Michael Ciesielski

Michael Ciesielski


Special Interests:

Molecular mechanisms of glioma formation Targeting glioma cells through immunotherapeutic approaches

About Me


Dr. Michael J. Ciesielski joined the staff of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center (Roswell Park) in 2004 as Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery in the Department of Neurosurgery. He is a Co-leader with the Roswell Park Neuro-Oncology Disease Site Research Group.

Dr. Ciesielski earned his doctoral degree in Immunology and completed a fellowship in 2003 in the Department of Immunology of the Roswell Park Graduate Division of the University at Buffalo.

Dr. Ciesielski is a member of the Society for Neuro-Oncology, and the American Association for Cancer Research. He has authored or co-authored more than 40 journal publications, review articles and abstracts. He is a reviewer for the Journal of Surgical Oncology and an ad hoc reviewer for among others, Journal of Immunotherapy, Journal of Clinical Investigation, Cancer Gene Therapy, Blood, Journal of Clinical Oncology, and Cancer Research.



Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery
  • Department of Neurosurgery


Research Overview:

Dr. Ciesielski’s research interests include molecular mechanisms of glioma formation, and targeting glioma cells through immunotherapeutic approaches. In particular he has focused work upon the mechanism of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations and was the first to discover the class of tandem duplicated EGFR mutants. He has utilized these and other EGFR mutations as tumor specific targets in glioma cells for immunological attack. Alterations to the structure of normal cellular proteins either through mutation, engineered mimicry, or basic xenogeneic differences between species can be exploited by the immune system and become recognized as foreign, leading to tumor rejection. Most recently he has applied these techniques towards stimulating anti-glioma immune responses against the anti-apoptotic protein survivin. The development of new antigen-specific immunotherapy for glioma is the primary focus of his research.


Shen L, Sundstedt A, Ciesielski MJ, Miles KM, Celander M, Adelaiye R, Orillion A, Ciamporcero E, Ramakrishnan S, Ellis L, Fenstermaker RA, Abrams SI, Eriksson H, Leanderson T, Olson A, Pili R. Tasquinimod modulates suppressive myeloid cells and enhances cancer immunotherapies in murine models. Cancer Immunol Res 2014; [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 25370534.

Kusner LL, Ciesielski MJ, Marx A, Kaminski HJ, Fenstermaker RA. Survivin as a potential mediator to support autoreactive cell survival in myasthenia gravis: A human and animal model study. PlosONE 2014; 9:e102231.PMID: 25050620.

Ciesielski MJ, Qiu, J, Fenstermaker RA. Survivin as a Cancer Vaccine Target. J Vaccines Vaccin 2014; 5:3. doi:10.4172/2157-7560.1000230

Fenstermaker RA, Ciesielski MJ. Challenges in the Development of a Survivin Vaccine (SurVaxM) for Malignant Glioma. Expert Rev Vaccines 2014; 13:377–385. PMID:24521310.

Shen L, Ciesielski M, Ellis L, Fenstermaker R, Pili R. Class I Histone Deacetylase Inhibitor Entinostat Suppresses Regulatory T Cells and Enhances Immunotherapies in Renal and Prostate Cancer Models. PlosONE 2012; 7:e30815. PMID:22303460.

Jarrett SG, Novak M, Dabernat S, Daniel JY, Mellon I, Zhang Q, Harris N, Ciesielski MJ, Fenstermaker RA, Kovacic D, Slominski A, Kaetzel DM. Metastasis Suppressor NM23-H1 Promotes Repair of UV-Induced DNA Damage and Suppresses UV-Induced Melanomagenesis. Cancer Res 2012; 72:133-43. PMID:22080566

Gil M, Bieniasz M, Seshadri M, Fisher D, Ciesielski MJ, Chen Y, Pandey RK, Kozbor D. Photodynamic therapy augments the efficacy of oncolytic vaccinia virus against primary and metastatic tumours in mice. Br J Cancer 2011; 105:1512-21. PMID:21989183

Ciesielski MJ, Ahluwalia MS, Munich SA, Orton M, Barone T, Chanan-Khan A, Fenstermaker RA. Antitumor cytotoxic T-cell response induced by a survivin peptide mimic. Cancer immunology, immunotherapy : CII 2010; 59(8):1211-1221

Ciesielski MJ, Munich SA, Clements JL, Hangauer DG, Dyster LM, Barnett A, Fenstermaker RA. KX02 a novel therapeutic for glioma. Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2010; 51:1358

Hercbergs A, Davis PJ, Davis FB, Ciesielski MJ, Leith JT. Radiosensitization of GL261 glioma cells by tetraiodothyroacetic acid (tetrac). Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.) 2009; 8(16):2586-2591

Paul AK, Ciesielski MJ, Sajjad M, Wang X, Ferrone S, Abdel-Nabi H, Fenstermaker RA. Expression of HMP/AN2, a melanoma associated antigen, in murine cerebral gliomas: potential for radioimmunotargeting. Journal of neuro-oncology 2009; 94(1):21-30

Seshadri M, Ciesielski MJ. MRI-based characterization of vascular disruption by 5,6-dimethylxanthenone-acetic acid in gliomas. Journal of cerebral blood flow and metabolism 2009; 29(8):1373-1382

Yang W, Riley KJ, Wikstrand CJ, Ross BD, Fenstermaker RA, Ciesielski M, Tjarks W, Huo T, Wu G, Barth RF, Binns PJ. Convection enhanced delivery of boronated EGF as a molecular targeting agent for neutron capture therapy of brain tumors. Journal of neuro-oncology 2009; 95(3):355-365

Ciesielski MJ, Kozbor D, Castanaro CA, Barone TA, Fenstermaker RA.Therapeutic effect of a T helper cell supported CTL response induced by a survivin peptide vaccine against murine cerebral glioma. Cancer immunology, immunotherapy : CII 2008; 57(12):1827-1835

Wierzbicki A, Gil M, Ciesielski M, Fenstermaker RA, Kaneko Y, Rokita H, Lau JT, Kozbor D. Immunization with a mimotope of GD2 ganglioside induces CD8+ T cells that recognize cell adhesion molecules on tumor cells. Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950) 2008; 181(9):6644-6653

Yang W, Fenstermaker RA, Ciesielski MJ, Riley KJ, Binns PJ, Sferra TJ, Moeschberger M, Tordoff K, Tjarks W, Bandyopadhyaya AK, Swindall MR, Barth RF, Wu G, Wikstrand CJ. Molecular targeting and treatment of composite EGFR and EGFRvIII-positive gliomas using boronated monoclonal antibodies. Clinical cancer research 2008; 14(3):883-891

Fenstermaker RA, Ciesielski MJ. EGFR Intron Recombination in Human Gliomas: Inappropriate Diversion of V(D)J Recombination? . Current genomics2007; 8(3):163-170

Kowalczyk A, Ciesielski M, Brecher M, Fenstermaker R, Repasky E, Rokita H, Kaneko Y, Bambach B, Gil M, Wierzbicki A, Kozbor D. Induction of protective immune responses against NXS2 neuroblastoma challenge in mice by immunotherapy with GD2 mimotope vaccine and IL-15 and IL-21 gene delivery. Cancer immunology, immunotherapy : CII 2007; 56(9):1443-1458

Wu G, Ciesielski MJ, Riley KJ, Binns PJ, Sferra TJ, Christoforidis GA, Yang M, Ferketich AK, Blue TE, Khorsandi B, Tjarks W, Bandyopadhyaya AK, Swindall M, Kawabata S, Barth RF, Yang W, Fenstermaker RA. Molecular targeting and treatment of an epidermal growth factor receptor-positive glioma using boronated cetuximab. Clinical cancer research 2007; 13(4):1260-1268

Chen Y, Oseroff A, Fenstermaker R, Kadish KM, Fukuzumi S, Erin T, Baumann H, Ciesielski M, Pandey SK, Liu W, Wenbo E, Zhang M, Ohkubo K, Pandey RK.Photophysical, electrochemical characteristics and cross-linking of STAT-3 protein by an efficient bifunctional agent for fluorescence image-guided photodynamic therapy. Photochemical and photobiological sciences 2007;6(12):1257-1267

Hercbergs A, Davis PJ, Cieslieski M, Davis F, Leith JT. Gl261 brain tumor cells: responses to single or fractionated x-irradiation with the av beta 3 integrin thyroxine receptor antagonist TETRAC (tetraiodothyroacetic acid). European journal of cancer (Oxford, England : 1990) 2008; 6(12):172

Gil M, Bieniasz M, Seshadri M, Fisher D, Ciesielski MJ, Chen Y, Pandey RK, Kozbor D. Photodynamic therapy augments the efficacy of oncolytic vaccinia virus against primary and metastatic tumours in mice. British journal of cancer2011; 105(10):1512-1521

Jarrett SG, Novak M, Dabernat S, Daniel JY, Mellon I, Zhang Q, Harris N,Ciesielski MJ, Fenstermaker RA, Kovacic D, Slominski A, Kaetzel DM.Metastasis suppressor NM23-H1 promotes repair of UV-induced DNA damage and suppresses UV-induced melanomagenesis. Cancer research 2012;72(1):133-143

Shen L, Ciesielski M, Ramakrishnan S, Miles KM, Ellis L, Sotomayor P, Shrikant P, Fenstermaker R, Pili R. Class I histone deacetylase inhibitor entinostat suppresses regulatory T cells and enhances immunotherapies in renal and prostate cancer models. PloS one 2012; 7(1):e30815

Shen L, Ciesielski M, Ellis L, Fenstermaker R, Pili R. Selective class I HDAC inhibitor SNDX-275 enhances anti-tumor survivin vaccine therapy by suppressing regulatory T cells in a model of prostate cancer. Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2011;52:Abstract #1792

Ciesielski M, Castanaro C, Barone T, Fenstermaker R. Therapeutic CTL response induced by a survivin molecular mimic vaccine against human glioma. Neuro-oncology 2008; 10(5):809