Robert H. Vonderheide, M.D., D.Phil., is the Hanna Wise professor in Cancer Research at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and an investigator of the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute, as well as the associate director for translational research, at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a bachelor’s 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, 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.
Vonderheide’s laboratory combines efforts in both basic research and clinical investigation to advance the understanding of tumor immunology and to develop novel immunotherapies for cancer. His basic research includes deciphering the immunobiology of novel genetically engineered mouse models of cancer, including the regulation of immune surveillance and the tumor microenvironment by CD40 and other pathways, with a focus on pancreatic cancer. His translational work tests novel approaches such as vaccines, antibodies, and adoptive T cells for the treatment of patients with pancreatic cancer and other cancers. He has studied "universal" tumor antigens, and immune modulatory pathways involving CD40, GM-CSF, PD-1, CTLA-4, and CD25.