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Dhifaf Sarhan

Lektor, biträdande

Institution och organisatorisk tillhörighet:

Om mig

Recently recruited as Assistant Professor in Tumor immunology/Immunotherapy to the Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell Biology (MTC). I received my Ph.D. degree from the Department of Oncology-Pathology, Karolinska Institutet in 2014 followed by a postdoctoral training at the University of Minnesota. In 2018, I joined MTC. My research interest focuses on studying the consequences of the tumor microenvironment (TME) on shaping the immune effector cell function and memory aiming to remodel the TME to improved cancer immunotherapies.


Project I: Antibody targeting of tumor-associated macrophages (TAMS) for cancer immunotherapy

The goal for this project is to identify specific targets for TAMs to reprogram their suppressive nature and later develop target antibodies to relieve the anti-tumor activity of Natural Killer (NK) cells and T cells. Currently we are studying the Scavenger receptors as therapeutic targets in pancreas and lung cancer. 


Project II: Study the mechanisms of immune exclusion in pancreatic tumors highly infiltrated by TAMs

In this project, we study the TAM-dependent inhibition mechanisms of NK and T cell infiltration into cold or immune excluded pancreas tumors. Patient tumor and blood specimens are provided by national and international collaborators. Further, we are extensively examining the receptor signal integration in suppressive myeloid cells and the impact of gender dimorphism on the TME in pancreatic cancer 


Project III: Antigen presenting cell regulation of adaptive NK cell immunological memory in cancer

For decades NK cells were believed to lack immunological memory, however recent groundbreaking research by us and others revealed the opposite. We discovered novel mechanisms used by adaptive NK cells to resist the suppressive tumor environment. In this project we focus on investigating the molecular mechanisms behind NK cell memory induced by antigen presenting cells like dendritic cells and B cells in health and cancer. 

Akademiska priser och utmärkelser

Pancreatic cancer fellow, Swedish Cancer Society

Postdoctoral fellowship, Karolinska Institutet and University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota USA

Award for research-project, ImmunoTools

Scholarship, Swedish Order of Freemasons



Swedish Cancer Society

KI Stiftelser och Fonder

Stiftelsen Sigurd and Elsa Goljes Minne


Postdoctoral fellowship Karolinska Institutet, University of Minnesota

Robert Lundbergs minnesstiftelse

The Sjöberg foundation

Novo, NovoSeeds

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