Renee Wu

Program: Immunology

Current advisor: Not Available

Undergraduate university: Yale University

Research summary
Cancer immunotherapies have revolutionized the treatment of malignancies, but these therapeutics still face enormous challenges and limited efficacy in many patients. To overcome these limitations, improved strategies for CD8 T cell-targeted therapies require an increased understanding of how other immune players, particularly CD4 helper T cells, can promote cytotoxic CD8 T cell responses against cancer neoantigens. Conventional type 1 dendritic cells (cDC1) are thought to perform antigen cross-presentation, which is required to prime CD8 T cells. We have recently shown that cDC1 also prime CD4 T cells in the context of tumor antigens. CD4 T cells are also considered to help CD8 T cell responses through a variety of mechanisms, including a process whereby CD4 T cells ‘license’ cDC1 in a CD40-dependent pathway. My research seeks to determine the functions of cDC1 in initiating CD4 and CD8 T cell anti-tumor responses and the downstream mechanisms of CD40 signaling in the cDC1.

Graduate publications
Ferris ST, Liu T, Chen J, Ohara RA, Ou F, Wu R, Kim S, Murphy TL, Murphy KM. 2023 WDFY4 deficiency in NOD mice ameliorates autoimmune diabetes and insulitis. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 120(13):e2219956120.

Wu R, Ohara RA, Jo S, Liu TT, Ferris ST, Ou F, Kim S, Theisen DJ, Anderson DA 3rd, Wong BW, Gershon T, Schreiber RD, Murphy TL, Murphy KM. 2022 Mechanisms of CD40-dependent cDC1 licensing beyond costimulation. Nat Immunol, 23(11):1536-50.

Xia Y, Sandor K, Pai JA, Daniel B, Raju S, Wu R, Hsiung S, Qi Y, Yangdon T, Okamoto M, Chou C, Hiam-Galvez KJ, Schreiber RD, Murphy KM, Satpathy AT, Egawa T. 2022 BCL6-dependent TCF-1+ progenitor cells maintain effector and helper CD4+ T cell responses to persistent antigen. Immunity, epub ahead of print():.

Wu R, Murphy KM. 2022 DCs at the center of help: Origins and evolution of the three-cell-type hypothesis. J Exp Med, 219(7):e20211519.

Liu TT, Kim S, Desai P, Kim DH, Huang X, Ferris ST, Wu R, Ou F, Egawa T, Van Dyken SJ, Diamond MS, Johnson PF, Kubo M, Murphy TL, Murphy KM. 2022 Ablation of cDC2 development by triple mutations within the Zeb2 enhancer. Nature, 607(7917):142-48.

Ferris ST, Durai V, Wu R, Theisen DJ, Ward JP, Bern MD, Davidson JT 4th, Bagadia P, Liu T, Briseño CG, Li L, Gillanders WE, Wu GF, Yokoyama WM, Murphy TL, Schreiber RD, Murphy KM. 2020 cDC1 prime and are licensed by CD4 + T cells to induce anti-tumour immunity. Nature, 584(7822):624-629.

Durai V, Bagadia P, Granja JM, Satpathy AT, Kulkarni DH, Davidson JT 4th, Wu R, Patel SJ, Iwata A, Liu TT, Huang X, Briseño CG, Grajales-Reyes GE, Wöhner M, Tagoh H, Kee BL, Newberry RD, Busslinger M, Chang HY, Murphy TL, Murphy KM. 2019 Cryptic activation of an Irf8 enhancer governs cDC1 fate specification. Nat Immunol, 20(9):1161-73.

Wang Y, Chiang IL, Ohara TE, Fujii S, Cheng J, Muegge BD, Ver Heul A, Han ND, Lu Q, Xiong S, Chen F, Lai CW, Janova H, Wu R, Whitehurst CE, VanDussen KL, Liu TC, Gordon JI, Sibley LD, Stappenbeck TS. 2019 Long-Term Culture Captures Injury-Repair Cycles of Colonic Stem Cells. Cell, 179(5):1144-1159.e15.


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