The Cancer Immunology and Hematology Branch (CIHB) supports a broad program of investigator-initiated research that includes basic and tumor immunology and the biology of malignancies of the immune system including leukemias, lymphomas, and plasma cell neoplasms. Areas of major interest include the innate and adaptive immune response to tumors, receptor biology/signal transduction, cytokines, antibodies and antibody genes, T-cell biology and the biology of nonspecific effectors of the immune system such as antigen-presenting cells, natural killer cells and natural killer T cells, granulocytes, and macrophages. Other areas of program interest include hematopoietic differentiation, cancer stem (or initiating) cells, oncogenes, the biology of hematopoietic tumors AIDS –associated malignancies, immunologic aspects of bone-marrow transplantation (graft versus leukemia and graft versus host disease) and effects of erythropoietic stimulating agents on tumor progression.
The Cellular Immunology program area supports research on the impact of immune responses on tumor progression. Immune responses can either be protective (leading to tumor stasis or destruction) or tumor promoting (aiding tumor development and/or metastasis). In particular, the roles of T and B lymphocytes, macrophages, dendritic cells, natural killer cells, natural killer T cells, and granulocytes are of interest. This program also supports research on the roles of antibodies, cytokines and other innate immune mechanisms, and research on the basic biology of AIDS–associated malignancies.
The Molecular Immunology program area supports research on genes and proteins of potential importance in the immune response to tumors. These include, but are not limited to tumor specific antigens, antibodies, cytokines, cell-surface receptors, intracellular receptors, signal-transduction molecules, microRNAnas, and transcription factors necessary for immune cell responses to tumors. This program also supports research on immunologic aspects of bone-marrow transplantation.
Hematopoiesis and Hematopoietic Malignancies
The Hematopoiesis and Hematopoietic Malignancies program area supports research on the basic biology of leukemias and myeloid malignancies. This research includes elements of hematopoietic differentiation that are relevant to understanding how these malignancies arise. Areas of major interest include myeloid development and differentiation, chromosomal translocations associated with leukemias, oncogenes, cytokine regulation of gene expression, cell cycle, and cytokine signal transduction.
Conference and AREA Grants
Conference Grants and AREA Grants support investigator-initiated activities designed to expand the impact and scope of research areas targeted by the CIHB. Conference Grants provide opportunities for researchers to share research results and to develop new research collaborations. The AREA grants ( Academic Research Enhancement Award ) program is designed to stimulate research in educational institutions that provide baccalaureate or advanced degrees to research scientist, but have not been major recipients of NIH grant support. AREA grants are intended to support small-scale health related research projects.