The Khleif Lab

The Jeannie and Tony Loop Immune-Oncology Center

Combination Immunotherapy and immune-cell signaling

Samir N. Khleif, MD

Biomedical Scholar,

Professor of Oncology,

Director of Jeannie and Tony Loop Immuno-Oncology Center,

Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center,

Georgetown University Medical Center

Phone: 202-687-9689 (off)


As an immunologist and immune therapist, my interest has been in developing novel immune therapeutics, cancer vaccines and delineating the mechanisms of resistance to immunotherapy. My research program is translational tumor immunology focused on understanding mechanisms through which the immune system and cancer cells interact and how to overcome tumor tolerance in developing therapeutic approaches. Prior to transferring my research program to Georgetown University, I served as the Director of Georgia Cancer Center, Augusta University and was an intramural NIH scientist for about 20 years. While at NCI, I also served as a leader of the Cancer Vaccine Section, leading a nationally active Immune Therapy Program. As Director of the Cancer Center, I oversaw the development of a large integrated program of basic scientists and clinicians merging the Cancer Center strength in immunology, inflammation and tolerance basic science and immune therapy. We have conducted some of the earliest clinical trials in antigen vaccines and were the first to conduct vaccines against mutant oncogenes. Also, in the past few years we have translated some of the discoveries made in our laboratory into first-in-human immune therapy clinical trials. Furthermore, we have published studies on the mechanisms of tumor-induced suppression in animal models and have overcome such inhibition by developing strategies that have been translated into clinical trials. We have also developed models to understand how different kinds of immune therapies can be combined to work synergistically and translated into clinical trials.