Steven Albelda
                            Dr. Steven Albelda

Dr. Albelda graduated from Williams College and from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School. He received his clinical post-graduate training at Penn and is boarded in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Medicine, and Critical Care Medicine. He received post-doctoral laboratory training in the lab of Dr. Clayton Buck at the Wistar Institute. Dr. Albelda is the William Maul Measey Professor of Medicine, Associate Director of the Pulmonary Division, Director of the Thoracic Oncology Research Laboratory, and co-Director of the Translational Center of Excellence for Lung Cancer at Penn. He is the 2010 recipient of the Wagner Award from the International Mesothelioma Interest Group.


Dr. Albelda's research interests focus on developing novel approaches to the treatment of mesothelioma, lung cancers, and other thoracic malignancies.  His clinical interests are primarily in thoracic oncology.  He has led an NCI-funded Program Project aimed at developing new treatments for mesothelioma for the past 23 years.   This project supports clinical CAR T cell trials for  mesothelioma and lung cancer, as well as the supportive translation lab work.  The major areas of recent interest in the lab have been augmentation of anti-tumor immune effects, the tumor microenvironment, mechanisms of T cell dysfunction, and adoptive T cell transfer with an increasing focus on lung cancer.   To study these, Dr. Albelda's lab has developed a wide variety of animal models of lung cancer and mesothelioma that can be used to evaluate new therapies and T cell function.   The lab has also analyzed human samples from many clinical trials.  The lab has extensive experience in lentiviral transduction of human T cells and retroviral transduction of mouse T cells for use in adoptive T cell transfer.

Recent Publications

  • Transcriptomic analysis-guided assessment of precision-cut tumor slices (PCTS) as an ex-vivo tool in cancer research Tuesday, May 14, 2024

    With cancer immunotherapy and precision medicine dynamically evolving, there is greater need for pre-clinical models that can better replicate the intact tumor and its complex tumor microenvironment (TME). Precision-cut tumor slices (PCTS) have recently emerged as an ex vivo human tumor model, offering the opportunity to study individual patient responses to targeted therapies, including immunotherapies. However, little is known about the physiologic status of PCTS and how culture conditions...

  • Small cell, big promises: targeting small cell lung cancer with CAR T cells Monday, May 13, 2024

    No abstract

  • Red blood cells function as reservoirs of tumor DNA Tuesday, March 26, 2024

    Novel screening techniques for early detection of lung cancer are urgently needed. Profiling circulating tumor cell-free DNA (ctDNA) has emerged as a promising tool for biopsy-free tumor genotyping. However, both the scarcity and short half-life of ctDNA substantially limit the sensitivity and clinical utility of ctDNA detection methodologies. Our discovery that red blood cells (RBCs) sequester mitochondrial DNA opens a new avenue for detecting circulating nucleic acids, as RBCs represent an...