• Professional Summary: Dr. Norian is an Associate Professor in the Department of Nutrition Sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). She is also jointly affiliated with the UAB O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center and the UAB Nutrition Obesity Research Center. Prior to joining UAB in 2015, Dr. Norian performed her graduate work at The University of Iowa in the laboratory of Dr. Gary Koretzky, where she studied T cell signal transduction. She then performed her post-doctoral training at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, where she studied suppressive tumor-infiltrating dendritic cells in the laboratory of Dr. Paul Allen. Upon completion of her training, Dr. Norian was recruited to The University of Iowa Department of Urology in the Carver College of Medicine, where she began to study the effects of obesity on immune responses to renal tumors. She has continued and expanded upon this line of research at UAB, where her research is currently focused on two main areas: 1) defining the mechanisms of tumor-induced immune dysfunction; and 2) understanding how diet and obesity alter the quality and magnitude of anti-tumor immune responses and immunotherapy outcomes. The Norian laboratory performs translational immuno-oncology research using multiple pre-clinical tumor models, as well as biospecimens and outcome data from human subjects.
  • Selected Publications

    Academic Article

    Year Title Altmetric
    2021 Diet-induced obesity impairs outcomes and induces multi-factorial deficiencies in effector t cell responses following anti-ctla-4 combinatorial immunotherapy in renal tumor-bearing miceCancers.  13. 2021
    2020 The antidiabetic agent acarbose improves anti-PD-1 and rapamycin efficacy in preclinical renal cancerCancers.  12:1-19. 2020
    2020 Therapeutic time-restricted feeding reduces renal tumor bioluminescence in mice but fails to improve anti-CTLA-4 efficacy 2020
    2020 Biotinylated Streptavidin Surface Coating Improves the Efficacy of a PLGA Microparticle-Based Cancer VaccineBioconjugate Chemistry.  31:2147-2157. 2020
    2020 Body fat indices and survival in immunotherapy-treated patients with cancerCancer.  126:3156-3157. 2020
    2020 Inhibiting WNT ligand production for improved immune recognition in the Ovarian tumor microenvironmentCancers.  12. 2020
    2019 A review of the role of wnt in cancer immunomodulationCancers.  11. 2019
    2018 The antitumor effects of entinostat in ovarian cancer require adaptive immunityCancer.  124:4657-4666. 2018
    2018 Activation of the receptor tyrosine kinase AXL regulates the immune microenvironment in glioblastomaCancer Research.  78:3002-3013. 2018
    2017 Presurgical weight loss affects tumour traits and circulating biomarkers in men with prostate cancerBritish Journal of Cancer.  117:1303-1313. 2017
    2014 CpG-mediated modulation of MDSC contributes to the efficacy of Ad5-TRAIL therapy against renal cell carcinoma 2014
    2014 A therapeutic microparticle-based tumor lysate vaccine reduces spontaneous metastases in murine breast cancer 2014
    2011 Advances in viral vector-based TRAIL gene therapy for cancerCancers.  3:603-620. 2011
    2009 Tumor-Infiltrating regulatory dendritic cells inhibit CD8+ T cell function via L-Arginine metabolismCancer Research.  69:3086-3094. 2009
    1997 NFAT binding sites participate in regulation of the CD95 (Fas) ligand promoter in activated T cells.Arthritis and Rheumatism.  40:1743-1743. 1997


    Year Title Altmetric
    2018 Obesity-Induced Defects in Dendritic Cell and T Cell Functions: Implications for Immunotherapeutic Efficacy in Cancer.  171-181. 2018

    Research Overview

  • Immune-based therapies have shown tremendous clinical potential for treating advanced cancers, but their broad clinical efficacy remains limited. As obesity is a known risk factor for increased cancer prevalence and mortality, it is critical to understand how obesity impacts anti-tumor immunity and immunotherapeutic efficacy. A major research focus in the Norian lab is understanding how immune responses to solid tumors change in the presence of chronic, diet-induced obesity. We have found that in mice with renal or mammary tumors, obesity impairs protective anti-tumor immunity and increases the prevalence of immunotherapeutic resistance. To identify the mechanistic drivers of obesity-associated therapeutic resistance, we employ a variety of techniques including multi-parameter flow cytometry, immunogenetic profiling, and more recently, cellular metabolic profiling. To better understand the translatability of our findings, we are evaluating the ways in which obesity alters immune responses and immunotherapy outcomes in cancer patients. As a complement to these studies, we are also actively pursuing the ways in which dietary modifications can be used to improve anti-tumor immunity and the efficacy of cancer immunotherapies. Our long-term goal is to improve outcomes for cancer patients by allowing them to enjoy longer, healthier lives.
  • Teaching Overview

  • Dr. Norian is the Course Director for NTR 728, Cancer Prevention and Control, a course that strives to enhance the career readiness of pre-doctoral and post-doctoral fellows supported by the UAB NIH-funded T32 Cancer Prevention and Control Training Program. She accomplishes this through a multi-disciplinary focus on topics such as time management, oral presentation skills, critical analysis of primary literature, and guidance on grant application preparation and revision. Dr. Norian also provides guest lectures in undergraduate and graduate courses that are related to understanding the effects of diet and obesity on tumor immunity and patient outcomes.
  • Education And Training

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Immunology, University of Iowa 2000
  • Full Name

  • Lyse Norian