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David L. Elion

Graduate Student, Cook Lab

Research Description:

David’s project is to investigate the effect of RIG-I activation on apoptosis and tumor immunity in breast cancer.  He is in the process of determining if RIG-I activation affects breast cancer cell survival, focusing on the extrinsic apoptotic pathway.  In addition, he found that RIG-I agonists increase MHC-I and decrease PD-L1.  He is currently testing cytokine production in breast cancer cells and macrophages, and investigating if RIG-I activation can increase anti-tumor immunity by modulating the responses of innate immune effector cells in the tumor microenvironment.   



1. M. M. Williams, L. Lee, D. J. Hicks, M. M. Joly, D. Elion, B. Rahman, C. McKernan, V. Sanchez, J. M. Balko, T. Stricker, M.V. Estrada and R. S. Cook. Key Survival Factor, Mcl-1, Correlates with Sensitivity to Combined Bcl-2/Bcl-xL Blockade. Mol Cancer Res 2017; 15(3):259-268. PMCID: PMC5334148.

2. M. M. Williams, D. B. Vaught, M. M. Joly, D. J. Hicks, V. Sanchez, P. Owens, B. Rahman, D. Elion, J. M. Balko, Rebecca Cook. ErbB3 drives mammary epithelial survival and differentiation during pregnancy and lactation. Breast Cancer Research 2017; 105(19). PMCID: PMC5591538

3. M. M. Williams, L. Lee, T. Werfel, M. Joly, D.Hicks, D. Elion, B. Rahman, C. McKernan, V. Sanchez, M.Estrada, S. Massarweh, R. Elledge, and C. Duvall, R.S. Cook. Intrinsic apoptotic pathway activation increases response to anti-estrogens in luminal breast cancers. Cell Death and Disease. 2018; 9(2):21. PCMID: 29343814