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Julie  Djeu

Julie Djeu

Julie Djeu


Phone: 813/745-3041


B.A. Biology, Barnard College, Columbia University, 1967
Ph.D. Medical Microbiology; George Washington University, 1973


Natural Killer Cells and Signal Transduction Natural killer (NK) cells constitute an early immune defense mechanism against tumor cells and provide a complementary pathway from cytotoxic T cells to ward off cancer. Active research is being conducted on the molecular mechanisms by which NK cells kill tumor cells. In contrast to signal pathways that control cell growth and proliferation, new data are being generated to indicate that a unique set of signal molecules controls NK tumoricidal function. Contact with tumor cells immediately triggers a phosphoinositide-3 kinase (PI3K) - Rac1 - Pak1 - MEK pathway in NK cells that activates Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) to mobilize lytic enzymes towards the tumor cells. Current research is to define what signals are upstream of PI3K and downstream of MAPK. Understanding of this lytic process may provide insight into new forms of cancer immunotherapy.