Robert H. Vonderheide, MD, DPhil
Interactions of the immune system with cancer cells can either promote or suppress tumor growth and development. Dr. Vonderheide studies how this balance is regulated and under what circumstances therapeutic modulation can unleash the largely restrained power of the immune system to benefit patients with cancer. Working in both murine and human experimental systems (and a recent focus on pancreatic cancer), Dr. Vonderheide hypothesizes that successful approaches in tumor immunotherapy will circumvent immunosuppressive factors of the tumor microenvironment, repair antigen presentation and T lymphocyte function, and optimize target antigens for immune recognition. His translational work tests novel approaches such as vaccines, antibodies, gene therapy, and adoptive T cells for the treatment of cancer. He has studied 'universal' tumor antigens, and immune modulatory pathways involving CD40, GM-CSF, CTLA-4, PD-1, CD25 and CCR5.