My journey began over 25 years ago when I developed an interest in understanding nutrition and the role it plays in health and wellness. This led me down a path that would ultimately lead to a doctoral degree in immunology from Stanford University School of Medicine. Along the way, I've had the opportunity to participate in biomedical research in both academic and biotech labs; carrying-out research in numerous therapeutic areas including bacterial and viral infection, osteoporosis, atherosclerosis, autoimmune diseases, IBD and Crohn's disease, and cancer. While these may seem like different and unrelated diseases, they all share a common underlying factor...the immune system.
I became fascinated with the power and complexity of the immune system and while my original interests stemmed from the role nutrition plays in health, they grew as I realized that the immune system was at the core of our health and wellness. One of my greatest insights came while conducting research in drug discovery. I saw that a single pill would never capture the sophistication and efficiency of the immune system in treating disease and so I began researching ways to modulate the immune system; to restore or regain function lost due to disease.
The focus of my research for the last decade has been on understanding a population of immune cells capable of recognizing and killing cancer. These cells are isolated directly from the patient's blood, treated to make them active and to increase their numbers, and then re-introduced back into the patient. Once back in the patient, the cells seek-out tumor sites and actively kill the cells while also calling in other immune cells to help. This therapy alone has shown some potential but has been limited, primarily because cancer cells have established mechanisms for tricking the immune system, making the therapy less effective. To over come this, I've combined these cells with an approved anti-cancer drug which works to "sensitize" the cancer cells for attack by the immune cells leading to greater success. This combined therapy is now poised to enter clinical studies.
Along with my passion for research, I am an impassioned advocate of empowering personal health. I've been working to distill down the most important lessons I've learned about maintaining good health and wellness and making these lessons available to everyone. The core of empowering your own health is having a good understanding of how your body defends itself and how that defense breaks down and leads to disease. Only then can you make the choices that help keep you well and make informed decisions when you do get sick.