Associate Professor
Department of Nutrition SciencesLyse Norian UAB headshot

Address: Wallace Tumor Institute, room 320C
1845 6th Avenue South
Birmingham, AL 35233
Telephone: (205) 996-0152






B.S., (Microbiology), Iowa State University
M.S. (Immunology), Iowa State University
Ph.D. (Immunology), The University of Iowa
Postdoctoral Fellowship,Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis

Research Interests

Immune-based therapies have shown tremendous clinical potential for treating advanced cancers in a subset of patients, but their broad clinical efficacy remains limited. As obesity is a known risk factor for increased cancer prevalence and mortality, it is critical to understand how obesity impacts anti-tumor immunity and immunotherapeutic efficacy. A major research focus in my lab is investigating how immune responses to solid tumors change in the presence of chronic, diet-induced obesity. We have found that in mice with renal tumors, obesity impairs protective anti-tumor immunity and leads to immunotherapeutic failure. We are now identifying the mechanistic basis for this failure, and have already described obesity-dependent defects in CD8+ T cells, dendritic cells, and myeloid-derived suppressor cells in mice with renal tumors. To better understand the broad applicability of our findings, we are extending our studies into murine models of metastatic breast cancer. In addition, we have begun to investigate the ways in which obesity alters immune responses in renal cancer patients. Finally, as our long-term goal is to apply the fundamental knowledge gained during the course of these studies into novel, immune-based therapies for advanced cancer patients, we also have an active line of research that seeks to develop new combinatorial immunotherapies for metastatic cancers. Our pre-clinical studies in this area use in vivo imaging of localized and disseminated tumor cells in lean and obese mice to track therapeutic responses in real time.