Tumor Immunology and Immunotherapy

Program Leaders

Scott Abrams, PhD
Co-Leader
Tumor Immunology and Immunotherapy CCSG Program
Pawel Kalinski, MD, PhD
Co-Leader
Tumor Immunology and Immunotherapy CCSG Program

The Tumor Immunology and Immunotherapy Program (TII) seeks to understand the interaction between the immune system and malignancies, and translate this knowledge into the development of novel diagnostic, preventive, and treatment regimens. The Program, which takes advantage of close interactions between laboratory and clinical scientists, relies on the validation in animal model systems of results derived from in vitro investigations in the laboratory. The information derived from in vitro and in vivo studies is then utilized to develop novel strategies to address clinical questions. In turn, the questions generated from investigations in the clinical setting are brought back to the laboratory and to animal model systems. This bi-directional exchange of information between laboratory investigators and clinical investigators provides the opportunity to apply basic science to investigate molecular mechanisms underlying clinically relevant questions.

The Tumor Immunology and Immunotherapy Program is structured into three distinct but interrelated themes:

  1. Mechanisms of immunological tumor rejection
  2. Microenvironment and host-tumor interactions
  3. Immunotherapy

Theme 1

“Mechanisms of immunological tumor rejection” aims to characterize the molecular mechanisms for processing and presentation of antigens, and the structural basis of defects in histocompatibility antigens expression by malignant cells. Furthermore, this theme investigates the impact of changes in the expression and function of histocompatibility antigens on interactions between malignant cells and the host’s immune system as well as on the outcome of immunotherapy of malignant diseases.

It has become clear that tumor cell-autonomous changes, such as loss of histocompatibility antigens, represents only some of the mechanisms by which tumors escape control by endogenous or therapeutically elicited immune responses.

Theme 2

“Microenvironment and host-tumor interactions” seeks to define and understand the role of the interactions between the tumor cells and the surrounding microenvironment on tumor cell survival as well as modulating the host anti-tumor immune responses. This research also broadly includes the inflammatory milieu within which carcinogenesis occurs, as well as how the immune system itself can be a supportive component of the tumor microenvironment.

Theme 3

“Immunotherapy” utilizes the information derived from the other two themes in order to develop and characterize molecular and immunologic strategies for manipulating the innate and adaptive immune responses to malignancy. It is expected that the developed strategies will improve our ability to select, monitor and treat patients with immunotherapy.

These themes are dynamic and interactive, continually evolving to translate programmatic data for clinical application.

Program Members

Scott Abrams, PhD
Co-Leader
Tumor Immunology and Immunotherapy CCSG Program
Sophia Balderman, MD
Assistant Professor of Oncology
Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
Joseph Barbi, PhD
Assistant Member
Department of Immunology
Matthew Barth, MD
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
Gurkamal Chatta, MD
Clinical Chief
Genitourinary Medicine
Thinle Chodon, MD, PhD
Facility Director
Center for Immunotherapy Translational Research Operations
Oscar Colegio, MD, PhD
Chair
Department of Dermatology
Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery
Department of Neurosurgery
Prasenjit Dey, PhD
Assistant Professor of Immunology and Oncology
Department of Immunology
Marc Ernstoff, MD
Chair
Department of Medicine
Sharon Evans, PhD
Professor of Oncology
Department of Immunology
Robert Fenstermaker, MD
Chair
Department of Neurosurgery
Shipra Gandhi, MD
Assistant Professor of Oncology
Department of Medicine
Carmelo Gaudioso, MD, MBA, PhD
Instructor of Oncology
Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
Fumito Ito, MD, PhD, FACS
Associate Professor of Oncology
Department of Surgical Oncology
Pawel Kalinski, MD, PhD
Co-Leader
Tumor Immunology and Immunotherapy CCSG Program
Dr. Keith Kirkwood
Consulting Physician
Department of Dentistry & Maxillofacial Prosthetics
Richard Koya, MD, PhD
Director
Vector Development & Production Facility
Danuta Kozbor, PhD
Associate Professor of Immunology and Microbiology
Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
Joseph T.Y. Lau, PhD
Distinguished Member
Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology
Kelvin Lee, MD
Chair
Department of Immunology
Junko Matsuzaki, PhD
Director
Immune Analysis Facility
Philip McCarthy, MD
Director
Transplant & Cellular Therapy Center
Austin Miller, PhD
Assistant Professor of Oncology
Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics
Hans Minderman, PhD
Assistant Director
Flow and Image Cytometry Facility
Kirsten Moysich, PhD, MS
Distinguished Professor of Oncology
Department of Cancer Prevention and Control
Jason Muhitch, PhD
Assistant Professor of Oncology
Departments of Urology and Immunology
Michael Nemeth, PhD
Director of Graduate Studies
Department of Immunology
Kunle Odunsi, MD, PhD, FRCOG, FACOG
Executive Director
Center for Immunotherapy
Scott Olejniczak, PhD
Assistant Professor of Oncology
Department of Immunology
Thomas Schwaab, MD, PhD
CEO
Global Biotechnology and Cancer Therapeutics
Brahm Segal, MD
Chair
Department of Internal Medicine
Ben Seon, PhD
Member and Professor
Department of Immunology
Joseph Skitzki, MD, FACS
Chair
Melanoma/Sarcoma Disease Site Research Group
Yasmin Thanavala, PhD
Professor and Member
Department of Immunology
Takemasa Tsuji, PhD
Assistant Member
Center for Immunotherapy
Paul Wallace, PhD
Director
Department of Flow & Image Cytometry
Eunice Wang, MD
Chief
Leukemia Service
Emese Zsiros, MD, PhD, FACOG
Assistant Professor of Oncology
Department of Gynecologic Oncology

Contact Person

Cheryl Krieger
Department Administrator
Tel: 716 845-3256
Fax: 716 846-1322
cheryl.krieger@roswellpark.org