Dendritic cells control adaptive immune responses

Dendritic cells (DCs) are the ‘sentinels’ of the immune system that detect infection and activate both innate lymphoid cells and T cells that perform various protective functions.  DCs control both the quality and magnitude of immune responses. Our recent work has identified the genetic networks that control the development of different subsets of DCs that protect against different types of pathogens. One type, called cDC1, is critical in activating the types of immune response needed for anti-tumor immunity and for the effectiveness of checkpoint blockade therapy.  A major effort is directed at understanding the development and specialized functions cDC1 cells, which may lead to ways to harness these cells therapeutically.  In addition, we study the development and function of other related myeloid cells, including other DC subsets, monocytes and macrophages.