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Michael B. Brenner, MD

Theodore Bevier Bayles Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Chief, Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy, Brigham And Women's Hospital

Contact Info

Michael Brenner
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
One Jimmy Fund Way
Boston, MA, 02115
Mailstop: Smith Bldg, Room 552
Phone: 617-525-1000
Fax: 617-525-1001


Mary Ann Flaherty
Operations Coordinator
Immunology and Allergy
Brigham And Women's Hospital

DF/HCC Program Affiliation

Angiogenesis, Invasion and Metastasis
Cancer Immunology

Research Abstract

This laboratory studies T lymphocyte biology with emphasis on antigen presentation, T cell receptor recognition, and lymphocyte homing and trafficking. We demonstrated that immune system T cells are capable of recognizing non-protein lipid and glycolipid antigens presented in the context of CD1 molecules. Thus, the paradigm that T cells recognize only peptide antigens in the context of MHC has been extended to reveal a further universe of foreign and self nonprotein antigens that are recognized in a CD1 restricted manner. Foreign microbial lipids and glycolipids are being studied in the context of vaccine development as their recognition plays an important role in eliciting a previously unappreciated component of T cell immunity in host defense. Studies on recognition of tumor glycolipids and the role of CD1 reactive NKT cells in tumor immunity are also being investigated.

In addition, we are studying the role of cadherins in cell biology and cancer. Cadherins are cell adhesion and signaling molecules that are responsible for the morphogenesis of tissues during development and for their organization and integrity in adults. In addition, cadherins are critical molecules in cell transformation and cell behavior in cancer. We have found that a mesenchymal cadherin, cadherin-11, markedly enhances the migration and invasion of tumor cells. We are developing the reagents that block this molecule and reverse the increased invasiveness it mediates.


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