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The role of NK cells and their receptors in cancer and transplantation

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Prof. Jim Kaufman.

Host: Ashley Moffett (

Dr. Miller’s research team works in two areas that seek to understand fundamental issues regarding innate immune function: 1.) How undifferentiated stem cells develop into functioning NK cell lymphocytes, and 2.) How to manipulate NK cells to treat or prevent cancer relapse. Most of his work focuses on receptors on NK cells that recognize class I MHC molecules.

The hypothesis underlying current research efforts is that “self” MHC molecules influence the NK cell receptor repertoire and NK cell education during development. These NK cell receptors may also play a physiologic role in cancer. Clinical trials using allogeneic NK cells in acute leukemia and solid tumors are underway. Recent transplantation studies have identified the importance of certain killer-cell immunoglobulin-like receptor (KIR) donor genes responsible for protection against acute myelogenous leukemia relapse.

This talk is part of the Immunology in Pathology series.

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