Professor of Neurological Surgery, Surgery and Immunology
University of California San Francisco
As a physician scientist, I have been dedicated to brain tumor immunology and development of effective immunotherapy for brain tumors for over 20 years. My team was one of very first to discover cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) epitopes in glioma-associated and glioma-specific neoantigens, and found critical roles for the integrin receptor known as very late activation antigen (VLA)-4 in facilitating entry of CTLs to the brain tumor site. I have translated these discoveries into novel vaccine and immune-gene therapy clinical studies in both adult and pediatric brain tumor patients. I am a member in the American Society for Clinical Investigation (2010-present), an honored society for physicians who promote laboratory science to the clinic. My current national and international leadership roles include: chair of the immunotherapy subgroup at the NCI-sponsored Adult Brain Tumor Consortium; a Steering Committee member of the Cancer Immunology Working Group in the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR); a co-chair for Education Day at 2015 the Society for Neuro-Oncology annual meeting; and an Organizing Committee member for the 2015 Annual Meeting of the AACR.
Avoiding Immune Destruction
DIPG and Other Primary Pediatric Brain Tumors
Starting with gliomas with H2K27M mutations, researchers are investigating genes related to the immune system and their possible role in future immune system-based treatments. Using the Pediatric Brain Tumor Atlas, researchers are comparing the genetics of various tumor types and mutations.