Shabnam Shalapour

Shabnam Shalapour
About Shabnam Shalapour
  • Cancer is characterized by accumulation and loss of normal cellular regulatory processes, leading to expression of tumor-specific molecules (antigens). The tumor microenvironment also causes exhaustion of the patient’s immune response to their cancer.
  • Dr. Shabnam Shalapour will use a clinical study to investigate the exact mechanism through which prostate cancer cells cause the exhaustion of prostate cancer patient immune cells that were once capable of eliminating tumors.
  • Treatments to reverse immune exhaustion will be studied in a mouse model of human prostate cancer.
  • Analyzing biopsies of prostate cancer tumors both before and after patient treatment will allow Dr. Shalapour to determine the exact role that immune cells play in controlling cancer growth and invasion.

What this means for patients: Many immunotherapies that have been successful treating other cancers have had little impact on prostate cancer. Defining mechanisms driving immune cell suppression will lay the groundwork for a clinical trial that test combination therapy in patients with the goal of reversing this resistance.


2015 David Yurman–PCF Young Investigator

Shabnam Shalapour, PhD

University of California, San Diego


Michael Karin, PhD

Proposal Title

Development of Immunosuppressive Plasmocytes that Interfere with T-Cell-Dependent Immunogenic Chemotherapy in Prostate Cancer