Steven Highfill PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow
Steven Highfill received his Bachelor of Science in Biology at the University of South Florida (USF) and pursued research at the Moffitt Cancer Research Center, which primarily focused on studying the molecular interactions of a novel gene (LRBA) implicated in cancer cell growth and survival. Steven then received his Ph.D. from the Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology (MICaB) graduate program at the University of Minnesota under the direction of Dr. Bruce Blazar. His thesis research
focused on developing novel, cell-based strategies that could be used to limit graft verses host disease (GVHD) and promote bone marrow engraftment following allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (BMT). During his graduate work he published several manuscripts on this topic, including work demonstrating that multipotent adult progenitor cells can suppress GVHD (Highfill et al, Blood, 2009) and that myeloid derived suppressor cells can also inhibit GVHD (Highfill, Blood, 2010). Steven joined the Immunology Section in 2010 and since that time has conducted work focused on elucidating a role for myeloid derived suppressor cells in tumor immune escape in pediatric sarcomas. These studies have generated novel insights into factors regulating trafficking of MDSC to embryonal tumors and on a role for PD-1 signaling in tumor immune escape in these diseases.