Susan Thomas


Susan

 

Thomas

Associate Professor
Primary School/Department: 
George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering
Title 2: 
Associate Director, Integrated Cancer Research Center

Phone: 
404-385-1126
Office Location: 
IBB 2315
University: 
Georgia Institute of Technology

Research Keywords:

Immunoengineering, cancer, metastasis, immunotherapy, drug delivery

Research Affiliations:

Research Center Affiliations: 
Marcus Center for Therapeutic Cell Characterization and Manufacturing (MC3M)
Regenerative Engineering and Medicine (REM)
Integrated Cancer Research Center
Immunoengineering
Center for ImmunoEngineering
Center for Drug Design Development & Delivery
Biomaterials

Research Areas:

Research Areas: 
Biomaterials
Cancer Biology
Drug Design, Development and Delivery
Molecular, Cellular and Tissue Biomechanics
Regenerative Medicine

Research Interests:

Dr. Thomas’s research focuses on the role of biological transport phenomena in physiological and pathophysiological processes. Her laboratory specializes in incorporating mechanics with cell engineering, biochemistry, biomaterials, and immunology in order to 1) elucidate the role mechanical forces play in regulating seemingly unrelated aspects of tumor progression such as metastasis and immune suppression as well as 2) develop novel immunotherapeutics to treat cancer.

Cancer progression is tightly linked to the ability of malignant cells to exploit the immune system to promote survival. Insight into immune function can therefore be gained from understanding how tumors exploit immunity. Conversely, this interplay makes the concept of harnessing the immune system to combat cancer an intriguing approach. Using an interdisciplinary approach, we aim to develop a novel systems-oriented framework to quantitatively analyze immune function in cancer. This multifaceted methodology to study tumor immunity will not only contribute to fundamental questions regarding how to harness immune response, but will also pave the way for novel engineering approaches to treat cancer such as with vaccines and cell- or molecular-based therapies.