As a Principal Research Scientist at the New England Inflammation and Tissue Protection Institute at Northeastern University, my research has focused on the molecular mechanisms mediating immune-suppression in hypoxic inflamed and cancerous tissues. Our laboratory was the first to discovery the regulatory role of A2A Adenosine Receptors on the surface of lymphocytes. These G-protein coupled receptors, when triggered by the messenger molecule adenosine, induce cyclic AMP-driven immunosuppressive PKA signaling that downregulates the effector functions of immune cells, particularly T cells and Natural Killer (NK) cells. Our studies in the field of cancer immunology have also demonstrated that the tumor microenvironment is both hypoxic (low oxygen tension) and extracellular-adenosine rich, which inhibits anti-tumor T- and NK cells through the activation of A2A Adenosine Receptors. Data from our pre-clinical animal research are in consideration for the development of clinical trials that aim to combine the therapuetic antagonism of Adenosine Receptors with cancer vaccines at the Sylvester Cancer Center at the University of Miami.
Since 2007, I have had the opportunity of being an instructor here at Northeastern University. I have instructed courses for the Department of Biology, Biotechnology, Bioinformatics, as well as the College of Professional Studies. The following is a list of my previous teaching experience; Genetics and Molecular Biology Laboratory, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Experimental Approaches, Microbiology Laboratory, and Introduction to Immunotherapies of Cancer and Infectious Diseases, and Molecular Cell Biology.