'Immunoengineering: A New Approach to Cancer Research and Beyond'
Internationally renowned cancer researcher Melody Swartz, Ph.D., presents a lecture titled "Immunoengineering: A New Approach to Cancer Research and Beyond." This event is free and open to the public. Parking at UAA is free on Sundays.
Swartz has received many honors. In addition to a MacArthur Fellowship ("genius grant"), which recognizes creativity in all endeavors, she has been awarded a Career Award from the National Science Foundation, an Arnold and Mabel Beckman Young Investigator Award, and the Wenner Prize—Switzerland’s largest prize for cancer research. Other recognition includes being named one of Popular Science magazine’s "Brilliant 10" in 2006.
Swartz's research focuses on how lymphatic vessels, and their transport functions, contribute to adaptive immunity. Biomedical scientists currently regard the fluid-drainage function of the lymphatic system as mostly important for maintaining tissue fluid balance. The cell transport functions, which regulate immunity, are considered separately. She is trying to build a new picture of the lymphatic function—namely, that not only are fluid and cell transport functions of the lymphatic vessels strongly coupled, but that the fluid transport functions are very important in regulating immune responses. Swartz’s team also is trying to target lymphatic vessels for improved cancer immunotherapy because this is one aspect of the tumor microenvironment that seems to contribute to therapeutic failure.
Swartz is a professor at the University of Chicago Institute of Biomolecular Engineering and an elected fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. She is a two-time recipient of prestigious $3 million single-investigator grants from the European Research Foundation. Swartz's research appears in such influential journals as Science, Nature and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.