AJ Robert McGray


Specializing In:

Cancer Immunology/Immunotherapy T cell-based immunotherapies for cancer, including vaccines, adoptive T cell therapy (ACT) Oncolytic virotherapy

Research Interests:

Cancer Immunotherapy Tumor Immunology T cell therapies Immune cell engagers, BiTEs, TriTEs Oncolytic viruses cancer vaccines Adoptive T cell therapy

About AJ Robert McGray


Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Assistant Professor of Oncology and Immunotherapy
  • Department of Translational Immuno-Oncology
  • Department of Immunology


Education and Training:

  • 2012 - PhD - Infection and Immunity, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada


  • 2012-2017 - Postdoctoral Fellowship, Center for Immunotherapy at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center

Professional Memberships:

  • American Association for Cancer Research, AACR (Associate Member)
  • Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer, SITC (Member)

Professional Experience:

  • 2020-Present - Assistant Professor of Oncology, Immunotherapy, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Buffalo, NY
  • 2019-2020 - HRI Scientist, Center for Immunotherapy, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Buffalo, NY
  • 2017-2019 - Senior Scientist, Northern Biologics, Toronto, ON
  • 2012-2017 - Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Immunotherapy, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Buffalo, NY

Honors & Awards:

  • 2019 - Invited Presenter, “Arming oncolytic viruses to augment the efficacy of immunotherapy in ovarian cancer”, 14th HHMT International Forum on Ovarian Cancer, Surrey, UK
  • 2017 - Selected participant/speaker, “Tumor Immune profiling identifies multiple unique therapeutic targets that improve vaccination + oncolytic virotherapy against metastatic ovarian cancer”, 3rd Annual Immuno-Oncology Young Investigators Forum
  • 2015 - Awarded Ann Schreiber Mentored Investigator Award by the Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance (OCRA), “Combining oncolytic virotherapy/ACT for ovarian cancer treatment”
  • 2013 - Outstanding Thesis Award for PhD Thesis, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON
  • 2012 - First Prize, Outstanding Poster Award – Infection and Immunity, Graduate Research Day, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON
  • 2011 - Selected to give presentation as part of “Immunotherapy and Immunomodulation” discussion session, Canadian Cancer Research Conference, Toronto, ON
  • 2011 - Awarded Poster Prize and selected for Short Talk, Translation Research Cancer Centers Consortium, Seven Springs, PA


Research Overview:

My research is focused on developing immune cell engagers (eg. bispecific T cell engagers; BiTEs or Innate cell engagers; ICEs) as a mechanism of redirecting immune cells to target either tumor cells or cells found within the tumor stroma that surrounds growing tumors. I have extensive experience investigating T cell-based cancer immunotherapies, including cancer vaccines, adoptive T cell therapies, checkpoint inhibitors, BiTEs, immunomodulatory antibodies, as well as the use of oncolytic viruses as a platform to enhance T cell attack on tumors. Following completion of my PhD (McMaster University) and Postdoctoral training (Roswell Park), I spent time working for a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing cancer immunotherapies before returning to Roswell Park to start my own laboratory. Our current projects focus on developing BiTEs/ICEs that can rationally combine with T cell-based immunotherapies and/or oncolytic virotherapy in order to produce durable anti-tumor immune responses.


Full Publications list on PubMed

• McGray AJ, Eppolito C, Miliotto A, Singel KL, Stephenson K, Lugade A, Segal BH, Keler T, Webster G, Lichty B, Kozbor D, Odunsi K. A prime/boost vaccine platform efficiently identifies CD27 agonism and depletion of myeloid-derived suppressor cells as therapies that rationally combine with checkpoint blockade in ovarian cancer. Cancer Immunol
Immunother. 2021 Apr 20; 1-10.

• Odunsi K, McGray AJ, Miliotto A, Zhang Y, Wang J, Abiola A, Eppolito C, Huang RY. Fidelity of human ovarian cancer patient-derived xenografts in a partially-humanized mouse model for preclinical testing of immunotherapies. J Immunother
Cancer. 2020;8: e001237.

• McGray AJ, Huang R, Battaglia S, Eppolito C, Miliotto A, Stephenson K, Lugade A, Webster G, Lichty B, Seshadri M,Kozbor D, Odunsi K. Oncolytic Maraba virus armed with tumor antigen boosts vaccine priming and reveals diverse therapeutic response patterns when combined with checkpoint blockade in ovarian cancer. J Immunother Cancer. 2019
Jul 17; 7(1): 189.

• McGray AJ and Bramson JL. Adaptive Resistance to Cancer Immunotherapy. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2017; 1036: 213-227.

• McGray AJ, Hallett R, Bernard D, Swift S, Zhu Z, Hassell JA, Wan Y, Hurwitz AA, Wan Y, Bramson JL. Immunotherapy induced CD8+ T cells instigate immune suppression in the tumor. Mol Ther, 2014 Jan; 22 (1): 206-218.