Paul F. Robbins, Ph.D.

Paul F. Robbins, Ph.D.
Staff Scientist
Head, DNA Sequencing and FACS Cores

My group is focused primarily on 2 projects: studies of the association of characteristics of tumor reactive T cells administered to patients and clinical response and the generation of high affinity TCRs for the treatment of patients with cancer. Recent studies have focused on the identification of mutated antigens recognized by T cells derived from patients with a variety of cancers including melanoma, colon, breast, ovarian and lung cancer by carrying out high-throughput sequencing of tumor DNA and RNA. The results have demonstrated that more mutation reactive T cells can be identified in more than 80% of patients with these common cancers. In addition, treatment of patients with enriched populations of mutation reactive T cells have led to substantial tumor regressions in two patients with gastrointestinal cancers. Further studies will hopefully lead to the development of highly effective and broadly applicable immunotherapies for the treatment of patients with these solid cancers.

Areas of Expertise
immunotherapy, T cell biology, whole exome sequencing, FACS

Contact Info

Paul F. Robbins, Ph.D.
Center for Cancer Research
National Cancer Institute
CRC, Rm. 3-5744
Bethesda, MD 20854
Ph: 301 402-2069
Paul_Robbins@nih.gov

My group is focused primarily on 2 projects: studies of the association of characteristics of tumor reactive T cells administered to patients and clinical response and the generation of high affinity TCRs for the treatment of patients with cancer. These studies have demonstrated that T cell persistence as well as the telomere length of administered T cells is associated with clinical response. Additional studies have indicated that expression of the cellular differentiation marker CD27 is associated with response to therapy. Recent studies have focused on the identification of mutated antigens recognized by T cells derived from patients with a variety of cancers including melanoma, colon, breast, ovarian and lung cancer by carrying out high-throughput sequencing of tumor DNA and RNA. The results have demonstrated that more mutation reactive T cells can be identified in more than 80% of patients with these common cancers. In addition, treatment of patients with enriched populations of mutation reactive T cells have led to substantial tumor regressions in two patients with gastrointestinal cancers.  Further studies will hopefully lead to the development of highly effective and broadly applicable immunotherapies for the treatment of patients with these solid cancers.

Selected Publications

  1. Gros A, Parkhurst MR, Tran E, Pasetto A, Robbins PF, Ilyas S, Prickett TD, Gartner JJ, Crystal JS, Roberts IM, Trebska-McGowan K, Wunderlich JR, Yang JC, Rosenberg SA
    Nat Med. 22(4): 433-8, 2016. [ Journal Article ]
  2. Cohen CJ, Gartner JJ, Horovitz-Fried M, Shamalov K, Trebska-McGowan K, Bliskovsky VV, Parkhurst MR, Ankri C, Prickett TD, Crystal JS, Li YF, El-Gamil M, Rosenberg SA, Robbins PF
    J Clin Invest. 125 (10): 3981-91, 2015. [ Journal Article ]
  3. Gros A, Robbins PF, Yao X, Li YF, Turcotte S, Tran E, Wunderlich JR, Mixon A, Farid S, Dudley ME, Hanada K, Almeida JR, Darko S, Douek DC, Yang JC, Rosenberg SA.
    J Clin Invest. 124 (5): 2246-59, 2014. [ Journal Article ]
  4. Tran E, Ahmadzadeh M, Lu YC, Gros A, Turcotte S, Robbins PF, Gartner JJ, Zheng Z, Li YF, Ray S, Wunderlich JR, Somerville RP, Rosenberg SA
    Science. 250 (6266): 1387-90, 2015. [ Journal Article ]
  5. Tran E, Turcotte S, Gros A, Robbins PF, Lu YC, Dudley ME, Wunderlich JR, Somerville RP, Hogan K, Hinrichs CS, Parkhurst MR, Yang JC, Rosenberg SA.
    Science. 344: 641-5, 2014. [ Journal Article ]
Name Position
Shawn Farid Research Biologist
Jared J. Gartner Research Biologist
Li Jia Senior Bioinformatics Analyst (Contr)
Yong Fang Li Research Biologist
Arnold Mixon Research Biologist
Todd D. Prickett Ph.D. Technical Lab Manager
Abraham Sachs Postbaccalaureate Fellow (CRTA)