BS in Biological Sciences, University of California, Irvine
PhD in Immunology, University of Utah
Postdoc in Immunogenetics, University of Southern California
My research interest is focused on cancer immunotherapy. We are working on peptide based vaccines that stimulate CD8 T cell responses to unique or overexpressed tumor antigens. In particular, we are studying cationic lipid based peptide vaccines which promote strong CD8 T cell responses. We utilize a mouse model for cervical cancer and have shown that a single vaccination with HPV peptide/cationic lipid vaccine results in complete regression of the tumor. Extensive pre-clinical work in our lab using humanized transgenic mice have led to the production of a multi-peptide based vaccine that has just completed Phase I clinical trials in female subjects with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia. The results were quite promising and Phase II trials are being planned. Currently, we are studying a variety of other peptide antigens found on different cancer cells including melanoma, ovarian, breast, prostate and leukemia. We are studying the immunosuppressive environment within solid tumors and exploring ways in which this can be modulated in order to enable vaccine induced cytotoxic T cells to eliminate the tumor. Finally, we are exploring the use of checkpoint inhibitors, e.g. anti-CTLA-4 and anti-PDL1, in combination with vaccination to enhance vaccine effectiveness.
Murapa, P., Gandhapudi, S, Scaggs, H., Sarge, K., and Woodward, J.G. 2007. Physiologic fever temperature induces a protective stress response in T lymphocytes mediated by HSF1. J. Immunol. 179:8305
Jain A, Yan W, Miller KR, O’Carra R, Woodward JG, Mumper RJ. 2010. Tresyl-based conjugation of protein antigen to lipid nanoparticles increases antigen immunogenicity. Int J Pharm. 401: 87-92.
Murapa P, Ward M, Gandhapudi S, Woodward JG and D’Orazio S. HSF1 protects mice from rapid death due to Listeria monocytogenes infection by regulating expression of TNFα during fever. 2011. Infect. Immun. 79:177-84.
Gandhapudi, S, Murapa, P, Ward, M, Sarge, K. and Woodward, J.G. 2013. HSF1 is activated as a consequence of lymphocyte activation and regulates a major proteostasis network in T cells critical for cell division during stress. J Immunol, 191:4068-79.
Gandhapudi, S., Ward, M, Conn, G., Bedu-Addo, F., and J.G. Woodward. A cationic lipid adjuvant that promotes efficient cross presentation and stimulation of functional effector CTL. In preparation.