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Julian J. Lum

PhD (Director)

UVIC, BC Cancer Research Institute

Dr. Lum received his Ph.D. in Immunology from the University of Ottawa. He moved to the University of Pennsylvania to complete his postdoctoral fellowship in the lab of Dr. Craig B. Thompson.  Dr. Lum is a Senior Scientist at BC Cancer and Associate Professor at the University of Victoria. 

Why do you study metabolism?

”If you stop and think about cell processes, all roads lead to metabolism. Enzymes need ATP, cells need macromolecules, even the epigenome is regulated by small metabolites like methyl or acetly groups. Try to ask yourself a cell process that doesn’t involve metabolism”.

Why it fascinates you?

”For me as an immunologist, I’m curious about how metabolism at the subcellular level, cellular level, tissue level and finally whole body level affects how immune cells respond to cancer.”

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Research Focus

Metabolic determinants of therapeutic responses

Interrogating the metabolic differences found between environments that support improved prognosis and poor prognosis. 

In vivo tracing studies

By isotopically labeling key nutrients and infusing them into patients, we are able to track and compare the metabolism of tumor and immune cells within the patient.  

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Metabolomic interventional studies in clinical trials

Assessing the change in cancer progression and metabolism before during, and after metabolic intervention

Metabolic genetic engineering of CAR-T cells – ATG5

Through targeting ATG5 and other metabolic genes in T cells using CRISPR-Cas9 we hope to enhance CAR T cell anti-tumor activity in the tumor microenvironment

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