Research Area

Our research lab focuses on studying tumor immune suppression and mechanisms of tumor immune escape at large, as well as investigating the specific oncogenic activity of the FOXC2 transcription factor in cancer cells. We have identified a novel role for FOXC2 in melanoma progression, highlighting its influence on multiple hallmarks of cancer progression, including resistance to immunotherapy. We have also provided important insights into tumor-derived factors that alter the function of tissue-resident dendritic cells, key regulators of anti-tumor T lymphocyte immune responses. ( )

Team Description

As a faculty member at Hampden-Sydney College, I head a research laboratory made up of entirely undergraduate students, who have collaborated with me on various projects and published numerous manuscripts as student co-authors in leading journals in the fields of tumor immunology and cancer biology.

Team Members

Brant Boucher
David Bushhouse
Coleman Johnson
James Lau
Taylor McGee
James Patterson
Eli Strong
Brian Tarnai
Jeb Wall
Corey Williams

Team Show


* Denotes undergraduate co-author

1. Kristian M. Hargadon. Using The Cancer Genome Atlas as a Tool to Improve Undergraduate Student Understanding of Cancer Genetics and the Hallmarks of Cancer Progression. Journal of Cancer Education. 2021. In press, accepted 1/10/21.

2. Kristian M. Hargadon, Balázs Győrffy, and Taylor J. McGee*. Genomic and Transcriptional Changes in IFNg Pathway Genes are Putative Biomarkers of Response to Ipilimumab Immunotherapy in Melanoma 3. Patients. Expert Review of Clinical Immunology. 2020. 16:1099-1103.

3. Kristian M. Hargadon. Tumor Microenvironmental Influences on Dendritic Cell and T Cell Function: A Focus on Clinically Relevant Immunologic and Metabolic Checkpoints. Clinical and Translational Medicine. 2020. 10:374-411.

4. Kristian M. Hargadon and Corey J. Williams*. RNA-seq Analysis of Wild-Type vs. FOXC2-Deficient Melanoma Cells Reveals a Role for the FOXC2 Transcription Factor in the Regulation of Multiple Oncogenic Pathways. Frontiers in Oncology. 2020. 10:267.

5. Kristian M. Hargadon, B. Győrffy, E.W. Strong*, B.D. Tarnai*, J.C. Thompson*, D.Z. Bushhouse*, C.E. Johnson *, and C.J. Williams*. The FOXC2 Transcription Factor Promotes Melanoma Outgrowth and Regulates Expression of Genes Associated With Drug Resistance and Interferon Responsiveness. Cancer Genomics & Proteomics. 2019. 16: 491-503.

6. Kristian M. Hargadon, Coleman E. Johnson*, and Corey J. Williams*. Immune Checkpoint Blockade Therapy for Cancer: An Overview of FDA-approved Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors. International Immunopharmacology. 2018. 62: 29-39. Also featured in International Immunopharmacology's Special Issue on "Cellular Therapeutics in the Context of Immunopharmacology."

7. R.M. Goodman, Kristian M. Hargadon, and E.D. Carter*. Detection of Ranavirus in Eastern Fence Lizards and Eastern Box Turtles in Central Virginia. Northeastern Naturalist. 2018. 25: 391-398.

8. Kristian M. Hargadon. Strategies to Improve the Efficacy of Dendritic Cell-Based Immunotherapy for Melanoma. Frontiers in Immunology. 2017. 8: 1594.

9. Kristian M. Hargadon. Dysregulation of TGFβ1 Activity in Cancer and Its Influence on the Quality of Anti-Tumor Immunity. Journal of Clinical Medicine. 2016. 5: 76 (1-22).

10. Kristian M. Hargadon. A Model System for the Study of Gene Expression in the Undergraduate Laboratory. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education. 2016. 44: 397-404.

11. Kristian M. Hargadon. The Extent to which Melanoma Alters Tissue-resident Dendritic Cell Function Correlates with Tumorigenicity. OncoImmunology. 2016. 5 (1): e1069462.

12. Kristian M. Hargadon, Jonathan Drake Bishop*, John Patrick Brandt*, Zachary Charles Hand*, Yonathan Tarekegne Ararso*, and Osric Anthony Forrest*. Melanoma-derived Factors Alter the Maturation and Activation of Differentiated Tissue-resident Dendritic Cells. Immunology and Cell Biology. 2016. 94: 24-38. Also one of twelve articles selected by journal editors to be re-featured in Immunology and Cell Biology's 2019 Virtual Issue on "Cancer Immunotherapy."

13. Kristian M. Hargadon. Murine and Human Model Systems for the Study of Dendritic Cell Immunobiology. International Reviews of Immunology. 2016. 35: 85-115.

14. Kristian M. Hargadon. Whole Genome Expression Microarray Analysis of Highly Versus Poorly Tumorigenic Murine Melanoma Cell Lines Provides Insights into Factors that Regulate Tumor Growth, Metastasis, and Immunogenicity. Frontiers in Immunology. 2015. 6: 452.

15. Kristian M. Hargadon and Timothy N. J. Bullock. The Role of Tumor/Dendritic Cell Interactions in the Regulation of Anti-tumor Immunity: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. Frontiers in Immunology. 2014. 5: 178.

16. Kristian M. Hargadon. Tumor-altered Dendritic Cell Function: Implications for Anti-tumor Immunity. Frontiers in Immunology. 2013. 4: 192. ***Article featured in the Global Medical Discovery Series.

17. Kristian M. Hargadon. Melanoma Immunotherapy: Overcoming Obstacles to Augment Anti-tumor Immune Responses. Journal of Cosmetics, Dermatological Sciences and Applications. 2013. 3, 2A: 7-27.

18. Kristian M. Hargadon, Yonathan T. Ararso*, Osric A. Forrest*, and Chad M. Harte*. Melanoma-associated Suppression of the Dendritic Cell Lines DC2.4 and JAWSII. American Journal of Immunology. 2012. 8: 179-190.

19. Kristian M. Hargadon, Osric A. Forrest*, and Pranay R. Reddy*. Suppression of the Maturation and Activation of the Dendritic Cell Line DC2.4 by Melanoma-derived Factors. Cellular Immunology. 2012. 272: 275-282.

20. Kristian M. Hargadon, H. Zhou, R.A. Albrecht, H.A. Dodd*, A. Garcia-Sastre, and T.J. Braciale. 2011. Major Histocompatibility Complex Class II Expression and Hemagglutinin Subtype Influence the Infectivity of Type A Influenza Virus for Respiratory Dendritic Cells. Journal of Virology. 2011. 85: 11955-11963.

21. A.R. Ferguson, L.A Nichols, A.L. Zarling, E.D. Thompson*, C.C. Brinkman*, Kristian M. Hargadon, T.N. Bullock, and V.H. Engelhard. Strategies and challengesin eliciting immunity to melanoma. Immunological Reviews. 2008. 222: 28-42.

22. Kristian M. Hargadon, C. C. Brinkman*, S. L. Sheasley-O'Neill, L. A. Nichols, T. N. J. Bullock and V. H. Engelhard. Incomplete Differentiation of Antigen-Specific CD8 T Cells in Tumor-Draining Lymph Nodes. Journal of Immunology. 2006. 177: 6081-6090.

Book Chapters (* = undergraduate student co-author)

Kristian M. Hargadon, David Z. Bushhouse*, Coleman E. Johnson*, and Corey J. Willams*. Generation of Functional Gene Knockout Melanoma Cell Lines by CRISPR-Cas9 Gene Editing. Chapter in Melanoma – Methods and Protocols (Methods in Molecular Biology, Volume Forthcoming), K. M. Hargadon, Editor, Springer Nature/Humana Press. In press.

Kristian M. Hargadon and Coleman E. Johnson*. A Melanoma Cell/Lymphatic Endothelial Cell Adhesion Assay. Chapter in Melanoma – Methods and Protocols (Methods in Molecular Biology, Volume Forthcoming), K.M. Hargadon, Editor, Springer Nature/Humana Press. Forthcoming in 2020.

Edited Books and Journal Special Issues

Kristian M. Hargadon, Editor. Melanoma – Methods and Protocols (Methods in Molecular Biology, Volume Forthcoming in 2020). New York: Springer Nature/Humana Press. Under contract.

Kristian M. Hargadon and Timothy N. J. Bullock, Editors. Frontiers in Immunology Research Topic "Tumor Cell/Dendritic Cell Interactions and the Influence of Tumors on Dendritic Cell-mediated Anti-Tumor Immune Responses and Dendritic Cell-Based Tumor Immunotherapies." 2014.