Human Oncology & Pathogenesis Program
The Vinod Balachandran Lab
Our goal is to discover new ways to stimulate the immune system to treat cancer through careful study of rare cancer patients with exceptional outcomes. We believe that deep study of these remarkable patients will identify fundamental mechanisms of how the immune system controls cancers, and accelerate the discovery of new effective drugs. We use this approach to study pancreatic cancer, a model deadly cancer that is refractory to all treatments including immunotherapy – and specifically focus on a rare subgroup of pancreatic cancer patients with exceptional long-term survival to discover new immunotherapeutic approaches. Our long-term vision is to use a similar approach of study of biological extremes to usher in the next generation of cancer immunotherapies.
Rojas LA, Sethna ZM, Soares K, Olcese C, Pang N, Patterson E, Lihm J, Ceglia N, Guasp P, Chu A, Yu R, Chandra AK, Waters T, Ruan J, Amisaki M, Zebboudj A, Odgerel Z, George Payne, Derhovanessian E, Rhee I, Yadav M, Dobrin A, Sadelain M, … Balachandran VP. Personalized RNA neoantigen vaccines stimulate T cells in pancreatic cancer. Nature. 2023 May 10. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-023-06063-y
Łuksza M, Sethna ZM, Rojas LA, Lihm J, Bravi B, Elhanati Y, Soares K, Amisaki M, Dobrin A, Hoyos D, Guasp P, Zebboudj A, Yu R, Chandra AK, Waters T, Odgerel Z, Leung J, Kappagantula R, Makohon-Moore A, Johns A, Gill A, Gigoux M, Wolchok J, Merghoub T, Sadelain M, Patterson E, Monasson R, Mora T, Walczak AM, Cocco S, Iacobuzio-Donahue C, Greenbaum BD, Balachandran VP. Neoantigen quality predicts immunoediting in survivors of pancreatic cancer. Nature. 2022 May 19. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-022-04735-9
Moral JA, Leung J, Rojas LA, Ruan J, Zhao J, Sethna Z, Ramnarain A, Gasmi B, Gururajan M, Redmond D, Askan G, Bhanot U, Elyada E, Park Y, Tuveson DA, Goen M, Leach SD, Wolchok JD, DeMatteo RP, Merghoub T & Balachandran VP. ILC2s amplify PD-1 blockade by activating tissue-specific cancer immunity. Nature. 2020 Feb 19. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2015-4
Balachandran VP, Łuksza M, Zhao JN, Makarov V, Moral JA, Remark R, Herbst B, Askan G, Bhanot U, Senbabaoglu Y, Wells DK, Cary CIO, Grbovic-Huezo O, Attiyeh M, Medina B, Zhang J, Loo J, Saglimbeni J, Abu-Akeel M, Zappasodi R, Riaz N, Smoragiewicz M, Kelley ZL, Basturk O; Australian Pancreatic Cancer Genome Initiative; Gönen M, Levine AJ, Allen PJ, Fearon DT, Merad M, Gnjatic S, Iacobuzio-Donahue CA, Wolchok JD, DeMatteo RP, Chan TA, Greenbaum BD, Merghoub T, Leach SD. Identification of unique neoantigen qualities in long-term survivors of pancreatic cancer. Nature. 2017 Nov 8. doi: 10.1038/nature24462. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 29132146
Balachandran VP, Cavnar MJ, Zeng S, Bamboat ZM, Ocuin LM, Obaid H, Sorenson EC, Popow R, Ariyan C, Rossi F, Besmer P, Guo T, Antonescu CR, Taguchi T, Yuan J, Wolchok JD, Allison JP, DeMatteo RP. Imatinib potentiates antitumor T cell responses in gastrointestinal stromal tumor through the inhibition of Ido. Nature Medicine. 2011 Aug 28;17(9):1094-100. doi: 10.1038/nm.2438. PMID: 21873989
Vinod Balachandran, MD
Member, David. M Rubenstein Center for Pancreatic Cancer Research
- Surgeon scientist Vinod Balachandran develops novel immunotherapies for pancreatic cancer.
- MD, State University of New York at Stony Brook
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- B.B.A Business Administration in Marketing, Hofstra University
- Ph.D. Immunology, McGill University
- B.S, University of Toronto
- B.S. Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University
- M.D. University of California San Diego
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- Ph.D Biomedicine, University of Barcelona
- B.S. Biotechnology, Autonomous University of Barcelona
- B.S Biology, Stony Brook University
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- Louise and Allston Boyer Young Investigator Award (2021)
- Pershing Square Sohn Prize (2020)
- Society of Immunotherapy for Cancer Presidential Award (2017)
- National Cancer Institute Cancer Moonshot Award (2017)
- Damon Runyon Clinical Investigator Award (2017)
- AACR/Pancreatic Cancer Action Network Career Development Award (2017)
- NCI Paul Calabresi Career Development Award (2016)
- Society of Surgical Oncology Harvey Barker Award (2015)
- David and Monica Gorin Fellow Award (2013)
- Memorial Sloan Kettering Chairman’s Award for Best Basic Science Research (2010)
- Society of University Surgeons Research Fellowship Award (2009)
- Alpha Omega Alpha
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Doctors and faculty members often work with pharmaceutical, device, biotechnology, and life sciences companies, and other organizations outside of MSK, to find safe and effective cancer treatments, to improve patient care, and to educate the health care community.
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Vinod Balachandran discloses the following relationships and financial interests:
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