Robert H. Vonderheide, MD, DPhil

faculty photo
Hanna Wise Professor in Cancer Research
Department: Medicine
Graduate Group Affiliations

Contact information
8-121 Smilow Center for Translational Research
3400 Civic Center Blvd
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: 215-573-4265
Fax: 215-573-2652
Lab: 215-746-8901 Mark Sudell
BSc (Chemical Engineering)
University of Notre Dame, 1985.
DPhil (Immunology)
Oxford University, 1989.
Harvard Medical School, 1993.
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Description of Research Expertise

The Vonderheide laboratory combines efforts in both basic research and clinical investigation to advance the understanding of tumor immunology and to develop novel immunotherapies for cancer. The chief hypothesis is that successful approaches in tumor immunotherapy will need to (a) optimize target antigens with regard to clinical applicability and risk of antigen loss, (b) repair host immuno-incompetence in antigen presentation and T cell function, and (c) circumvent immuno-suppressive factors of the tumor and tumor microenvironment.

Dr. Vonderheide’s basic research includes deciphering the immunobiology of novel genetically engineered mouse models of cancer, including the regulation of immune surveillance and the tumor microenvironment by CD40 and other pathways, and with a focus on melanoma and pancreatic cancer. His translational work tests novel approaches such as vaccines, antibodies, and adoptive T cells for the treatment of patients with melanoma, pancreatic cancer and other cancers. He has studied ‘universal’ tumor antigens, immune effects of radiation, and immune modulatory pathways involving CD40, GM-CSF, PD-1, CTLA-4, and CD25. Publications include those in high-impact journals such as Science, New England Journal of Medicine, and Cancer Cell.

Robert Vonderheide, MD, DPhil
Professor of Medicine; Hanna Wise Professor in Cancer Research; Associate Director for Translational Research, Abramson Cancer Center; Vice Chief for Research, Hematology-Oncology Division, Department of Medicine

David Bajor, MD, Instructor in Medicine

Kate Byrne, PhD, Post doctoral Fellow

Tim Chao, Graduate Student (MD/PhD)

Mark Diamond, MD, PhD, Hematology Oncology Fellow; post doc

Rebecca Evans, Graduate Student (VMD/PhD)

Austin Huffman, Research Specialist

Nathan Leissenring, Penn Undergraduate Scholar

Andrew Rech, Graduate Student (MD/PhD)

Mark Sudell, Administrator, 215-746-8901;

Rafael Winograd, Graduate Student (MD/PhD)

Selected Publications

Markosyan N, Chen EP, Evans RA, Ndong V, Vonderheide RH, Smyth EM: Mammary carcinoma cell derived cyclooxygenase 2 suppresses tumor immune surveillance by enhancing intratumoral immune checkpoint activity. Breast Cancer Research 15(5): R75 [Epub ahead of print] Sep 3 2013.

Beatty GL, Torigian DA, Chiorean EG, Saboury B, Brothers A, Alavi A, Troxel AB, Sun W, Teitelbaum UR, Vonderheide RH, O'Dwyer P: A phase I study of an agonist CD40 monoclonal antibody (CP-870,893) in combination with gemcitabine in patients with advanced pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Clinical Cancer Research Page: [Epub ahead of print] Sep 4 2013.

Bayne LJ, Vonderheide RH: A myeloid-derived suppressor cell-mediated T-cell suppression assay for functional evaluation of immune cells in tumor-bearing mice. Cold Spring Harb Protoc. 2013(9), Sep 1 2013.

Vonderheide RH,Burg JM, Mick R, Trosko JA, Li D, Shaik MN, Tolcher AW, Hamid O : Phase I study of CD40 antibody CP-870,893 in combination with carboplatin and paclitaxel in patients with advanced solid tumors OncoImmunology 2: e23033, 2013.

Tchou J, Wang LC, Selven B, Zhang H, Conejo-Garcia J, Borghaei H, Kalos M, Vonderheide RH, Albelda SM, June CH, Zhang PJ. : Mesothelin, a novel immunotherapy target for triple negative breast cancer. Breast Can Res Treat 133: 799-804, 2012.

Doi H, Iyer TK, Carpenter E, Li H, Chang KM, Vonderheide RH, Kaplan DE: Dysfunctional B-cell activation in cirrhosis resulting from hepatitis C infection associated with disappearance of CD27-Positive B-cell population. Hepatology 55: 709-719, 2012.

Meisel JL, Domchek SM, Vonderheide RH, Giobbie-Hurder A, Lin NU, Winer EP, Partridge AH: Quality of life in long-term survivors of metastatic breast cancer. Clin Breast Cancer 12: 119-126, 2012.

Rech AJ, Mick R, Martin S, Recio A, Aqui NA, Powell DJ Jr, Colligon TA, Trosko JA, Leinbach LI, Pletcher CH, Tweed CK, DeMichele A, Fox KR, Domchek SM, Riley JL, Vonderheid RH: CD25 blockade depletes and selectively reprograms regulatory T-cells in concert with immunotherapy in cancer patients Science Translational Medicine 4: 134ra62, 2012.

Rhim AD, Mirek ET, Aiello N, Maitra A, Beatty GL, Bailey JM, Reichert M, Vonderheide RH, Leach SD, Stanger BZ : EMT and dissemination precede pancreatic tumor formation. Cell 148: 349-361, 2012.

Bayne LJ, Beatty GL, Jhala N, Clark CE, Rhim AD, Stanger BZ, Vonderheide RH : Tumor-derived granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor regulates myeloid inflammation and T cell immunity in pancreatic cancer. Cancer Cell 21: 822-835, 2012.

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Last updated: 08/25/2014
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