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The Best Defense is a Good Offense: Cancer Immunotherapy Pits the Immune System Against Itself

  • Wurstküche 625 Lincoln Boulevard Los Angeles, CA, 90291 United States (map)

Lynnea Waters, PhDc


Between B cells, T cells, and NK cells, the immune system is a veritable alphabet soup of players on a team that is critical in keeping us healthy. Our star team is our adaptive immune system, which can recognize pathogens and remember them for the future. On the adaptive team, B cells are the real MVP—they not only recognize new bugs, but also adapt to them, giving our bodies a new arsenal of plays to use. But the same characteristics that make B cells so powerful leave them vulnerable to transformation, which is why B cell cancers are one of the most prevalent. New technologies have given us the power to harness our immune system to fight this type of cancer—a field called cancer immunotherapy. We have made huge strides in the fight against cancer by turning our best defense into a great offensive team.

Speaker Bio

Lynnea Waters is a PhD candidate at the University of California, Los Angeles where she studies the immune system and cancer. Prior to studying at UCLA, Lynnea completed her BS at Cal State Northridge where she studied gene regulation in B cell lymphoma. When she's not in the lab, Lynnea can be found homebrewing her own beer or training for a marathon.