel, J., Hughes, G., Clark, E., Davidson, A., Elkon, K. B. 2007; 179 (9): 5819-5828


    Vaccination of nonautoimmune prone mice with syngeneic dendritic cells (DC) readily induces anti-DNA autoantibodies but does not trigger systemic disease. We observed that anti-DNA autoantibody generation absolutely required alphabeta T cells and that gammadelta T cells also contributed to the response, but that regulatory T cells restrained autoantibody production. Although both NZB/W F(1) mice and DC vaccinated C57/BL6 mice produced autoantibodies against dsDNA, vaccinated mice had higher levels of Abs against H1 histone and lower levels of antinucleosome Abs than NZB/W F(1) mice. Despite a 100-fold increase in IL-12 and Th1 skewing to a foreign Ag, OVA, synergistic TLR activation of DC in vitro failed to augment anti-DNA Abs or promote class switching beyond that induced by LPS alone. TLR stimulation was not absolutely required for the initial loss of B cell tolerance because anti-DNA levels were similar when wild-type (WT) or MyD88-deficient DC were used for vaccination or WT and MyD88-deficient recipients were vaccinated with WT DC. In contrast, systemic administration of LPS, augmented anti-DNA Ab levels and promoted class switching, and this response was dependent on donor DC signaling via MyD88. LPS also augmented responses in the MyD88-deficient recipients, suggesting that LPS likely exerts its effects on both transferred DC and host B cells in vivo. These results indicate that both the alphabeta and gammadelta subsets are necessary for promoting autoantibody production by DC vaccination, and that although TLR/MyD88 signaling is not absolutely required for initiation, this pathway does promote augmentation, and Th1-mediated skewing, of anti-DNA autoantibodies.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000250388000026

    View details for PubMedID 17947655