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Department of Immunology
Academic Resources
About Us
Educational Programs
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Employment and Training Opportunities
Flow Facility
Immunology Grant Pre-Review Committee
Thomas E. Starzl Biomedical Science Tower
Phone: 412-383-9737
Fax: 412-383-8098
ferris2.jpg Robert Ferris , M.D., Ph.D., FACS
Professor of Surgery
1.19d HCC (Office)
2.26b HCC (Lab)
Pittsburgh, PA 
Phone: 412.647.7110
Faculty Research Interests
Research Interests
  • Cancer immunology and immunotherapy
  • Mucosal Tumor Immunology
  • Antigen processing and presentation to T cells
  • Role of human papillomavirus (HPV) in head and neck cancer
  • Strategies of immune evasion by cancer cells
  • B.A. - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1990)
  • M.D. - Johns Hopkins Medical School (1995)
  • Ph.D. - Johns Hopkins Medical School (1998)
  • Resident and Fellow - Department of Otolaryngology, Johns Hopkins Hospital
Academic Affiliation
  • Associate Professor and Chief, Division of Head and Neck Surgery, Department of Otolaryngology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
  • Associate Professor of Immunology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
  • Co-leader, Immunology Program, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute
  • Member, Immunology Graduate Program
Selected Publications
  • Lopez-Albaitero A, Nayak JV, Ogino T, Machandia A, Gooding W, DeLeo AB, Ferrone S, Ferris RL. Role of Antigen-Processing Machinery in the In Vitro Resistance of Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck Cells to Recognition by CTL. J Immunol 176(6):3402-9. 2006.
  • Albers A, Abe K, Hunt J, Wang J, Lopez-Albaitero A, Schaefer C, Gooding W, Whiteside TL, Ferrone S, DeLeo A, Ferris RL. Antitumor activity of human papillomavirus type 16 E7-specific T cells against virally infected squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. Cancer Research 65(23):11146-55. 2005.
  • Wang J, Zhang X, Thomas SM, Grandis JR, Wells A, Chen ZG, Ferris RL. Chemokine receptor 7 activates phosphoinositide-3 kinase-mediated invasive and prosurvival pathways in head and neck cancer cells independent of EGFR. Oncogene 24(38):5897-904. 2005.
  • Sirianni NM, Ha PK, Oelke M, Califano J, Gooding W, Westra W, Whiteside TL, Koch WM, Schneck JP, DeLeo AB, Ferris RL. Effect of Human Papillomavirus-16 Infection on CD8+ T cell Recognition of a Wild Type Sequence p53264-274 Peptide in Squamous cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck (SCCHN) Patients. Implications for Immunotherapy. J Clin Cancer Res, in press.
  • Wang J, Xi L, Hunt JL, Gooding WE, Whiteside TL, Chen Z, Godfrey TE, Ferris RL. Expression Pattern of Chemokine Receptor 6 (CCR6) and CCR7 in Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck Identifies a Novel Metastatic Phenotype. Cancer Research 64:1861-1866. 2004.
PubMed Link
  • Title: Chemokine Mediated Signals in Head and Neck Cancer Progression
    Role: PI
    Funding Period: 2006-2011

  • Title: Molecular Staging of Lymph Nodes in Head and Neck Cancer Metastasis
    Agency: NIH/NCI
    Role: Co-PI
    Funding Period: 2005-2008

  • Title: Genomic and Proteomic Profiling of HPV-Associated Head and Neck Cancer
    Agency: NIH/NCI
    Role: Co-PI
    Funding Period: 2004-2009

  • Title: Apoptosis of Effector T Cells in Head and Neck Cancer Patients
    Agency: Flight Attendants' Medical Research Institute - Clinical Investigator Award
    Role: PI
    Funding Period: 2003-2009

  • Title: Wild Type p53-based Adjuvant Immunotherapy for Head and Neck Cancer
    Agency: NCI (Project 3, University of Pittsburgh Head and Neck SPORE)
    Role: Co-Leader
    Funding Period: 2004-2009
Lab Personnel
Post-Doctoral Fellows
Jun Wang, M.D., Ph.D.
Pedro Andrade, M.D.

Graduate Student Researchers
Michael Leibowitz
Yvonne Mburu

Research Specialist
Sandra Poveda
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