Alena received her Ph.D. from the University of Barcelona, Spain. Following that, Alena joined Dr. Steven Rosenberg’s group at the National Institutes of Health, NCI, where she stayed for 7 years. Her work at the NCI led to the identification of biomarkers that can guide the detection and isolation of tumor-reactive and mutation-specific T cells from the tumor and peripheral blood of cancer patients. These findings may have important implications for making T-cell based immunotherapies more widely available. Alena joined the Cancer Immunotherapy Program at VHIO in October 2016. At VHIO her group’s research focuses on studying the naturally-occurring T-cell responses against cancer. The main goal of the Tumor Immunology and Immunotherapy group is to better understand current immunotherapies and to design more effective, personalized, cancer immunotherapies.