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Wilmot Cancer Institute / Research / Research Programs / Cancer Microenvironment


Cancer Microenvironment


The Cancer Microenvironment (CM) research program leverages expertise in immunology, stem cell biology, radiobiology, and nanotechnology, to investigate how the tumor microenvironment impacts the way cancer arises, progresses, and responds to therapy. Collaboration is essential, and program members are particularly focused on translational research that impacts myeloid and lymphoid malignancies and pancreatic cancer.

The specific aims of the CM program are:

  • To disrupt and reprogram cancer-promoting microenvironments.
  • To restore normal tissue homeostasis from cancer and cancer treatment-induced injury.

The goals of this high-impact basic science program complement the work done at Wilmot’s Genetics, Epigenetics, and Metabolism (GEM) research program, and its Cancer Prevention and Control (CPC) program, and involves collaboration with the Community Outreach and Engagement (COE) office to meet the needs of Wilmot’s 27-county catchment area.


Program Leaders


Minsoo Kim, Ph.D.
Dean’s Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
Director of the Tumor Immunotherapy Research Program at Wilmot

Dr. Kim investigates innate and adaptive immune responses and cancer treatment.

Laura Calvi, M.D.,
Professor of Medicine, Neurosurgery, and Pharmacology and Physiology

Dr. Calvi is focused on bridging bone and stem cell biology to discover the regulatory components of the bone marrow microenvironment, to identify targeted therapies.


Omar Aljitawi
Professor, Emergency Medicine

Jeevisha Bajaj, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Biomedical Genetics

Paul Barr, M.D.
Assistant Professor, Medicine/Hematology Oncology

Romeo Blanc, Ph.D.
Visiting Senior Instructor, Pharmacology and Physiology

Ed Brown, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering

Walther Richard Burack, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Marvin Doyley, Ph.D.
Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Nebojsa Duric, Ph.D.
Professor, Imaging Sciences

Jamie Flerlage, M.D., M.S.
Associate Professor, Pediatrics/Hematology Oncology

Jonathan Friedberg, M.D., M.M.Sc.
Professor, Medicine/Hematology Oncology

Benjamin Frisch, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Scott Gerber, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Surgery/Research

Michael Giacomelli, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering

Angela Glading, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Pharmacology and Physiology

Paige Lawrence, Ph.D.
Professor, Environmental Medicine

Yi-Fen Lee, Ph.D.
 Professor, Urology

Jane Liesveld, M.D.
Professor, Medicine/Hematology Oncology

Brian Marples, Ph.D.
Professor, Radiation Oncology

James McGrath, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Public Health Services

Mohammad Mehrmohammadi, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Imaging Sciences

Richard Moore, M.D.
Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology

Kerry O'Banion, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor, Neurology

James Palis, M.D.
Professor, Pediatrics/Hematology Oncology

Phillip Rappold, M.D., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Urology

Deepak Sahasrabudhe, M.D.
Professor, Medicine/Hematology Oncology

Laurie Steiner, M.D.
Associate Professor, Medicine/Hematology Oncology

Rachael Turner, M.D., Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Medicine/Hematology Oncology

Zhenqiang Yao, B.Med., Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Shu-Chi Yeh, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Orthopaedics

Clive Zent, M.D.
Professor, Medicine/Hematology Oncology

Xinping Zhang, B.Med., Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Orthopaedics