Michael Ciesielski


Research Interests:

Molecular mechanisms of glioma formation Targeting glioma cells through immunotherapeutic approaches

About Michael Ciesielski


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

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

  • Research Assistant Professor, Neurosurgery
  • Member, Graduate Faculty


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. Fenstermaker RA, Ciesielski MJ, Qiu J, Yang N, Frank CL, Lee KP, Mechtler LR, Belal A, Ahluwalia MS, Hutson AD. Clinical study of a survivin long peptide vaccine (SurVaxM) in patients with recurrent malignant glioma. Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2016 Nov;65(11):1339-1352. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5069322.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7504892.

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. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5984688.