Welcome to The Kast Lab

Outside View of Norris Research Tower, Residence of The Kast Lab

About Us

Named after and driven by our fearless leader, W. Martin Kast, we are a group of scientists that are focused on research involving immunology, virology, and the treatment of several cancers. Utilizing a wide variety of techniques including advanced cell culture, cellular immunology, molecular biology, immunochemistry, and immunohistochemistry we push forward the understanding of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) life-cycle from viral entry to immune evasion. Additionally we study the effects of the tumor-microenvironment on the immune system in order to develop successful immunotherapies for the treatment of different cancers. We are proud to be a part of The University of Southern California and The Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center.

 What We Do 

The vast majority of work done within the lab involves studying how the immune system responds to different antigens, adjuvants, and therapies used in combating cancer. We also work in developing methods to counteract the highly immunosuppressive tumor-microenvironment.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) causes over 99% of cervical cancers and a growing number of head and neck cancers. We focus on the basic science behind HPV viral uptake, life-cycle, and modulatory effects that HPV infection has on the host immune system.
Cancer Treatment
Certain cancers such as:  cervical, prostate, and melanoma express what are known as tumor-specific or tumor-associated antigens. These antigens can act as targets for which we develop methods that activate the immune system to specifically recognize and destroy these cancers.