Jeffrey C. Gildersleeve, Ph.D.

Jeffrey C. Gildersleeve, Ph.D.
Senior Investigator
Head, Chemical Glycobiology Section

The Gildersleeve group works at the interface of chemistry, glycobiology, and immunology. We use chemical approaches to 1) aid the design and development of cancer and HIV vaccines, 2) identify clinically useful biomarkers, and 3) better understand the roles of carbohydrates in cancer and HIV immunology. To facilitate these studies, we have developed a glycan microarray that allows high-throughput profiling of serum anti-glycan antibody populations.

Link to additional information about Dr. Gildersleeve's research.

Areas of Expertise
1) glycan array technology, 2) cancer biomarkers, 3) cancer vaccines, 4) anti-glycan antibodies, 5) synthesis of carbohydrate antigens

Contact Info

Jeffrey C. Gildersleeve, Ph.D.
Center for Cancer Research
National Cancer Institute
Building 376, Room 208
Frederick, MD 21702-1201
Ph: 301-846-5699

​The goal of our group is to understand and exploit anti-carbohydrate immunity to improve cancer and HIV care. We have a special interest in 1) the design and development of cancer and HIV vaccines, 2) the identification of clinically useful biomarkers, and 3) the development of immunotherapies for cancer.  To facilitate these studies, we have developed a carbohydrate microarray, or glycan array, that allows high-throughput profiling of serum anti-glycan antibody populations.  The array has approximately 500 array components, including a diverse collection of glycans, glycopeptides, and natural glycoproteins.  Our array is unique in that we use multivalent neoglycoproteins as our primary array components.  This format allows us to readily translate array results to other applications and affords novel approaches to vary glycan presentation. 

     The main focus of our current and future research is to study the roles of anti-glycan antibodies in the development, progression, and treatment of cancer.  These projects are shedding new light on how cancer vaccines and other immunotherapies work and are uncovering new biomarkers for precision medicine.  For example, we are studying immune responses induced by PROSTVAC-VF, a therapeutic cancer vaccine in Phase III clinical trials for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer. We have identified several serum biomarkers that may allow physicians to target PROSTVAC-VF to patients that are likely to respond favorably. In addition to our work on vaccines, we are also interested in the development of new antibodies to tumor associated carbohydrate antigens for diagnostic and therapeutic applications.  These projects are highly collaborative in nature and are focused on translating basic research from the bench to the clinic.

We rely heavily on glycan array technology to study immune responses to carbohydrates, and we continually strive to improve this technology.  First, carbohydrate-protein interactions often involve formation of multivalent complexes.  Therefore, presentation is a key feature of recognition.  We have developed several new approaches to vary carbohydrate presentation on the surface of the array, including methods to vary glycan density and neoglycoprotein density.  Second, we use synthetic organic chemistry to obtain a diverse set of tumor-associated carbohydrates and glycopeptides to populate our array.

Collaborations and Carbohydrate Microarray Screening

We are frequently asked to screen lectins, antibodies, and other entities on our array.  Although we are not a core facility and do not provide screening services per se, we are happy to collaborate on many projects, especially those related to cancer.  Please contact Jeff Gildersleeve for more details.  

Scientific Focus Areas:
Chemical Biology, Immunology
  1. Sterner, E.; Peach, M.L.; Nicklaus, M.C.; Gildersleeve, J.C.
    Cell Reports. 20/7: 1681-1691, 2017. [ Journal Article ]
  2. Xia, L.; Schrump, David, S.: Gildersleeve, J.C.
    Cell Chemical Biology. 23/12: Elsevier 1515-1525, 2016. [ Journal Article ]
  3. Muthana, S.; Gulley, JL; Hodge, JW; Schlom, J; Gildersleeve, J.C.
    Oncotarget. 6: 32244-32256, 2015. [ Journal Article ]
  4. Campbell CT, Gulley JL, Oyelaran O, Hodge JW, Schlom J, Gildersleeve JC
    Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 111(17): E1749-1758, 2014. [ Journal Article ]
  5. Campbell CT, Gulley JL, Oyelaran O, Hodge JW, Schlom J, Gildersleeve JC
    Clin. Cancer Res.. 19(5): 1290-1299, 2013. [ Journal Article ]

Jeff Gildersleeve obtained his B.S. degree in biology in 1993 from the University of California at San Diego.  He obtained his Ph.D. degree in organic chemistry at Princeton University under the guidance of Professor Dan Kahne, and completed postdoctoral training with Professor Peter Schultz at The Scripps Research Institute. He began his independent career at the National Cancer Institute in 2003 and is currently a Senior Investigator in the Chemical Biology Laboratory.  The Gildersleeve group uses chemical approaches and glycan microarray technology to study the roles of anti-carbohydrate immune responses in the development, progression, and treatment of cancer and HIV.  Dr. Gildersleeve is a recipient of the 2006 NCI Director’s Innovation Award and the 2011 David Y. Gin New Investigator Award from the Division of Carbohydrate Chemistry of the American Chemical Society.  He also serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of ACS Central Science, the Editorial Board of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, the Editorial Board of Cell Chemical Biology and the Scientific Advisory Board of the Canadian Glycomics Network.

Name Position
Dorothy Ackerman Ph.D. Postdoctoral Fellow (CRTA)
Molly Congdon Ph.D. Postdoctoral Fellow (CRTA)
Andrew DeLaitsch B.S. Postbaccalaureate Fellow
David W. Farnsworth M.S. Research Chemist
J. Sebastian Temme Ph.D. Postdoctoral Fellow (CRTA)
Li Xia Ph.D. Postdoctoral Fellow (Visiting)

The Database of Anti-Glycan Reagents (DAGR) is a community resource to help researchers identify carbohydrate-binding antibodies and lectins.  The DAGR website can be used to search for antibodies and lectins, find information about antibodies/lectins, and add new antibodies/lectins to the database.

The Database of Anti-Glycan Reagents can be found at the following link: