• 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
    2022 Inhibition of the RNA Regulator HuR by SRI-42127 Attenuates Neuropathic Pain After Nerve Injury Through Suppression of Neuroinflammatory ResponsesNeurotherapeutics.  19:1649-1661. 2022
    2022 Long-Term Glucose Restriction with or without Beta-Hydroxybutyrate Enrichment Distinctively Alters Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition-Related Signaling in Ovarian Cancer Cells 2022
    2022 Sequential modulation of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway enhances tumor-intrinsic MHC I expression and tumor clearanceGynecologic Oncology.  164:170-180. 2022
    2021 Comments on “Association between breast cancer risk and disease aggressiveness: Characterizing underlying gene expression patterns”International Journal of Cancer.  149:1398. 2021
    2021 Re-Evaluating the Effects of Obesity on Cancer Immunotherapy Outcomes in Renal Cancer: What Do We Really Know?Frontiers in Immunology.  12. 2021
    2021 Diabetes medications as potential calorie restriction mimetics—a focus on the alpha-glucosidase inhibitor acarboseGeroscience.  43:1123-1133. 2021
    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
    2021 Neutralization of TGFβ improves tumor immunity and reduces tumor progression in ovarian carcinomaMolecular Cancer Therapeutics.  20:602-611. 2021
    2021 Manipulating the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway to promote anti-tumor immune infiltration into the TME to sensitize ovarian cancer to ICB therapyGynecologic Oncology.  160:285-294. 2021
    2020 Obesity diminishes response to PD-1-based immunotherapies in renal cancerJournal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer.  8. 2020
    2020 Obesity-Associated Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells Promote Apoptosis of Tumor-Infiltrating CD8 T Cells and Immunotherapy Resistance in Breast CancerFrontiers in Immunology.  11. 2020
    2020 Corrigendum to ‘Wnt signaling modulator DKK1 as an immunotherapeutic target in ovarian cancer’ [Gynecologic Oncology 157 (2020) 765–774] (Gynecologic Oncology (2020) 157(3) (765–774), (S0090825820302262), (10.1016/j.ygyno.2020.03.010))Gynecologic Oncology.  159:295. 2020
    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 PGC1α suppresses kidney cancer progression by inhibiting collagen-induced SNAIL expressionMatrix Biology.  89:43-58. 2020
    2020 Wnt signaling modulator DKK1 as an immunotherapeutic target in ovarian cancerGynecologic Oncology.  157:765-774. 2020
    2020 Randomized trial of weight loss in primary breast cancer: Impact on body composition, circulating biomarkers and tumor characteristicsInternational Journal of Cancer.  146:2784-2796. 2020
    2020 Obesity and CD8 T cell metabolism: Implications for anti-tumor immunity and cancer immunotherapy outcomesImmunological Reviews.  295:203-219. 2020
    2020 Obesity induces limited changes to systemic and local immune profiles in treatment-naive human clear cell renal cell carcinomaPLoS One.  15. 2020
    2020 ICOSLG-mediated regulatory T-cell expansion and IL-10 production promote progression of glioblastomaNeuro-Oncology.  22:333-344. 2020
    2020 Inhibiting WNT ligand production for improved immune recognition in the Ovarian tumor microenvironmentCancers.  12. 2020
    2020 Inhibition of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway enhances antitumor immunity in ovarian cancerTherapeutic Advances in Medical Oncology.  12. 2020
    2019 Inverse association between changes in energetic cost of walking and vertical accelerations in non-metastatic breast cancer survivorsEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology.  119:2457-2464. 2019
    2019 Checkpoint inhibitors in ovarian cancer: A review of preclinical dataGynecologic Oncology Reports.  29:48-54. 2019
    2019 A review of the role of wnt in cancer immunomodulationCancers.  11. 2019
    2019 Targeting glucose metabolism to enhance immunotherapy: Emerging evidence on intermittent fasting and calorie restriction mimeticsFrontiers in Immunology.  10. 2019
    2018 The antitumor effects of entinostat in ovarian cancer require adaptive immunityCancer.  124:4657-4666. 2018
    2018 Effects of diet on immune cells within the central nervous systemPhysiology and Behavior.  196:158-164. 2018
    2018 Activation of the receptor tyrosine kinase AXL regulates the immune microenvironment in glioblastomaCancer Research.  78:3002-3013. 2018
    2018 Reply to "phase II prospective randomized trial of weight loss prior to radical prostatectomyProstate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases.  21:293-294. 2018
    2018 Ease of walking associates with greater free-living physical activity and reduced depressive symptomology in breast cancer survivors: pilot randomized trialSupportive Care in Cancer.  26:1675-1683. 2018
    2017 Obesity as defined by waist circumference but not body mass index is associated with higher renal mass complexityUrologic Oncology: seminars and original investigations.  35:661.e1-661.e6. 2017
    2017 Emerging Impact of Malnutrition on Surgical Patients: Literature Review and Potential Implications for Cystectomy in Bladder CancerInvestigative urology.  198:511-519. 2017
    2017 Obesity Does Not Exacerbate the Protumorigenic Systemic Environment in Sarcoma SubjectsImmunoHorizons.  1:20-28. 2017
    2017 Epigenetic modifiers upregulate MHC II and impede ovarian cancer tumor growthOncotarget.  8:44159-44170. 2017
    2017 Presurgical weight loss affects tumour traits and circulating biomarkers in men with prostate cancerBritish Journal of Cancer.  117:1303-1313. 2017
    2016 NLRC4 suppresses melanoma tumor progression independently of inflammasome activationJournal of Clinical Investigation.  126:3917-3928. 2016
    2016 Obesity alters immune and metabolic profiles: New insight from obese-resistant mice on high-fat dietObesity.  24:2140-2149. 2016
    2016 Metabolic risk factors and mechanisms of disease in epithelial ovarian cancer: A reviewGynecologic Oncology.  143:674-683. 2016
    2015 BKCa channel inhibitor modulates the tumorigenic ability of hormone-independent breast cancer cells via the Wnt pathway 2015
    2015 Enhancing dendritic cell-based immunotherapy with IL-2/monoclonal antibody complexes for control of established tumorsJournal of Immunology.  195:4537-4544. 2015
    2015 Obesity triggers enhanced MDSC accumulation in murine renal tumors via elevated local production of CCL2PLoS One.  10. 2015
    2015 The tumor microenvironment is the main source of IL-6 for plasma cell tumor development in miceLeukemia.  29:233-237. 2015
    2014 Diet-induced obesity does not impact the generation and maintenance of primary memory CD8 T cellsJournal of Immunology.  193:5873-5882. 2014
    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
    2014 Effects of obesity on immune responses to renal tumorsImmunologic Research.  59:211-219. 2014
    2014 Minimal changes in the systemic immune response after nephrectomy of localized renal massesUrologic Oncology: seminars and original investigations.  32:589-600. 2014
    2014 Tumor lysate-loaded biodegradable microparticles as cancer vaccinesExpert Review of Vaccines.  13:9-15. 2014
    2012 Diet-induced obesity alters dendritic cell function in the presence and absence of tumor growthJournal of Immunology.  189:1311-1321. 2012
    2012 Eradication of metastatic renal cell carcinoma after adenovirus-encoded TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL)/CpG immunotherapyPLoS One.  7. 2012
    2011 Advances in viral vector-based TRAIL gene therapy for cancerCancers.  3:603-620. 2011
    2009 Synergistic induction of apoptosis in primary B-CLL cells after treatment with recombinant tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand and histone deacetylase inhibitorsJournal of Oncology2009
    2009 TRAIL gene therapy: From preclinical development to clinical application 2009
    2009 Tumor-Infiltrating regulatory dendritic cells inhibit CD8+ T cell function via L-Arginine metabolismCancer Research.  69:3086-3094. 2009
    2008 Tumors induce regulatory dendritic cells that suppress CD8+T cell antitumor immunity 2008
    2008 An antibiotic-responsive mouse model of fulminant ulcerative colitisPLoS Medicine.  5:0424-0439. 2008
    2007 Rapid Maturation of Effector T Cells in Tumors, but Not Lymphoid Organs, during Tumor RegressionPLoS One.  2. 2007
    2007 Tumors induce regulatory dendritic cells that suppress CD8+T cell antitumor immunityJournal of Women's Health.  16:1099-1099. 2007
    2006 Phenotypic maturation of tumor-infiltrating T cells is associated with heightened intratumoral cytolytic activity and tumor regressionJournal of Immunology.  176:S272-S272. 2006
    2006 Tumor-infiltrating regulatory dendritic cells suppress CD8+T cell functionJournal of Immunology.  176:S272-S273. 2006
    2005 T cell-mediated delay of spontaneous mammary tumor onset: Increased efficacy with in vivo versus in vitro activationJournal of Immunology.  174:4662-4669. 2005
    2004 No intrinsic deficiencies in CD8+ T cell-mediated antitumor immunity with agingJournal of Immunology.  173:835-844. 2004
    2004 CD4-Directed Peptide Vaccination Augments an Antitumor Response, but Efficacy Is Limited by the Number of CD8+ T Cell PrecursorsJournal of Immunology.  172:4215-4224. 2004
    2000 The regulation of CD95 (Fas) ligand expression in primary T cells: Induction of promoter activation in CD95LP-Luc transgenic miceJournal of Immunology.  164:4471-4480. 2000
    2000 Intracellular adapter molecules.Seminars in Immunology.  12:43-54. 2000
    1999 Differential regulation of the IL-12 p40 promoter and of p40 secretion by CpG DNA and lipopolysaccharideJournal of Immunology.  162:6770-6775. 1999
    1998 A newly identified response element in the CD95 ligand promoter contributes to optimal inducibility in activated T lymphocytes.Journal of Immunology.  161:1078-1082. 1998
    1998 Cutting edge: A newly identified response element in the CD95 ligand promoter contributes to optimal inducibility in activated T lymphocytesJournal of Immunology.  161:1078-1082. 1998
    1998 Regulation of CD95 (FAS) ligand expression in activated T cells and immune privileged tissues 1998
    1997 Two NFAT transcription factor binding sites participate in the regulation of CD95 (Fas) ligand expression in activated human T cellsJournal of Biological Chemistry.  272:31427-31434. 1997
    1997 NFAT binding sites participate in regulation of the CD95 (Fas) ligand promoter in activated T cells.Arthritis and Rheumatism.  40:1743-1743. 1997
    1997 Regulation of CD95 (Fas) Ligand Expression by TCR-Mediated Signaling EventsJournal of Immunology.  158:4602-4611. 1997
    1993 Mycoplasma bovoculi-Augmented bovine natural killer activity 1993


    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