Michael Ciesielski


Specializing In:

Immunotherapy Neuro-Oncology Clinical trials CMC and FDA Regulatory Expertise

Research Interests:

Glioblastoma Vaccine Research Cancer Immunotherapy

About Michael Ciesielski


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

Dr. Michael J. Ciesielski joined the staff of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center 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 and Director of the Neuro-Oncology Lab.

Dr. Ciesielski is a member of the Society for Neuro-Oncology (SNO), American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO). He has authored or co-authored more than 50 journal publications, review articles. He is a reviewer for many publications (Journal of Surgical Oncology, Journal of Immunotherapy, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Cancer Research and others).


Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery
  • Director, Neuro-Oncology Lab
  • Department of Neurosurgery

Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, State University of New York at Buffalo

  • Research Assistant Professor, Neurosurgery
  • Member, Graduate Faculty


Education and Training:

  • 2003 - PhD - Immunology, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY
  • 1995- MS - Natural Sciences, Roswell Park Division, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY
  • 1993 - BS - Biotechnology, Niagara University, Niagara University, NY

Professional Memberships:

  • SNO
  • AACR
  • ASCO
  • BIO


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.

Featured on Cancer Talk


Full Publications list on PubMed

1. Ahluwalia MS, Reardon DA, Abad AP, Curry WT, Wong ET, Figel SA, Mechtler LL, Peereboom DM, Hutson AD, Withers HG, Liu S, Belal AN, Qiu J, Mogensen KM, Dharma SS, Dhawan A, Birkemeier MT, Casucci DM, Ciesielski MJ, Fenstermaker RA. Phase IIa Study of SurVaxM Plus Adjuvant Temozolomide for Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma. J Clin Oncol. 2023 Mar 1;41(7):1453-1465. doi: 10.1200/JCO.22.00996. Epub 2022 Dec 15. PMID: 36521103; PMCID: PMC9995096.

2. Figel S, Birkemeier M, Dharma SS, Barone T, Steinmetz E, Ciesielski M, Fenstermaker R. Wild type, dEX3 and 2B survivin isoforms localize to the tumor cell plasma membrane, are secreted in exosomes, and interact with extracellular tubulin. Biochem Biophys Rep. 2021 Nov 20;28:101174. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrep.2021.101174. PMID: 34849411; PMCID: PMC8608592.

3. Zhang X, Ciesielski M, Fenstermaker RA, Kaminski HJ, Kusner LL. The Presence of Survivin on B Cells from Myasthenia Gravis Patients and the Potential of an Antibody to a Modified Survivin Peptide to Alleviate Weakness in an Animal Model. J Immunol. 2020 Oct 1;205(7):1743-1751. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.2000482. Epub 2020 Aug 24. PMID: 32839239; PMCID: PMC7504892.

4. Hanif A, Lee S, Gupta M, Chander A, Kannisto ED, Punnanitinont A, Fenstermaker R, Ciesielski M, Attwood K, Qiu J, Yendamuri S, Iyer R. Exploring the role of survivin in neuroendocrine neoplasms. Oncotarget. 2020 Jun 9;11(23):2246-2258. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.27631. PMID: 32577168; PMCID: PMC7289533.

5. Fenstermaker RA, Figel SA, Qiu J, Barone TA, Dharma SS, Winograd EK, Galbo PM, Wiltsie LM, Ciesielski MJ. Survivin Monoclonal Antibodies Detect Survivin Cell Surface Expression and Inhibit Tumor Growth In Vivo. Clin Cancer Res. 2018 Jun 1;24(11):2642-2652. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-17-2778. Epub 2018 Mar 14. PMID: 29540489; PMCID: PMC5984688.