David Raulet's research addresses how the immune system recognizes and responds to cancer cells and virus-infected cells. While his early work focused on T lymphocytes, current research emphasizes another immune cell, the natural killer cell. Related to T cells, natural killer cells employ completely different strategies to attack cancerous and infected cells. Raulet has uncovered keys to their capacity for recognizing and destroying many types of cancer cells. Nonetheless, natural killer cells often fail to become activated, or get rendered inactive, in patients with cancer. Raulet’s recent work aims to understand the mechanism behind cell activation and devise therapeutic approaches that mobilize natural killer cells to eliminate cancers. Recognized with many awards for his scientific contributions, Raulet was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2019 and is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Association of Immunologists.
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