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  • Department of Cancer Immunology and Virology

    The department performs basic research in cancer immunology and virology and develops new therapeutic strategies based on novel mechanistic insights. Cancer immunology is now one of the most exciting and important areas of investigation in the cancer field. Recent clinical trials …

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    The magnitude and durability of responses to immunotherapies in patients with diverse types of cancer are unprecedented in oncology. Dana-Farber has a long history of excellence in this field, and our immunology investigators have made important contributions to these
    advances …

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    Cancer immunology is an important part of the fabric of the Institute, and our mission is to serve as an intellectual center for cancer immunology efforts across the Institute and the Harvard Medical School community. Many investigators from other fields …

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    We closely collaborate with our clinical colleagues, aiming for a seamless transition from basic discovery to clinical translation. This sense of community is fostered at monthly faculty meetings in which all investigators interested in immunology are invited to participate, including …

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    We emphasize development and implementation of cutting-edge technologies that enhance our ability to study immune responses in animal models and patients. An example is the mass cytometry technology (CyTOF) which enables simultaneous analysis of >30 intracellular and cell surface molecules …

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  • Research Focus

    • Basic immunological mechanisms

      All therapeutic advances in cancer immunology are based on our growing understanding of fundamental immunological mechanisms. We approach immunology as a complex system in which many cell populations activate and regulate each other. We believe that the complexity of the … read more ›  

    • Cancer immunology and immunotherapy

      Our department is developing novel approaches for immunotherapy, and we closely collaborate with our clinical colleagues to advance important discoveries to clinical trials. The Wucherpfennig Lab has developed a novel approach for systematic discovery of negative regulators of T cell function … read more ›  

    • Viral immunology

      HIV infects a critical population of immune cells (CD4 T cells), resulting in an immunodeficiency syndrome that predisposes to opportunistic infections and cancer. A shared interest by HIV and cancer immunology investigators is the development of vaccines that stimulate strong … read more ›  

    • Cancer Immunology Working Group

      At monthly faculty meetings, basic and clinical immunologists discuss ongoing research in their labs in order to foster translation of immunological principles into clinical immunotherapy trials. Immunologists in other departments are part of our vibrant immunology community and contribute expertise … read more ›  

    Related Links


    Wayne Marasco

    Immune response to flu vaccine linked to recipients' ethnic background, say researchers

    How well a flu shot protects you from the virus can depend on your ethnic background and other inherited factors, report Dana-Farber scientists led by cancer immunologist and virologist Wayne Marasco, MD, PhD … full story

    Hye-Jung Kim, PhD

    Discovery opens door to new strategy for cancer immunotherapy

    New research by Dana-Farber scientists raises the prospect of cancer therapy that turns a tumor's best friends in the immune system into its gravest enemies. As reported in the journal Science, investigators uncovered a mechanism that allows key immune system cells to … full story

    Carl Novina, MD, PhD, in his lab

    Dana-Farber researcher wins NIH Pioneer award for 'bold and innovative' research project

    Carl Novina, MD, PhD, a researcher in the Department of Cancer Immunology and Virology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, is one of 10 scientists chosen to receive a 2014 National Institutes of Health Pioneer Award, which funds bold and innovative … full story

    Michael Goldberg

    Turning back the clock on cancer

    Preventing cancer, or even reversing its earliest stages, would be hugely preferable to treating more advanced cases. Now, Dana-Farber researcher Michael Goldberg, PhD, has contributed to research that demonstrates one way this might work. “Conventional wisdom holds that we must … full story

    In vivo discovery of targets for cancer immunotherapy

    Therapeutic targets are typically identified using in vitro approaches, but the complex interactions of migratory immune cells with many other cell populations are very difficult to model using in vitro systems. The Wucherpfennig lab developed an in vivo shRNA screening … full story