Haydn Kissick

About Haydn Kissick

T cells are immune cells with a specialized and powerful ability to recognize dangerous cells and kill them. This occurs by T cell recognition of antigens, i.e. small segments of proteins that are uniquely expressed by the dangerous cell. Tumor cells express many unique and mutated proteins which are ideal killer T cell targets.

Dr. Haydn Kissick is developing methodologies to discover mutated prostate cancer antigens that are recognized by patient T cells.

These antigens can be used to create patient-specific vaccines to expand existing anti-tumor T cell populations and enhance their activity. Efficacy of this cancer vaccine approach and mechanisms of immune resistance will be studied in pre-clinical mouse models.

If successful, this project will create and validate a methodology for generating personalized vaccines that activate the immune system to kill prostate cancer cells.

What this means for patients: The immune system has powerful tumor-killing capabilities but these responses are sub-optimal in cancer patients. This project will develop a methodology for creating personalized vaccines to expand and activate existing anti-tumor T cells, enabling life-long immune surveillance and control of tumors.


2014 William B. Finneran-PCF Young Investigator

Haydn Kissick, PhD

The Emory Vaccine Center and the Department of Urology, Emory University


Martin Sanda, MD, Rafi Ahmed, PhD

Proposal Title:

Vaccination against Patient Specific Coding Mutations to Treat Prostate Cancer