Headshot of Masaki Terabe

Masaki Terabe, Ph.D.

  • Center for Cancer Research
  • National Cancer Institute
Neuro-Oncology Branch


Dr. Terabe is a trained immunologist who heads the Basic Immunology Research Program at the Neuro-Oncology Branch (NOB). He seeks to understand the mechanisms of immune regulation in cancer patients. He hopes to elucidate what drives the immune system to fail to eliminate a tumor—and use those findings to therapeutically trigger the immune system to act more effectively against the tumor (an approach called immunotherapy). His research currently focuses on natural killer T (NKT) cells, a lesser-known component of the immune system with the response rate of the innate immune system but the antigen specificity of the adaptive immune system. They are unique cells that can be recruited to attack tumors and/or help other immune cells destroy malignant cells. Dr. Terabe hopes to translate his knowledge on NKT cells to new cancer treatments that can help patients combat brain tumors more effectively.

Explore the NOB's Research Programs >

Areas of Expertise

Tumor Immunology
Natural Killer T-Cells (NKTs)


Selected Recent Publications

Targeting the CD47/thrombospondin-1 signaling axis regulates immune cell bioenergetics in the tumor microenvironment to potentiate antitumor immune response

Stirling ER, Terabe M, Wilson AS, Kooshki M, Yamaleyeva LM, Alexander-Miller MA, Zhang W, Miller LD, Triozzi PL, Soto-Pantoja DR
Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer. 10(11): e004712, 2022. [ Journal Article ]

MAIT cells and MR1 play an immunosuppressive role in glioblastoma through the induction of neutrophils and MDSCs

Hana T, Terabe M
bioRxiv. 2022.
Full-Text Article
[ Journal Article ]

Mouse nEoanTigen pRedictOr pipeline (METRO)

Kuhn S, Sevilla S, Steffke E, Terabe M, Koparde V, Hana T
GitHub. 2022.
Full-Text Article

The Role of NKT Cells in Glioblastoma

Brettschneider EES, Terabe M
Cells. 10(7): 1641, 2021. [ Journal Article ]

Unique challenges for glioblastoma immunotherapy-discussions across neuro-oncology and non-neuro-oncology experts in cancer immunology. Meeting Report from the 2019 SNO Immuno-Oncology Think Tank.

Chuntova P, Chow F, Watchmaker PB, Galvez M, Heimberger AB, Newell EW, Diaz A, DePinho RA, Li MO, Wherry EJ, Mitchell D, Terabe M, Wainwright DA, Berzofsky JA, Herold-Mende C, Heath JR, Lim M, Margolin KA, Chiocca EA, Kasahara N, Ellingson BM, Brown CE, Chen Y, Fecci PE, Reardon DA, Dunn GP, Liau LM, Costello JF, Wick W, Cloughesy T, Timmer WC, Wen PY, Prins RM, Platten M, Okada H
Neuro-Oncology. 23(3): 356–375, 2021. [ Journal Article ]

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Visiting Fellow
Seketoulie Keretsu, Ph.D.
Hye Kyung Kim, M.D.
Postbaccalaureate Fellow (IRTA/CRTA)
Morgan Coombs
Special Volunteer
Laila Latifi


Hands in lab gloves looking at a tube in an ice bucket

Immunology and the Brain: Scientific Discoveries Needs to Improve Patient Outcomes

February 9, 2022

As the lead of the Basic Immunology Research Program, Dr. Terabe investigates the functions of T cells in brain and spine cancers, in order to glean a better understanding of glioblastoma immunobiology. 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 >

Dr. Masaki Terabe and Dr. Vibhuti Joshi in lab

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 >