Dr. Ziv Shulman, Department of Immunology
Dr. Ziv Shulman studies the cellular and molecular processes that lead to the generation of protective antibodies in response to vaccination or pathogen invasion. This research can lead to the identification of molecular mechanisms that may eventually lead to more effective cancer immunotherapy—a clinical approach in which the body’s immune system is stimulated to identify and attack cancerous tumors. An expert in “affinity maturation”—an antibody selection process that occurs naturally in the body—Dr. Shulman’s ultimate goal is to adapt this process for controlled drug design, and create new natural antibodies for use as immunotherapy agents. As such therapeutic antibodies would be generated by the body’s own immune system, they would not provoke autoimmune reactions or other side effects. In addition to cancer, Dr. Shulman’s research has implications for the design of better vaccination strategies, especially those that induce immune protection against chronic infections or pathogens such as HIV.