Cancer Research

Dr. Julie Roda

Main Areas of Expertise Immunology; Cancer biology; Molecular and cellular biology Secondary Areas of Expertise Cancer genetics; Medical oncology; Physiology Biography Dr Julie Roda's overall research interests lie in the immunosuppressive effects of cancer in the tumor microenvironment and the manner in which infiltrating immune cells can influence cancer growth and progression. As a graduate student at Ohio State, she worked to characterize the response of natural killer (NK) cells to anti-tumor antibodies such as trastuzumab (Herceptin), showing a vital role for NK cells in the response to tumor antibodies and initiating numerous clinical trials in which tumor antibodies were administered with NK cell-activating adjuvants. Dr Roda's post-doctoral research, also at Ohio State, focused on O2-dependent gene transcription and the regulation of angiogenesis by tumor-infiltrating myeloid cells. They identified the transcription factor HIF-2-alpha as an inhibitor of angiogenesis through its regulation of a soluble decoy VEGF receptor (sVEGFR-1), which acts as an endogenous inhibitor of VEGF, and developed small molecule inhibitors of the prolyl hydroxylases (the upstream activators of HIF-2-alpha) as potential cancer therapeutics to modulate the angiogenic activity of tumor macrophages. Qualification PhD Cancer immunology, The Ohio State University BSc Biology, Brandeis University Current Activity Currently work as a Scientist at OncoMed Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing first-in-class monoclonal antibody therapeutics targeting cancer stem cells.