Paul Munson, PhD Research Scientist Research Biography Paul Munson, PhD, is a research scientist in Dr. Lisa Butterfield’s group at PICI. At PICI, Munson’s research focuses on T cell function and exhaustion in order to better understand the barriers to more effective dendritic cell (DC)-based cancer vaccines. Additionally, he is determining how certain tumor-derived immunoregulatory proteins inhibit DC function. More broadly, he seeks to leverage his background in developing therapeutic vaccines for chronic viral infections to provide a unique perspective to the immuno-oncology field. Immediately prior to joining PICI, Munson was a senior scientist at Orlance Inc., a biotechnology start-up company in Seattle, Washington that focuses on gene gun delivery of nucleic acid vaccines. In his role at Orlance, he engineered novel clinical gene gun prototypes and conceived of in vivo experiments. He earned a PhD in microbiology at the University of Washington in the lab of Dr. Deborah Fuller. For his doctoral studies, he characterized the immunogenicity of therapeutic conserved element (CE) DNA vaccines for HIV using the SIV/monkey model. Specifically, he studied vaccine induced virus-specific T cellular immune responses, and how cellular exhaustion may limit vaccine immunogenicity and efficacy. Munson received his bachelor of science degree in chemistry and microbiology from Oregon State University.