Sykulev Research


Name: Yuri Sykulev, MD, PhD
Position: Professor

233 South 10th Street
Bluemle Life Sciences Building 706
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Contact Number(s):

My research program focuses on understanding of immunobiology of cytotoxic lymphocytes.  I am building the program along two principal directions. The first direction is to unravel the basic mechanisms of lymphocyte functioning, and the second one is exploiting these knowledges to establish new tools for evaluating quality of lymphocytes responses and to develop novel immunotherapeutic interventions.

Recently, we have shown that the kinetics of Ca2+ mobilization in responding T cells that regulates activity of 75% genes involving in T cell activation is link to the efficiency of T cell response. We have identified various patterns of Ca2+ mobilization and linked each pattern to efficiency of T cell response. Based on these findings, we have developed a simple and reliable approach allowing to determine the frequency and potency of pathogen-specific T cells in freshly isolated polyclonal CD8 T cells. The individual cells demonstrating high potency can be isolated to extract information about TCR clonotype to be exploited for engineering potent pathogen- and tumor-specific T cells with the specificity of interest. In collaboration with clinical investigators we are developing novel immunotherapeutic strategies to treat viral infections, including SARS-CoV-2, and cancer with adoptive transfer of highly potent engineered T cells.

The atmosphere in my laboratory facilitates full support and a collaborative spirit for every trainee and provides an optimal ground for learning the application of cutting edge approaches to investigate molecular mechanisms of immune system functioning and application of this knowledge to diagnose and treat various human diseases.

Visualizing T Cell Responses

Identifying Responding T Cells

Kinetic of T Cell Response in Real Time