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Spencer Martin



Graduate Student



Tel       250-519-5700
Fax      250-519-2040




Research Interests

The accumulation of mutations (or changes in the genetic code) is a hallmark of cancer.  Each tumour has a unique mutational profile.  I am interested in targeting these unique mutations for cancer immunotherapy.  I am currently working at the Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre in Vancouver, performing whole transcriptome shotgun sequencing (WTSS) on five mouse mammary tumours.  Once I complete the bioinformatic analysis of the sequencing data, I will move to Victoria and resume work at the Deeley Centre.  

During my undergrad honors thesis project, I worked at the Deeley Centre on a method of delivering peptide vaccines that induces massive antigen-specific T cell proliferation and activation.  The technique involves long peptide antigens, the adjuvant poly(I:C), and multiple inoculations.  I will use this vaccination technique to inoculate mice with peptide antigens that correspond to the mutations identified with WTSS.  I anticipate that the vaccine will regress established tumours. 

As the price of sequencing an entire human genome approaches the $1000 mark, an era of personalized cancer vaccines may soon be clinically feasible.  This project will be an important step towards the goal of creating personalized vaccines to fight cancer. 


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