Nicholas Tschernia

Nicholas P. Tschernia, M.D.

  • Center for Cancer Research
  • National Cancer Institute
Center for Immuno-Oncology


I am a physician scientist with a focus on developing new cellular immunotherapy treatments for cancer patients. The goal of my research is to harness the capacity of a patient’s own immune system and retarget it against their cancer. We can accomplish this by borrowing some of a patient’s immune cells, known as lymphocytes or T cells, and genetically modify them to recognize a target on their cancer. These engineered T cells, or chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells, are then returned to the patient, as a personalized therapy ready to search out cancer cells and eliminate them.

My laboratory is dedicated to identifying new potential targets on solid tumors and on ways to improve the quality and fitness of the engineered cells so they can work more effectively.

Additionally, I lead phase 1 and 2 clinical trials to evaluate the effectiveness of these treatments, collaborating with basic scientists, translational researchers, and biopharmaceutical partners – all of whom share a collective mission to optimize the body's own defenses and improve cancer outcomes.

Areas of Expertise

Information for Patients

Learn more about our clinical trials and the highly specialized care teams that lead them.

Clinical Trials

  • Open - Not yet Recruiting
    Summary Not Yet Available. Call Referral Contact.

    Phase I/Ib study evaluating safety and efficacy of PRGN-3005 (autologous CAR T cells) in advanced stage platinum resistant ovarian cancer patients

    Protocol ID


Selected Key Publications

T cells expressing CD19 chimeric antigen receptors for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in children and young adults: a phase 1 dose-escalation trial.

Lee DW, Kochenderfer JN, Stetler-Stevenson M, Cui YK, Delbrook C, Feldman SA, Fry TJ, Orentas R, Sabatino M, Shah NN, Steinberg SM, Stroncek D, Tschernia N, Yuan C, Zhang H, Zhang L, Rosenberg SA, Wayne AS, Mackall CL.
Lancet. 385(9967): 517-528, 2015.
Full-Text Article
[ Journal Article ]

Chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan 4 specific chimeric antigen receptor therapy for pediatric solid tumors

Tschernia N, Orentas R, Mackall C.
J Immunother Cancer. 2(Suppl 3): 39, 2014.
Full-Text Article
[ Journal Article ]

A Phase I Single-Arm Study of Biweekly NHS-IL12 in Patients With Metastatic Solid Tumors

Gatti-Mays ME, Tschernia NP, Strauss J, Madan RA, Karzai FH, Bilusic M, Redman J, Sater HA, Floudas CS, Toney NJ, Donahue RN, Jochems C, Marté JL, Francis D, McMahon S, Lamping E, Cordes L, Schlom J, Gulley JL.
Oncologist. 28(4): 364-e217, 2023.
Full-Text Article
[ Journal Article ]

Safety and Efficacy of Pembrolizumab Prior to Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation for Acute Myelogenous Leukemia

Tschernia NP, Kumar V, Moore DT, Vincent BG, Coombs CC, Van Deventer H, Foster MC, DeZern AE, Luznik L, Riches ML, Serody JS, Gojo I, Zeidner JF.
Transplant Cell Ther. 27(12): 1021.e1-1021.e5, 2021.
Full-Text Article
[ Journal Article ]

Patient-reported outcomes in CD30-directed CAR-T cells against relapsed/refractory CD30+ lymphomas

Tschernia NP, Heiling H, Deal AM, Cheng C, Babinec C, Gonzalez M, Morrison JK, Dittus C, Dotti G, Beaven AW, Serody JS, Wood WA, Savoldo B, Grover NS.
J Immunother Cancer. 11(8): e006959, 2023.
Full-Text Article
[ Journal Article ]

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