Tijana Martinov, originally from Serbia, obtained her undergraduate degree in biology at Macalester College (St. Paul, Minnesota). While at Macalester, she became immersed in immunology research in the laboratory of Dr. Devavani Chatterjea, and studied the role of mast cells in chronic pain conditions associated with allergies. Following degree completion, Tijana stayed in her mentor’s laboratory for another year as a Research Technician, and joined the Microbiology, Immunology and Cancer Biology Ph.D. program at the University of Minnesota in the fall of 2013. Wanting to delve further into immune tolerance, she joined the laboratory of Dr. Brian Fife. Her project involved investigating how self-specific T and B cells are regulated in mouse models of varying susceptibilities to type 1 diabetes, and specifically how immune checkpoint blockade, used to treat many types of cancer, impacts cells with autoimmune potential. She will work in the laboratory of Dr. Philip Greenberg at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and design T cells that effectively target and destroy cancerous cells, while sparing healthy tissues.