Congratulations Simone L. Park, PhD, 2023 Sidney & Joan Pestka Post Graduate Award Winner!

2023 PBL Post Graduate Award Simone L Park

Simone L. Park, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Department of Systems Pharmacology and Translational Therapeutics & Institute for Immunology
Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA



Simone Park is currently a Cancer Research Institute Irvington Postdoctoral Fellow in Dr E. John Wherry’s laboratory at The University of Pennsylvania. Her current postdoctoral research focuses on how CD8+ T cell differentiation is controlled in nonlymphoid tissues during acute and chronic viral infections and cancer. Before relocating to Philadelphia, Simone undertook a short postdoc at the Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity and The University of Melbourne (Australia) in Dr Laura Mackay’s laboratory. During this time, Simone discovered that distinct transcriptional and cytokine axes underpin the development of protective versus pathogenic subsets of skin CD8+ tissue-resident memory T cells, uncovering novel regulatory pathways that could be targeted for cell-selective immunotherapy.

Simone received her PhD in Immunology from The University of Melbourne under the supervision of Dr Thomas Gebhardt and Dr Laura Mackay in 2019. Simone’s PhD research explored how tissue-resident memory T cells contribute to cancer and control of viral infections in the skin. Her work unveiled a critical role for tissue-resident memory T cells in restricting melanoma development by enforcing tumor-immune equilibrium and illustrated the dynamics of tissue-resident memory T cell responses during viral reinfection. Simone completed her Bachelor of Science (Honors) at The University of Melbourne in 2014, where she explored factors controlling the development of tissue-resident memory T cells in the thymus.

Oral Presentation at Cytokines 2023 in Athens, Greece:


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