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Sarah Whiteside

Postdoctoral Scientist

Sarah grew up in Vermont and completed her undergraduate studies at Elon University in North Carolina. She obtained a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry with minors in both Economics and Classical Studies. She earned her PhD in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Utah in the Department of Pathology. Her graduate work focused on determining the role of T cells in Lyme disease in the laboratory of Professor Janis Weis. Her findings revealed a non-classical role for T cells driving Lyme arthritis dependent on T cell intrinsic expression of the microbial pattern recognition receptor TLR2. Sarah joined Rahul’s group in 2018 and is currently a College Research Associate at King’s College.

Her postdoctoral research aims to identify new ways to exploit the immune system to treat cancer. Cancer immunotherapies, which work by activating the immune system to attack tumours, have revolutionized cancer treatment and fundamentally changed clinical outcomes for patients with a subset of cancer types. However, immunotherapy can also lead to immune-mediated damage of non-tumour tissues, which often resembles autoimmune disease. Sarah is currently working to understand the mechanisms by which T cell immunity is supressed in cancer. In doing so, she hopes to enable the development of new selective therapies targeting the manipulation of immune function in patients.