Robert H. Vonderheide, MD, D.Phil
Associate Director for Translational Research
Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
2013-2014 BCRF Project:
(The Hard Rock Café International Award)
Co-Investigator: Susan M. Domchek, MD, Abramson Cancer Center, University of Pennsylvania
As part of their ongoing efforts to develop and test new immune therapies for patients with breast cancer, Drs. Domchek and Vonderheide have opened to two clinical trials this year, both of which are currently enrolling patients: (1) a novel peptide vaccine that targets the cancer proteins telomerase and survivin, and (2) genetically engineered T cells injected into the tumor and designed to destroy breast cancer cells expressing the c-Met target. These trials are being performed with state-of-the-art immune assessment assays to determine mechanism of action. In addition to continuing these trials in the coming year, the researchers will also design and implement a third clinical trial that targets telomerase using a next-generation gene therapy approach.
Dr. Robert Vonderheide is Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and an investigator of the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute, as well as the Associate Cancer Center Director for Translational Research. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a bachelor of science degree in Chemical Engineering and from Oxford University, England, as a Rhodes Scholar with a doctor of philosophy (D.Phil) degree in Immunology. After graduating from Harvard Medical School, Dr. Vonderheide completed a residency in Internal Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital and subsequently a clinical fellowship in hematology-oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He combines efforts in both basic research and clinical investigation to advance the understanding of tumor immunology and to develop novel immunotherapies for breast cancer.