Dr. Robert L. Ferris is Hillman Professor of Oncology and Director of the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, Associate Vice Chancellor for Cancer Research, and Professor of Otolaryngology, of Immunology, and of Radiation Oncology. He also co-directs the Tumor Microenvironment Center. Dr. Ferris currently serves on the Editorial Boards of JNCI, JCO, Clinical Cancer Research, and Cancer Immunology Research, and as Section Editor for Cancer. He is Editor in Chief of Oral Oncology. Dr. Ferris has published over 300 peer-reviewed manuscripts and book chapters. He was elected co-chair of the NCI Head and Neck Steering committee (from 2015-2021) to facilitate prospective clinical trials, and currently chairs the NIH Tumor Microenvironment (TME) study section.
Dr. Ferris's NIH-funded laboratory is focused on reversal of immune escape and immunotherapy using monoclonal antibodies and vaccines, leading randomized phase II-III trials of cancer immunotherapy. He is Principal Investigator of several prospective randomized trials, including Checkmate-141, which led to the FDA approval of Nivolumab for head and neck cancer; ECOG 3311, which is testing radiation dose-deintensification after transoral robotic surgery (TORS) for HPV+ oropharynx cancer; and several combination trials of anti-PD1 plus inhibitors of CTLA-4, IDO, and LAG-3. He is a Principal Investigator of the University of Pittsburgh Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant for translational head and neck research, and a T32 training grant, "Training of Head and Neck Oncologists," both funded by the National Cancer Institute until 2020.
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