Mary Philip, MD, PhD, has been named a 2019 V Scholar and will receive $200,000 from the V Foundation for Cancer Research.
The grant will support her research to develop an organoid model — a miniature cell model of a functioning organ — of the liver. Her goal is to induce cancer into liver organoids, then add T cells and other immune cells to understand how the immune system responds to developing tumors.
This in vitro model will allow three-dimensional observation of immune-cancer interactions at the single-cell level at the earliest stages of cancer development, which is difficult to carry out in mouse models.
The initiative follows a previous study on T cell dysfunction in liver cancer using mouse models by Philip and colleagues that was published May 25, 2017, in Nature. She was the lead author of that study.