Washington People: Karen Seibert

Karen Seibert, PhD, research professor of pathology and immunology and of genetics, helps scientists connect and collaborate. Seibert, who does so with a mixture of warmth, optimism, enthusiasm and humor, is the director of Genomic Pathology Services at Washington University, a groundbreaking service that simultaneously analyzes many different genes to help patients and their doctors identify the best treatment options.

Tumors disable immune cells by using up sugar

Cancer cells’ appetite for sugar may have serious consequences for immune cell function. Scientists have shown that in low-sugar environments immune T cells start using energy-making structures known as mitochondria (highlighted in this image in yellow and orange). This switch can prevent T cells from making an inflammatory compound important for fighting cancers and some infections.