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Jennifer Hope

Jennifer Hope, PhD

Assistant Professor

Department: Microbiology & Immunology


  • PhD – Drexel University College of Medicine (2017); Additional training at Erasmus University Medical Center (2014-2016)
  • BS – Ursinus College (2010)

Awards & Honors

  • American Association for Cancer Research Early-Career Hill Day Cancer Research Advocate (2023)
  • Society for the ImmunoTherapy of Cancer Sparkathon 2022 Cohort Member
  • American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellow (2020-2022)
  • Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award T23 (2018-2020)

Postgraduate Training / Additional Certifications

  • Postdoctoral Training – Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (2017-2022)

Jennifer Hope, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology at Drexel University College of Medicine.

Research Overview

Dr. Hope’s research is focused on unraveling cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying T cell differentiation, which a specific interest in understanding what drives T cells towards terminal differentiation and subsequently immune checkpoint blockade-resistant exhausted T cells and how we can target T cells to promote the generation of immune checkpoint blockade-sensitive progenitor T cell populations. Her lab uses models of cancer and chronic virus infection to address mechanistic-driven basic science questions related to these interests.

Graduate students: Open positions!

Research Interests

Immune responses to cancer, chronic virus infection; T cell differentiation; T cell development


Defining key regulators of CD8+ T cell exhaustion

CD8+ T cells are immune cells that are highly effective in the specific killing of infected cells or tumor cells and provide protection against infection and cancer. In patients however, CD8+ T cells repeatedly exposed to pathogens or tumor antigens progressively lose their functional killing abilities and can become “exhausted”. Immune checkpoint blockade therapies have leveraged our understanding of CD8+ T cell biology to reinvigorate anti-tumor CD8+ T cell responses and their landmark success in previously non-responsive cancer patients heralded a new era for immunotherapeutics. Yet many patients and cancers have remained resistant or become refractive to existing immune checkpoint blockade therapies, highlighting the need to identify novel targets and mechanisms to limit or reverse the development of T cell exhaustion.

To better understand the fundamental biology driving T cell exhaustion and identify new ways to enhance T cell function, our lab studies the development of T cell exhaustion in models of chronic virus infection and tumors. A major interest in our research is intrinsic-mediated T cell differentiation driven by P-selectin glycoprotein-1 (PSGL-1) signaling and immune modulation from T cell crosstalk with the inflammatory or tumor microenvironment and neighboring immune cells.


See Jennifer Hope’s publications in PubMed.

Selected Publications

“PSGL-1 attenuates early TCR signaling to suppress CD8+ T cell progenitor differentiation and elicit terminal XS8+ T cell exhaustion”
Hope JL, Otero DC, Bae E-A, Stairiker CJ, Palete AB, Faso HA, Lin M, Henriquez ML, Roy S, Seo H, Lei X, Wang ES, Chow S, Tinoco R, Daniels GA, Yip K, Campos AR, Yin J, Adams PD, Rao A, Bradley LM
Cell Reports. 2023 May 42(5). doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2023.112436. Epub 2023 Apr 26. PMID: 37115668

“MicroRNA-139 Expression Is Dispensable for the Generation of Influenza-Specific CD8+ T Cell Responses”
Hope JL, Zhao M, Stairiker CJ, Kiernan CH, Carey AJ, Mueller YM, van Meurs M, Brouwers-Haspels I, Otero DC, Bae EA, Faso HA, Maas A, de Looper H, Fortina PM, Rigoutsos I, Bradley LM, Erkeland SJ, Katsikis PD
J Immunol. 2022 Feb 1;208(3):603-617. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.2000621. Epub 2022 Jan 12. PMID: 35022277

“Lessons in antiviral immunity”
Hope JL, Bradley LM
Science. 2021 Jan 29;371(6528):464-465. doi: 10.1126/science.abf6446. PMID: 33510014

“Microenvironment-Dependent Gradient of CTL Exhaustion in the AE17sOVA Murine Mesothelioma Tumor Model”
Hope JL, Spantidea PI, Kiernan CH, Stairiker CJ, Rijsbergen LC, van Meurs M, Brouwers-Haspels I, Mueller YM, Nelson DJ, Bradley LM, Aerts JGJV, Katsikis PD
Front Immunol. 2019;10:3074. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.03074. eCollection 2019. PMID: 31998326

“Striking a Balance-Cellular and Molecular Drivers of Memory T Cell Development and Responses to Chronic Stimulation”
Hope JL, Stairiker CJ, Bae EA, Otero DC, Bradley LM
Front Immunol. 2019;10:1595. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.01595. eCollection 2019. Review. PMID: 31379821

“The Transcription Factor T-Bet Is Regulated by MicroRNA-155 in Murine Anti-Viral CD8+ T Cells via SHIP-1”
Hope JL, Stairiker CJ, Spantidea PI, Gracias DT, Carey AJ, Fike AJ, van Meurs M, Brouwers-Haspels I, Rijsbergen LC, Fraietta JA, Mueller YM, Klop RC, Stelekati E, Wherry EJ, Erkeland SJ, Katsikis PD
Front Immunol. 2017;8:1696. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2017.01696. eCollection 2017. PMID: 29358931