The Hudson Laboratory

at Baylor College of Medicine

Improving T cell function to fight
cancer and infection

About Us

T cells are a critical part of the immune system. Their role is to patrol the blood and tissues in order to detect and eliminate virus-infected and cancer cells. In the Hudson lab, we seek to understand T cell biology and improve their function, with the goal of developing new therapies against infections, autoimmunity, and cancer.

The Hudson lab is located in the Texas Medical Center in Houston, Texas. We are part of Baylor College of Medicine’s Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology and the Dan L. Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Our Research

T cells are responsible for destroying tumors and cells infected with intracellular pathogens such as viruses and bacteria. Unfortunately T cell responses are not always optimal, leading to chronic infections and the growth of tumors.

Our research focuses on understanding the causes of T cell dysfunction in order to develop new immunotherapies for cancer and other diseases.

  • T cell exhaustion

    “Exhaustion” is the process by which T cells become dysfunctional and fail to control tumors and infections. By understanding the biology of T cell exhaustion, we can identify new targets and strategies to improve T cell function. Our research focuses on identifying signals that inhibit T cell function and can be targeted for new immunotherapies.

  • Novel immunotherapies

    Immunotherapies – modification of the immune system to treat diseases – have revolutionized the treatment of cancer. Unfortunately, not all patients respond to current immunotherapies. We seek to identify new strategies and drugs to improve T cell responses in patients with cancer and infectious disease.

  • Immunology method development and application

    In recent years, new tools have emerged that permit incredible and detailed study of biological systems. We develop, refine, and apply these methods to immunological questions, allowing unprecedented insight into T cell development and function.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of:

Join Us

We are hiring!
Click to learn more.

learn more

Latest News

July 05, 2023

New award from the Cancer Research Institute

The Cancer Research Institute has granted the Hudson Laboratory a two-year Technology Impact Award to advance the adoption of spatial T cell receptor (TCR) sequencing technology for the analysis of preserved tissue samples.

This initiative aims to deepen our understanding of T cell function and antigen specificity within the tumor microenvironment. T cells, vital components of the immune system, detect foreign and mutated proteins present in cancer cells. Spatial TCR sequencing allows the evaluation of T cell specificity and their spatial distribution within tissues, shedding light on how the tumor environment influences T cell function and their response to immunotherapy. By extending this technique to preserved tissue, the project seeks to investigate T cell activity and location within tumors using a wider range of available samples. This advancement would lead to valuable insights into the distribution and behavior of T cell clones within the tumor microenvironment, aiding the evaluation of disease progression and response to immunotherapy.

Learn More

May 19, 2023

Exploring the immune effects of radiation in cancer

New Hudson Lab research was published today in Cell Reports Medicine!

In this report, we analyzed two brain tumors from the same patient – one tumor had received radiation, and the other was untreated. We performed advanced sequencing experiments to analyze gene and protein expression on more than 45,000 single cells from the two tumors and the patient’s blood immune cells. Because the two tumors are from the same patient, we could compare T cell receptor sequences – which are barcodes that track antigen-specific cells within a person – between the two samples.

Our results show that radiation is associated with dramatic immune changes in the tumor microenvironment. Despite similar mutational profiles between the untreated and irradiated samples, tumor-enriched T cells are nearly entirely depleted following radiation. These tumor-specific cells are instead replaced by T cells from the circulation, which are unlikely to contribute to tumor-specific immunity. Radiation also caused a depletion of tumor-associated macrophages and an influx of pro-inflammatory monocytes from the circulation. These findings indicate that radiation may deplete beneficial cells that contribute to anti-tumor immunity.

Read the full paper here.

Learn More

October 11, 2022

Research presentation at 10x Genomics Spatial Biology Symposium

We recently presented our work on spatial T cell receptor sequencing at the 10x Genomics Spatial Biology Symposium in Boston! You can check out the recording on demand here.

Learn More