Karin Pelka, PhD

Assistant Investigator, Gladstone-UCSF Institute of Genomic Immunology, Gladstone Institutes; Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, UCSF

Dr. Pelka’s lab studies the multicellular interactions that shape immune responses in human tumors. Using single-cell RNA sequencing and spatial profiling approaches, Pelka has identified spatially organized interaction networks between immune and malignant cells. By combining CRISPR perturbation with high-content readouts in human ex vivo and mouse in vivo model systems, her team now aims to determine how these ‘immune hubs’ form, develop, and function, and how the cells within and between the hubs communicate with each other. Her long-term goal is to manipulate these cell collectives to uncover novel ways to harness the immune system in the fight against cancer.