Robert H. Vonderheide, MD, DPhil

faculty photo
John H. Glick Abramson Cancer Center Professor
Department: Medicine
Graduate Group Affiliations

Contact information
12 South Pavilion
3400 Civic Center Blvd
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: 215-662-3929
Fax: 215-573-2652
Lab: 215-746-2846
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 pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, and melanoma. 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 Nature, Science, Cell, and the New England Journal of Medicine.


Robert Vonderheide, MD, DPhil
Director, Abramson Cancer Center; John H. Glick MD Abramson Cancer Center's Professor

Nune Markosyan, MD, PhD, Laboratory Director

Katelyn Byrne, PhD, Instructor in Medicine

Mark Diamond, MD, PhD, Instructor in Medicine

Adham Bear, MD, PhD, Clinical Fellow

Alex Morrison, MD, TRM Student

Bereket Gebregziabher, undergraduate student

Austin Huffman, Graduate Student (PhD, Immunology)

Jeffrey Lin, Graduate Student (MD/PhD)

Andrew Rech, Post-doctoral Scholar (MD/PhD)

Lee Richman, Graduate Student (MD/PhD)

Mary Beth McAndrew, Administrator, 215-662-3929;

Description of Clinical Expertise

Medical Oncology and Experimental Therapeutics, in particular Immunotherapy

Selected Publications

Bajor David L, Xu Xiaowei, Torigian Drew A, Mick Rosemarie, Garcia Laura R, Richman Lee P, Desmarais Cindy, Nathanson Katherine L, Schuchter Lynn M, Kalos Michael, Vonderheide Robert H: Immune Activation and a 9-Year Ongoing Complete Remission Following CD40 Antibody Therapy and Metastasectomy in a Patient with Metastatic Melanoma. Cancer immunology research 2(11): 1051-8, Nov 2014.

Condamine Thomas, Kumar Vinit, Ramachandran Indu R, Youn Je-In, Celis Esteban, Finnberg Niklas, El-Deiry Wafik S, Winograd Rafael, Vonderheide Robert H, English Nickolas R, Knight Stella C, Yagita Hideo, McCaffrey Judith C, Antonia Scott, Hockstein Neil, Witt Robert, Masters Gregory, Bauer Thomas, Gabrilovich Dmitry I: ER stress regulates myeloid-derived suppressor cell fate through TRAIL-R-mediated apoptosis. The Journal of clinical investigation 124(6): 2626-39, Jun 2014.

Zhang Yaqing, Yan Wei, Mathew Esha, Bednar Filip, Wan Shanshan, Collins Meredith A, Evans Rebecca A, Welling Theodore H, Vonderheide Robert H, di Magliano Marina Pasca: CD4+ T lymphocyte ablation prevents pancreatic carcinogenesis in mice. Cancer immunology research 2(5): 423-35, May 2014.

Richman Lee P, Vonderheide Robert H: Role of crosslinking for agonistic CD40 monoclonal antibodies as immune therapy of cancer. Cancer immunology research 2(1): 19-26, Jan 2014.

Mueller Christian, Chulay Jeffrey D, Trapnell Bruce C, Humphries Margaret, Carey Brenna, Sandhaus Robert A, McElvaney Noel G, Messina Louis, Tang Qiushi, Rouhani Farshid N, Campbell-Thompson Martha, Fu Ann Dongtao, Yachnis Anthony, Knop David R, Ye Guo-Jie, Brantly Mark, Calcedo Roberto, Somanathan Suryanarayan, Richman Lee P, Vonderheide Robert H, Hulme Maigan A, Brusko Todd M, Wilson James M, Flotte Terence R: Human Treg responses allow sustained recombinant adeno-associated virus-mediated transgene expression. The Journal of clinical investigation 123(12): 5310-8, Dec 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.

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.

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.

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.

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Last updated: 12/14/2018
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