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Jonathan Powell, M.D., Ph.D

Head of Oncology

Jonathan studies immuno- and cancer metabolism to enhance immunotherapy for cancer
About

Jonathan’s research focuses on understanding the metabolic programs that promote tumor growth as well as the activation, differentiation, and function of immune cells. By defining divergent metabolic programs of tumor and immune cells, his group seeks to define new targets for inhibiting tumor growth and enhancing cancer immunotherapy.

During his 20 years at Johns Hopkins, Jonathan’s lab sought to understand how immune cells integrate signals from the immune micro-environment to promote differentiation and function. This work identified a critical role for mTOR in contributing to this process and focused on the metabolic programs that regulate immune responses to cancer. By targeting metabolism, his group was able to enhance the function of anti-tumor-specific T cells and inhibit the generation and function of inhibitory cells such as MDSCs (myeloid-derived suppressor cells). By continuing to pursue this line of inquiry at Calico, Jonathan hopes to define novel targets for cancer therapy.