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Effect of Hypoxia on Resistance to Immunotherapy

Project by Polygence alum Alexandra

Effect of Hypoxia on Resistance to Immunotherapy

Project's result

Accepted by the High School Journal of Student Research HSJSR (In Production)

They started it from zero. Are you ready to level up with us?


Tumor formation requires rapid proliferation of malignant cells, which consume large amounts of oxygen from the microenvironment to meet metabolic demands. The resulting tumor microenvironment (TME) is usually low in oxygen compared to healthy tissue and left in a hypoxic state. Immune cells in the tissue rely on oxygen for energy production, therefore immune function is often inhibited in the TME. Novel immunotherapy treatments aim to reinvigorate the immune system, thus making hypoxia a concrete barrier against immunotherapeutics targeting solid tumors. Furthermore, oxygen levels are highly variable depending on the tissue, raising the question of the influence of physoxia on immune cell survival in hypoxic counterparts. This review aims to provide insight into the mechanisms that influence this question, using an in-silico approach, in order to understand how the field can improve immunotherapy treatments for patients.



Polygence mentor

PhD Doctor of Philosophy


Biology, Medicine


Immunology, virology, genetic engineering, CRISPR, design gene therapy using CRISPR, create business model to start a biotech, create pitch deck to raise money for a biotech




Hi! My name is Lexi Meyer and the focus of my research was hypoxia in the tumor microenvironment. I wanted to understand how oxygenation correlates to the efficacy of immunotheraputics such as chimeric antigen receptor-T (CAR-T) cells. Biology has been a huge passion of mine since entering high school but I've struggled to find opportunities to write research of my own. With my project complete, I hope to publish in a verified scientific journal.


Phillips Exeter Academy

Graduation Year


Project review

“I was very surprised by how in-depth I was able to take my research and the level of rigor the program allowed me to achieve.”

About my mentor

“My mentor was very knowledgeable about my topic and able to explain everything thoroughly and with other tools to help me picture what was going on.”