Contact: Alexander Shtifman
Phone: 617-713-8989

Congratulations to Ross Cheloha and Sadeem Ahmad, who have each been awarded a post-doctoral fellowship from the Cancer Research Institute (CRI).

Ross Cheloha (left), a postdoctoral fellow in the Ploegh lab, will investigate how the BCR (B cell receptor) is trafficked within B cells in order to provide means to promote beneficial BCR activity and inhibit detrimental activity. To provide a brief background, B cells help provide immunity against infections and cancer through the action of a protein complex on their surface (B cell receptor, BCR). Abnormal BCR activity can cause B cells to become cancerous or cause autoimmune diseases.

Sadeem Ahmad (right), a postdoctoral fellow in the Hur lab, will investigate the mechanistic basis of "self" vs "non-self" discrimination by the innate immune receptor MDA5. Loss of this discrimination has not only been implicated in immune disorders like Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), but also finds immense potential in cancer immunotherapy through MDA5-mediated activation of the type I interferon pathway. Therefore, a deeper understanding of the molecular basis for the aberrant "self" recognition by MDA5 would have a significant therapeutic implication for both auto-inflammatory diseases and cancers.