Mary Jo Turk, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
Microbiology and Immunology
Dr. Turk received her B.S. in Chemistry in 1995 from John Carroll University, and her Ph.D. in 2001, from the Department of Chemistry at Purdue University. From 2001 through September of 2004, Dr. Turk was a postoctoral research fellow in the Laboratory of Tumor Immunology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. She joined the department of Immunology and Microbiology, as well as the Norris Cotton Cancer Center as an Assistant Professor in October of 2004.
Molecular and Cellular Biology Graduate Programs
Norris Cotton Cancer Center
One Medical Center Drive
Rubin Building 732, HB 7937
Lebanon NH 03756
Office: Rubin 732
Asst. Phone: 603-653-9952
Research in the Turk Laboratory focuses on understanding how the immune system responds to poorly immunogenic tumors, and in using this knowledge to design effective immunotherapies against cancer. We employ a century-old model (first discovered in 1906) known as Concomitant Tumor Immunity, whereby immunity to a progressively growing tumor is monitored by measuring growth of a secondary tumor given several days later. Using this model, we have recently shown that, in the absence of CD4 CD25 regulatory T cells, progressively growing tumors themselves induce robust anti-tumor immunity against subsequent tumors. In hosts with melanoma, this protection is mediated by CD8 T cells which recognize unaltered self proteins that are expressed by both melanoma cells and normal melanocytes. These findings are intriguing because they demonstrate that tumors are able to break immunological tolerance to self proteins when regulatory T cells are disabled. Our research goals involve elucidating the mechanisms by which tumors prime these T cell responses, devising effective strategies for blockade of regulatory T cells, and developing vaccines which will boost this inherent immunity against cancer.
Steinberg SM, Zhang P, Malik BT, Boni A, Shabaneh TB, Byrne KT, Mullins DW, Brinckerhoff CE, Ernstoff MS, Bosenberg MW, Turk MJ
Toraya-Brown S, Sheen MR, Zhang P, Chen L, Baird JR, Demidenko E, Turk MJ, Hoopes PJ, Conejo-Garcia JR, Fiering S
Jenkins MH, Steinberg SM, Alexander MP, Fisher JL, Ernstoff MS, Turk MJ, Mullins DW, Brinckerhoff CE
Byrne KT, Zhang P, Steinberg SM, Turk MJ
Black CC, Turk MJ, Dragnev K, Rigas JR
Baird JR, Byrne KT, Lizotte PH, Toraya-Brown S, Scarlett UK, Alexander MP, Sheen MR, Fox BA, Bzik DJ, Bosenberg M, Mullins DW, Turk MJ, Fiering S
Toraya-Brown S, Sheen MR, Baird JR, Barry S, Demidenko E, Turk MJ, Hoopes PJ, Conejo-Garcia JR, Fiering S
Guo Y, Pino-Lagos K, Ahonen CA, Bennett KA, Wang J, Napoli JL, Blomhoff R, Sockanathan S, Chandraratna RA, Dmitrovsky E, Turk MJ, Noelle RJ
Cote AL, Byrne KT, Steinberg SM, Zhang P, Turk MJ
Byrne KT, Turk MJ