My research interests include work on the immunologic aspects of several inflammatory diseases such as cancer, obesity, atherosclerosis and diabetes.

In the area of cancer, we are investigating the interplay between immune cells and cancer cells in the context of breast and ovarian cancer. I am particularly interested in the role of antigen presenting cells, particularly dendritic cells, as inducers or suppressors of immune responses. These cells are keystones of immunity response, being capable of triggering the adaptive immunity. On the other hand, under pathological conditions, they can be involved in inflammatory diseases, participating with tissue injury. Further, they can collaborate with tumor growth by suppressing the specific anti-tumor immune response or inducing tumor vascularization. We investigate the factors governing the phenotypic plasticity of these cells since this might unhide new targets for immune therapies. At present, our studies are also attempting to define the role of pathogen-associated receptors in cancer cells as inducers of chemokines that might attract leukocytes to the tumor microenvironment, and ultimately reprogram them as co-conspirators of tumor growth.

More recently, my research efforts have also been focused on collaborative work destined to unravel the role of the adipose tissue microenvironment on shaping the immunological profile of infiltrating leukocytes. It has been demonstrated that inflammatory cells infiltrating this tissue might contribute to obesity. Thus, understanding the mechanisms governing this process might help design therapies to fight this disease.

Fabian Benencia, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Immunology
Department of Biomedical Sciences
benencia@ohio.edu
Academic & Research Center 202C
740-597-2133
 
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DEPT. OF BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES
EDISON BIOTECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE
COLLEGE OF OSTEOPATHIC MEDICINE
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
   
   
  Ohio University
Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine
Irvine Hall, Athens, Ohio 45701
740-593-2530 740-597-2778 fax
Last updated: 03/12/2015