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

  • 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...

  • IL7 increases targeted lipid nanoparticle-mediated mRNA expression in T cells in vitro and in vivo by enhancing T cell protein translation Thursday, March 21, 2024

    The use of lipid nanoparticles (LNP) to encapsulate and deliver mRNA has become an important therapeutic advance. In addition to vaccines, LNP-mRNA can be used in many other applications. For example, targeting the LNP with anti-CD5 antibodies (CD5/tLNP) can allow for efficient delivery of mRNA payloads to T cells to express protein. As the percentage of protein expressing T cells induced by an intravenous injection of CD5/tLNP is relatively low (4-20%), our goal was to find ways to increase...

  • Human Tumor-Associated Macrophages and Neutrophils Regulate Antitumor Antibody Efficacy through Lethal and Sublethal Trogocytosis Thursday, January 25, 2024

    The clinical benefits of tumor-targeting antibodies (tAb) are modest in solid human tumors. The efficacy of many tAbs is dependent on Fc receptor (FcR)-expressing leukocytes that bind Fc fragments of tAb. Tumor-associated macrophages (TAM) and neutrophils (TAN) represent the majority of FcR+ effectors in solid tumors. A better understanding of the mechanisms by which TAMs and TANs regulate tAb response could help improve the efficacy of cancer treatments. Here, we found that myeloid effectors...