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Professor Stephen Beers

Professor of Immunology & Immunotherapy

Research interests

  • Antibody Effector Functions
  • Monoclonal antibodies (mAb) have become established in the treatment of a variety of malignancies - transforming patient outcomes. Despite this undoubted impact, responses remain variable and their mechanisms of action and of tumour resistance are controversial. Our research is focussed on understanding these complex processes using a variety of complementary models and systems to better inform antibody selection, design and clinical application.
  • Current research interests:

More research

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Research

Research interests

  • Antibody Effector Functions
  • Monoclonal antibodies (mAb) have become established in the treatment of a variety of malignancies - transforming patient outcomes. Despite this undoubted impact, responses remain variable and their mechanisms of action and of tumour resistance are controversial. Our research is focussed on understanding these complex processes using a variety of complementary models and systems to better inform antibody selection, design and clinical application.
  • Current research interests:
  • 1. Manipulating tumour microenvironment and effector function to enhance antibody therapy.2. How antibodies that directly target tumours induce therapeutic responses and may be augmented by other reagents.3. The requirement for Fc receptors and effector cell interactions for immunomodulatory antibodies.
  • 1. Manipulating tumour microenvironment and effector function to enhance antibody therapy Antibody immunotherapy relies predominantly on activatory Fc-gamma-Receptors (FcγR) expressing macrophages for effector function. However, tumour associated macrophages have a pro-tumour, anti-inflammatory phenotype associated with a poor prognosis and response to a variety of therapeutic interventions. The understanding of how macrophages are manipulated by tumours in vivo and how they may be re-programmed to augment mAb immunotherapy is a critical area of study where data is currently lacking.

Current research

His research group is interested in how antibodies work to result in tumour regression. The research is currently focused on how the tumour microenvironment, particularly macrophages, affect effector function and how this could be manipulated to enhance antibody efficacy in patients. They have built a portfolio of complimentary models incorporating in vitro 3D modelling, appropriate in vivo model systems and primary clinical material.

The research group currently comprises; Dr Charles Birts, Against Breast Cancer Lecturer in Antibody Therapeutics (a joint appointment with Professor Max Crispin, Biological Sciences), four postdoctoral fellows, two research technicians, nine PhD students, and two clinical fellows.

https://www.southampton.ac.uk/research/institutes-centres/centre-for-cancer-immunology

 

Research projects

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