Headshot of Mark Gilbert

Mark R. Gilbert, M.D.

  • Center for Cancer Research
  • National Cancer Institute


Dr. Gilbert has focused much of his effort to develop a unified team within the Neuro-Oncology Branch (NOB), in order to perform cutting-edge research that advances knowledge in the brain tumor field. In turn, this enables using these findings to develop robust clinical trials to improve patient outcomes through utilizing innovative combination treatments and precision medicine approaches. 

As the head of the NOB's Translational Immunology Research Program and Precision Medicine Research Program, his primary research concentrations are in the areas of immunotherapy and precision therapy. For immunotherapy, he and his team are working to develop combination therapies that can increase immune cell recruitment to the tumor site and improve patient selection in clinical trials to maximize benefit for those enrolled. His Precision Medicine Research Program focuses on utilizing basic and computational biology to develop synthetic lethal drug pairs that can overcome the challenges of driver mutation targeting—and eventually offer a wider percentage of patients effective therapeutic options.

Explore the NOB's Research Programs >

Areas of Expertise

Information for Patients

Learn about our multidisciplinary approach to patient care, our clinical trials and the highly specialized care teams who lead them.


Selected Recent Publications

A Phase II Study of Dose-Dense Temozolomide and Lapatiniv for Recurrent Low-Grade and Anaplastic Supratentorial, Infratenrial, and Spinal Cord Ependymoma

Gilbert MR, Yuan Y, Wu J, Mendoza T, Vera E, Omuro A, Lieberman F, Robins HI, Gerstner ER, Wu J, Wen PY, Mikkelsen F, Aldape K, Armstrong TS
Neuro-Oncology. 23(3): 468-477, 2021. [ Journal Article ]

Dexamethasone-induced immunosuppression: mechanisms and implications for immunotherapy.

Giles AJ, Hutchinson MND, Sonnemann HM, Jung J, Fecci PE, Ratnman NM, Zhang W, Song H, Bailey R, Davis D, Reid CM, Park DM, Gilbert MR
Journal of Immunotherapy. 6(1): 51, 2018. [ Journal Article ]

Randomized phase II adjuvant factorial study of dose-dense temozolomide alone and in combination with isotretinoin, celecoxib, and/or thalidomide for glioblastoma.

Penas-Prado M, Hess KR, Fisch MJ, Lagrone LW, Groves MD, Levin VA, De Groot JF, Puduvalli VK, Colman H, Volas-Redd G, Giglio P, Conrad CA, Salacz ME, Floyd JD, Loghin ME, Hsu SH, Gonzalez J, Chang EL, Woo SY, Mahajan A, Aldape KD, Yumg WK, Gilbert MR, MD Anderson Community Clinical Oncology Program, Brain Tumor Trials Collaborative
Neuro-Oncology. 17(2): 266-73, 2015. [ Journal Article ]

A randomized trial of bevacizumab for newly diagnosed glioblastoma

Gilbert MR, Dignam JJ, Armstrong TS, Wefel JS, Blumenthal DT, Vogelbuam MA, Colman H, Chakravarti A, Pugh S, Won M, Jeraj R, Brown PD, Jaeckle KA, Schiff D, Stieber VW, Brachman DG, Werner-Wasi M, Tremont-Lukats I, Sulman EP, Aldape KD, Curran WJ, Mehta MP
New England Journal of Medicine. 370(8): 699-708, 2014. [ Journal Article ]

Dose-dense temozolomide for newly diagnosed glioblastoma: a randomized phase III clinical trial

Gilbert MR, Wang M, Aldape KD, Stupp R, Hegi ME, Jaeckle KA, Armstrong TS, Wefel JS, Won M, Blumenthal DT, Mahajan A, Schultz CJ, Erridge S, Baumert B, Hopkins KI, Tzuk-Shina T, Brown PD, Chakravarti A, Curran WJ, Mehta MP
Journal of Clinical Oncology. 31(32): 4085-91, 2013. [ Journal Article ]

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Scientist II
Meili Zhang, M.D., Ph.D.
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Wei Zhang, M.D., Ph.D.


Headshot of Mark Gilbert with the words: "2022 Joel A. Gingras Jr. Award Recipient"

Mark Gilbert, M.D., Earns American Brain Tumor Association’s Joel A. Gingras Jr. Award

September 5, 2022

The Neuro-Oncology Branch chief was recognized for his work spearheading brain tumor research collaborations and expanding clinical trial access. Read more >

Headshots of the NOB's three summer interns

Translational Research Immersion Program Interns Share Their Projects at the Annual Summer Poster Day

August 11, 2022

Summer interns investigated methods to improve immunotherapy, tailor survivorship programs, and target cancer cells using antibiotics. Read more >

Headshot of Dr. Gilbert in lab coat

Translational Immunology: Making Immunotherapy Effective for Patients with Brain Tumors 

Dr. Mark Gilbert leads the Translational Immunology Program, which investigates the unique nature of the immune response in the brain to improve patient outcomes. Read more >

Nurse taking blood from patient

New Immunotherapy Study for Glioblastoma

A clinical trial investigates immune checkpoint inhibitors with standard treatment in people with aggressive brain cancers to understand the immune system response and improve long-term outcomes. Read more >

Student working at a computer

2021 Summer Internship Program

The NOB welcomed six summer interns for the summer 2021 cohort who were able to observe and engage with clinical and laboratory professionals that lead clinical, translational, and basic research. Read more >

Hand holding pills and cup of water

Oral Drug Combination Shows Benefit for Adults with Ependymoma

Learn how results from the first prospective clinical trial for adults with ependymoma led to a change in treatment guidelines, offering hope to control the disease and improve symptoms. Read more >

Scientist in lab working at computer

Neuro-Oncology Branch 2020 Year in Review

January 22, 2021

Together, our clinical team, research laboratories, and staff have made meaningful advancements to improve outcomes for patients and their families impacted by brain and spine tumors. Read more >

Illustration showing the progression of tumor cells from the tumor core (CT) to the leading edge of the tumor (LE) through an intermediate state (IT), towards a proliferating state (CTmvp) close to vasculature or a necrotic state (CTpan).

Exploratory Adaptation Explains How Glioblastoma Cells Adapt and Survive 

February 5, 2020

Dr. Orieta Celiku and Dr. Mark Gilbert used bioinformatics and mathematical modeling to find tools to explain how glioblastoma cells may adapt to survive in stressful conditions. Read more >

Dr. Mark Gilbert and Dr. Nivi Ratnam

Celebrating National Mentoring Month

January 31, 2020

We celebrate our impactful mentors in the Neuro-Oncology Branch for National Mentoring Month. Our postdoctoral fellows share their love for science and how their mentors have made their experience at NIH more rewarding. Read more >

Drawing of the inside of the brain showing the supratentorium (the upper part of the brain) and the infratentorium (the lower back part of the brain).

Clinical Trial Tests a New Drug Therapy for Recurrent Ependymomas of the Brain and Spinal Cord

May 28, 2019

Dr. Mark Gilbert, chief of the Neuro-Oncology Branch, is leading a trial of marizomib, a drug that targets ependymomas that have a specific genetic signature by slowing the spread of cancer cells. Read more >

Nanoparticles in the brain

Clinical Trial Studies Antitumor Effect of Sunitinib in Central Nervous System Sarcomas

February 4, 2019

Dr. Mark Gilbert is leading a trial of the cancer drug sunitinib for recurrent gliosarcoma and previously treated sarcomas of the CNS, which comprises the brain and spinal cord. Read more >

Glioblastoma cells in culture

Can Immunotherapy Succeed in Glioblastoma? 

May 24, 2018

Despite some setbacks, researchers like Dr. Mark Gilbert are hopeful that immunotherapy might be able to succeed where other therapies have not and successfully treat brain tumors. Read more >