University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI)

Overview

The mission of the Cancer Immunology Program (CIP) is to reduce the burden of cancer by elucidating the basic mechanisms of interactions between the immune system and cancer, thus providing a scientific rationale for the design of new and more effective approaches for cancer treatment and prevention. The mandate of the CIP is to encourage, facilitate, and support the best research and training in cancer immunology, and to translate basic findings from CIP members' laboratories into pre-clinical studies within the program, and to clinical studies through inter-programmatic collaborations with translational and clinical UPCI programs, such as the Head and Neck Cancer Program, Melanoma Program, and Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Program.

CIP members carry out their activities through three sub-programs that correspond to its central research themes:

  1. Cancer Immunology and Tumor Microenvironment
  2. Cancer Immunotherapy
  3. Cancer Immunoprevention

CIP research goals are to:

  1. Elucidate the basic mechanisms of the initiation and effector phases of tumor-specific immunity;
  2. Characterize the mechanisms of immune escape and immune exploitation;
  3. Develop cancer animal models and preclinical assessment of novel targets for immunoprevention and immunotherapy; and
  4. Investigate host:tumor interactions between immune/inflammatory cells and tumor cells that have been transformed by mutagens or oncogenic viruses.