Sarah MacPherson, MSc

During my Biochemistry undergraduate degree at the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma, I became very interested in cell metabolism research. I moved to Victoria to study lymphocyte metabolism in Dr. Julian Lum’s laboratory in the fall of 2013. Under Julian’s supervision I studied transcriptional regulation of a metabolic enzyme during the initiation of lymphocyte cell growth.

When I’m not working, I train as a full time track athlete sponsored by New Balance training for the 2020 Olympics.

Research Assistant II


Since graduating with my M.Sc. in Biochemistry, I have continued my research in Julian’s lab, studying the metabolic pathways involved in rapidly expanding T cells. We are interested in understanding how to enhance their metabolism to improve T expansion ex vivo, and fitness in vivo upon adoptive transfer into patients.


  1. Neilson D, MacPherson S, Townsend KN, Lum JJ. Tumor vascularity in ovarian cancer: T cells need breathing room. Oncoimmunology. 2014;3:e28272–e28272.

  2. Schlie K, Westerback A, DeVorkin L, Hughson LR, Brandon JM, MacPherson S, et al. Survival of Effector CD8 + T Cells during Influenza Infection Is Dependent on Autophagy. J Immunol. 2015 May 1;194(9):4277–86.

  3. MacPherson S, Horkoff M, Gravel C, Hoffmann T, Zuber J, Lum JJ. STAT3 Regulation of Citrate Synthase Is Essential during the Initiation of Lymphocyte Cell Growth. Cell Rep. 2017 May 2;19(5):910–8.

  4. MacPherson S, Kilgour M, Lum JJ. Understanding lymphocyte metabolism for use in cancer immunotherapy. FEBS J. 2018 Jul;285(14):2567–78.