Pawel Kalinski, M.D., Ph.D.

Pawel Kalinski, M.D., Ph.D.


Office: 1.46b HCC

Lab: HCC

Ph: 412-623-7712

Fax: 412-623-7709


  • M.D. - Warsaw University Medical Schoo
  • Ph.D. - University of Amsterdam
  • Fellowships: University of Amsterdam
  • Military School of Medicine, Warsaw
  • University of Amsterdam

Academic Affiliation

  • Professor of Surgery
  • Professor of Immunology
  • Professor of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology
  • Member, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute

About Research

The research of my group aims to determine the cellular and molecular background of the interactions between tumors and the immune system (dendritic cells, CTLs, Th cells, NK cells, MDSCs and Tregs) and to develop the effective measures of counteracting tumor-associated immune dysfunction and  promoting immune mediated tumor destruction. We have recently developed a new platform of vaccination against cancer and established infections, utilizing alpha-type-1-polarized dendritic cells (aDC1s) that instruct the immune system to treat tumors as virally-infected tissues.  Our latest research led to the identification of a new class of “combinatorial adjuvants” that selectively induce pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines (rather than suppressive factors) within tumor lesions, without affecting healthy marginal tissues, and counteract tumor-associated immunosuppression. Our clinical trials in melanoma, hematologic malignancies, prostate-, colorectal-, ovarian- and  brain cancer (malignant glioma) cancers, developed in collaboration with other members of the UPCI, test the ability of aDC1 vaccines, new combinatorial adjuvants and their combinations to prevent tumor progression and to induce its immune elimination .

Selected Publications

Obermajer, N., R. Muthuswamy, J. Lesnock, R. P. Edwards, and P. Kalinski. Positive Feedback between PGE2 and COX2 Redirects the Differentiation of Human Dendritic Cells towards Stable Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells. Blood, 2011 118(20):5498-505.
Obermajer, N., Muthuswamy, R., Odunsi, K., Edwards, R.P. & Kalinski, P. PGE(2)-induced CXCL12 production and CXCR4 expression controls the accumulation of human MDSCs in ovarian cancer environment. Cancer Res 71, 7463-7470.

Watchmaker P. B., E. Berk, R. Muthuswamy, R. B. Mailliard, J. A. Urban, J. M. Kirkwood, and P. Kalinski (2010). Independent Regulation of Chemokine Responsiveness and Cytolytic Function versus CD8+ T Cell Expansion by Dendritic Cells. J. Immunol. 184: 591-597

Kalinski P, J Urban, R Narang , E Berk, E Wieckowski, R Muthuswamy (2009). Dendritic Cell-based Therapeutic Cancer Vaccines: What We Have and What We Need. Future Oncol. 5(3):379-90

Lee J-J, K Foon, R Mailliard, R Muthuswamy, and P Kalinski. (2008) Type-1 polarized dendritic cells loaded with autologous tumor are potent immunogen against chronic lymphocytic leukemia. J. Leukocyte Biol., 84:319-325.

Muthuswamy R., J. Urban, J-J. Lee, TA Reinhart,D. Bartlett, and P. Kalinski* (2008). Ability of Mature Dendritic Cells to Interact with Regulatory T Cells Is Imprinted During Maturation. Cancer Res. 68:5972-5978, 2008.

Watchmaker P., J. A. Urban, Y. Nakamura, R. B. Mailliard, A. S. Giermasz, S. C. Watkins, S. M. van Ham, and P. Kalinski. Reciprocal Control of DC Activity by Memory and Effector CD8+ T Cells, J. Immunol., 180:3857-3865,2008

Research Interests

  • Role of prostanoids and proiinflammatory factors in the regulation of the immune cell entry into cancer
  • Mechanisms of immune suppression in cancer
  • Cellular interactions during the development of Th1 and Th2 responses
  • Role of DC in the induction of polarized Th1 and Th2 responses (DC as mediators of signal 3)
  • Th1 and Th2 CD4 T cell subsets in cancer patients
  • Impact of tumor cells on DC functions
  • Use of polarized DC to induce therapeutic Th1 and CTL responses against cancer
  • Modulation of DC functions by CD4+ (Th) and CD8+ (CTL) T cells as a tool to modify DC activity in vivo