Tim F. Greten, M.D.

Tim F. Greten, M.D.
Deputy Chief
Senior Investigator
Head, Gastrointestinal Malignancy Section
Co-Director, NCI CCR Liver Cancer Program

Dr. Greten is an expert in gastrointestinal (GI) oncology and tumor immunology. His specific research focus is hepatocellular carcinoma and tumor immunology. He is trying to better understand how tumors in the liver interact with the immune system. Dr. Greten received his training in medical oncology, gastroenterology and hepatology in Germany and he has been performing basic and translational research studies in tumor immunology for more than 20 years. He is currently studying novel immune-based approaches to treat patients with hepatocellular carcinoma, cholangiocarcinoma and tumors of the GI tract metastasizing into the liver. Dr. Greten is cochair of the Center of Excellence in Immunology and co-director of the NCI CCR Liver Cancer Program.

Areas of Expertise

1) gastrointestinal cancer, 2) tumor immunology and immunotherapy, 3) hepatocellular carcinoma, 4) liver immunology and cancer, 5) preclinical and translational studies

Contact Info

Tim F. Greten, M.D.
Center for Cancer Research
National Cancer Institute
Building 10, Room 2B38B
Bethesda, MD 20892
Ph: 240-760-6114

Dr. Greten combines his medical expertise in gastroenterology, hepatology and medical oncology with his research expertise in tumor immunology. His research can be best described by the three terms “liver”, “cancer “ and “immunology”. Dr. Greten and his team try to better understand how tumors in the liver interact with the immune system and he utilized this knowledge to develop better treatment options for patients with tumors of the GI tract. Dr. Greten is an expert on immune suppressor mechanisms occurring in patients with liver cancer (and murine models of liver cancer). In his recent work published in Nature in Science he studied how liver disease and the gut microbiome control anti-tumor immunity in the liver. Dr. Greten is also principle investigator of a number of immunotherapy trials in patients with GI cancer and pioneered the combination of locoregional and immune checkpoint blockade in HCC. 

What's Next in Liver Cancer Research - Twitter Live

NIH Scientific Focus Areas:
Cancer Biology, Clinical Research, Immunology
  1. Ma C, Han M, Heinrich B, Fu Q, Zhang Q, Sandhu M, Agdashian D, Terabe M, Berzofsky JA, Fako V, Ritz T, Longerich T, Theriot CM, McCulloch JA, Roy S, Yuan W, Thovarai V, Sen SK, Ruchirawat M, Korangy F, Wang XW, Trinchieri G, Greten TF.
    Science. 360(6391): 2018. [ Journal Article ]
  2. Eggert T, Wolter K, Ji J, Ma C, Yevsa T, Klotz S, Medina-Echeverz J, Longerich T, Forgues M, Reisinger F, Heikenwalder M, Wang XW, Zender L, Greten TF.
    Cancer Cell. 30(4): 533-47, 2016. [ Journal Article ]
  3. Ma C, Kesarwala AH, Eggert T, Medina-Echeverz J, Kleiner DE, Jin P, Stroncek DF, Terabe M, Kapoor V, ElGindi M, Han M, Thornton AM, Zhang H, Egger M, Luo J, Felsher DW, McVicar DW, Weber A, Heikenwalder M, Greten TF.
    Nature. 531(7593): 253-7, 2016. [ Journal Article ]
  4. Duffy AG, Ulahannan SV, Makorova-Rusher O, Rahma O, Wedemeyer H, Pratt D, Davis JL, Hughes MS, Heller T, ElGindi M, Uppala A, Korangy F, Kleiner DE, Figg WD, Venzon D, Steinberg SM, Venkatesan AM, Krishnasamy V, Abi-Jaoudeh N, Levy E, Wood BJ, Greten TF.
    Journal of Hepatology. 66(3): 545-551, 2017. [ Journal Article ]
  5. Hoechst B, Ormandy LA, Ballmaier M, Lehner F, Krüger C, Manns MP, Greten TF, Korangy F.
    Gastroenterology. 135(1): 234-43, 2008. [ Journal Article ]


Tim F. Greten, M.D., received his medical training at Christian Albrechts University in Kiel, Germany in 1993.  He did his internship in Munich followed by a 3-year postdoctoral fellowship at the Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, Maryland),  where he initiated his work in the field of tumor immunology. In 1999 Dr. Greten returned to Hannover Medical School, where he finished his training in Internal Medicine (2003), Medical Oncology (2004) and Gastroenterology (2007). He held an Associate Professor position in the Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Endocrinology.  In February 2010 Dr. Greten joined CCR's Medical Oncology Branch as head of the Gastrointestinal Malignancy Section and was promoted as a tenured Senior Investigator in 2015 and Deputy Branch Chief in 2018. 

Dr. Greten has published more than 150 peer-reviewed papers on basic tumor immunology, translational research studies in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) as well as on clinical trials in different gastrointestinal malignancies, including HCC. Dr. Greten is co-chair of the Center of Excellence in Immunology, member of the Center for Advanced Preclinical Research oversight committee and the NCI Drug Development Collaborative, Co-Director of the NCI-CCR-Liver Cancer Program. and chairs the steering committee of the CCR Center for Cell-based Therapy.


Position Degree Required Contact Name E-mail Address
Post-doctoral Fellow - Tumor immunology, liver cancer Ph.D. or equivalent, M.D. or equivalent Tim Greten Tim.greten@nih.gov
Name Position
Elizabeth Akoth R.N. Research Nurse
Vanessa Catania Postbaccalaureate Fellow (CRTA)
Angelicia Garrison Patient Care Coordinator (Contr.)
Bernd Heinrich Ph.D. Postdoctoral Fellow (Visiting)
Chi Ma Ph.D. Staff Scientist
Donna Mabry Hrones C.R.N.P. Nurse Practitioner
Dariele Marshall Administrative Assistant (Contr.)
Jack McVey MRSP Fellow
Cecilia Monge, M.D., M.P.H., FACP Staff Clinician
Kamil Rechache M.D. Medical Oncology Fellow
Benjamin Ruf M.D. Postdoctoral Fellow (Visiting)
Simon Wabitsch Special Volunteer
Sophie (Chunhui) Wang Biologist
Santhana Webb R.N. Research Nurse
Qianfei Zhang Ph.D. Postdoctoral Fellow (Visiting)
Austin Duffy, M.D. Staff Physician

Associate Professor, University College Dublin, Ireland

Gagandeep Brar, M.D. Medical Oncology Fellow

Columbia University

Charalampos Floudas, M.D. Medical Oncology Fellow

Assistant Research Physician, Genitourinary Malignancies Branch, NCI

Osama Rahma M.D. Medical Oncolgy Fellow

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute 



Oxana Rusher M.D. Medical Oncolgy Fellow

University of Michigan 

Susana Ulahannan M.D. Medical Oncology Fellow

Stephenson Cancer Center 

Changqing Xie, M.D. Ph.D. Medical Oncology Fellow

Physician-Scientist Early Invesitgator, Thoracic and GI Malignancies Branch, NCI 

Christine Koch Medical Student

University of Frankfurt, Germany 

Martin Knüppel Medical Student
Jack McVey Medical Student
Gunnar Neumann Medical Student
Lars Ormandy Medical Student
Frauke Ruthotto Medical Student
Susanne Petrykowska Medical Student
Ulla Schmelter Medical Student

Medizinische Hochschule Hanover, Germany 




Thorsten Voigtländer Medical Student

Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, Germany

Tim Wohlberedt Medical Student
Jose Medina Echiverz Ph.D. Post Doc
Tobias Eggert Ph.D. Pst Doc
Qiong Fu Ph.D. Post Doc


Jaba Gamrekelashvili Post Doc

Medizinische Hochschule Hannover, Germany


Clinical trial to determine whether antibiotics can boost immune response in treating liver cancer

May 14, 2019

Dr. Greten's new study on whether antibodies can boost immune response in treating liver cancer. Learn more...

Liver Tumors Link to the Microbiome

CCR Milestones 2019

A discovery in Dr. Greten's laboratory offers a clear example of how bacteria that live in the gut can hinder the immune system's ability to control tumors in the liver.  Learn more...

Clinical trial finds combination therapy effective for some biliary cancer patients

January 28, 2019

A new, early-phase clinical trial marks and important stepping stone toward pinpointing which patients may benefit most from a combination of a new class of immunotherapy drugs called immune checkpoint inhibitors with radiation therapy.  Learn more...

Excess Fats Give Developing Liver Tumors a Chance to Grow

CCR Milestones 2017

Dr. Greten's study on non-alcohlic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) was recognized as one of CCR's top cancer research milestones in 2017.  Learn more...

Clinical trial shows safety and effectiveness of new combination immunotherapy for advanced liver cancer

May 1, 2017

This recently completed phase I clinical trial at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, demonstrates that a combination of two immunotherapy drugs to target HCC was well-tolerated and shrunk tumors in a larger percentage of patients than the standard chemotherapy.  Learn more...