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  • Dr. Sheila Drover, PhD


Associate Professor, Immunology & Infectious Diseases Research Group, Division of BioMedical Sciences


Memorial University of Newfoundland, Faculty of Medicine

Research Interests:

Cancer Immunology, Breast Cancer and Autoimmunity

Immune Markers and Immune Modulation in Breast Cancer

Patients with breast cancer have a better outcome if their tumor cells express certain types of HLA molecules and contain large numbers of infiltrating T-cells that produce IFN-y.  HLA expression and evidence of immunity also depend on the subtype of breast cancer. Despite evidence of anti-tumor immunity, cancer cells may escape immune destruction due to deregulated HLA-expression upregulation of inhibitory or checkpoint molecules such as PD-1 and LAG3 on immune cells and PD-L1 on cancer cells. However, these inhibitory and oncogenic proteins can be targeted by drugs such as immune checkpoint inhibitors and small kinase inhibitors.   Our current work is focusing on three areas 1) investigating the mechanism of deregulated IFN-y and HLA pathways in HER2-positive breast cancer and 2) immunomodulation of HLA and PD-L1 on cancer cell lines using small kinase inhibitors and targeted immune therapeutics 3) interaction of soluble LAG3 binding to HLA-DR positive cancer cells. 

Membership Status:

Dr. Drover is a BHCRI Senior Scientist and a member of the BHCRI Research Committee.


(709) 864-2896




H1846, Division of BioMedical Sciences, HSC Memorial University of Newfoundland, 300 Prince Phillip Drove, St. John's, NL CANADA A1B 3X9


Mostafa AA, Codner D, Hirasawa K, Komatsu Y, Young MN, Steimle V, Drover S Activation of ERa signaling differentially modulates IFN-y induced HLA-class II expression in breast cancer cells. PLoS One. 2014 Jan 27;9(1):e87377
PMID: 24475282
Robila V, Ostankovitch M, Altrich-Vanlith ML, Theos AC, Drover S, Marks MS, Restifo N, Engelhard VH.
MHC class II presentation of gp100 epitopes in melanoma cells requires the function of conventional endosomes and is influenced by melanosomes. J Immunol. 2008 Dec 1;181(11):7843-52.
Oldford SA, Robb JD, Codner D, Gadag V, Watson PH, Drover S.Tumor cell expression of HLA-DM associates with a Th1 profile and predicts improved survival in breast carcinoma patients. Int Immunol. 2006 Nov;18(11):1591-602.
PMID: 16987935
Oldford SA, Robb JD, Watson PH, Drover S. HLA-DRB alleles are differentially expressed by tumor cells in breast carcinoma. Int J Cancer. 2004 Nov 10;112(3):399-406.
Campoli M, Chang CC, Oldford SA, Edgecombe AD, Drover S, Ferrone S.
HLA antigen changes in malignant tumors of mammary epithelial origin: molecular mechanisms and clinical implications. Breast Dis. 2004;20:105-25. Review.
Spurrell DR, Oldford SA, Frost T, Larsen B, Codner D, Edgecombe A, Drover S. Discordant expression of HLA class II-associated co-chaperones and HLA-DRB alleles in cultured fibroblast-like synoviocytes. Hum Immunol. 2004 Dec;65(12):1516-29.

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