Paul F. Robbins, Ph.D.

Paul F. Robbins, Ph.D.

  • Center for Cancer Research
  • National Cancer Institute
Surgery Branch


My group is focused primarily on two 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

1) immunotherapy 2) T cell biology 3) whole exome sequencing 4) FACS


Selected Publications

Prospective identification of neoantigen-specific lymphocytes in the peripheral blood of melanoma patients

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 ]

Isolation of neoantigen-specific T cells from tumor and peripheral lymphocytes

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 ]

PD-1 identifies the patient-specific CD8⁺ tumor-reactive repertoire infiltrating human tumors.

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 ]

Immunogenicity of somatic mutations in human gastrointestinal cancers

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 ]

Cancer immunotherapy based on mutation-specific CD4+ T cells in a patient with epithelial cancer

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 ]


Research Biologist
Shawn Farid
Research Biologist
Jared J. Gartner
Research Fellow
Victoria Hill, Ph.D.
Research Fellow
Sri Krishna, Ph.D.
Research Biologist
Yong Fang Li
Research Biologist
Arnold Mixon
Clinical Fellow
Shirley Nah, M.D.
Bioinformatics Specialist (Contr.)
Sivasish Sindiri, M.S.
Clinical Fellow
Bradley White, M.D.