Eduardo completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry at McMaster University. During his undergraduate he worked in an X-ray crystallography lab and a C. elegans lab where he developed his passion for research. In the meantime, immunology courses established his interest in autologous immunotherapies and the vital role NK-cell based therapies can have in the future treatment of cancers. He joined the Ashkar lab as a master’s student in the Fall of 2018 and is currently investigating novel methods for enhancing the efficacy of NK-cell therapies in solid tumours.
Current NK-cell anti-tumour therapies demonstrate high efficacy in targeting hematological malignancies as patients with acute myeloid leukemia have shown decreased cancer relapse and improved survival following treatment. However, in the immunosuppressive environment produced by solid tumours, NK-cells have faced challenges in sustaining cytotoxicity and preventing tumour metastases. Eduardo’s research focuses on silencing inhibitory signals affecting NK-cell function in the highly suppressive environment of solid tumours, while maintaining the natural ability of NK-cells to distinguish malignant cells from healthy cells. This research could become the foundation for enhancing autologous NK-cell therapies to effectively treat therapy resistant solid tumours.
Financial support provided by the Ontario Graduate Fellowship Award.