Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Wainwright Laboratory of Brain Aging, Cancer Immunology, and Immunotherapy

Our Mission

Our laboratory engages in basic, translational, and clinical research that aims to improve the survival of adults that are diagnosed with brain cancer. We actively think up and investigate new ideas that we then test in our brain tumor models for the translation of those new approaches into novel clinical trials. We also perform immunocorrelative analyses of human brain cancer patients that are enrolled in the clinical trials that were thought up and validated by our group. Our ultimate goal is to find a cure for adults with primary brain cancer. Read more about us

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News & Events

Congratulations to Dr. Lijie Zhai for revising the theory of how cancer cell IDO suppresses the anti-tumor immune response, here

Dr. Wainwright was selected as a American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) NextGen Allstar where he will present the laboratory’s work in one of the major symposia during the upcoming 2022 AACR Annual Meeting!!!

Thank you to the GBM Foundation for their generous donation to our laboratory research!!!

Congratulations to DGP Graduate Student April Bell for being awarded an NIH/NCI T32 Carcinogenesis Training Slot!!!

Welcome Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Prashant Bommi Ph.D. to the team!!! Dr. Bommi will be specifically developing and optimizing IDO PROTACs for the treatment of malignant brain tumors.

Congratulations to Dr. Erik Ladomersky Ph.D. for accepting a Senior Scientist of Immuno-Oncology position at Abbvie. We will miss you but are excited for this huge advance in your scientific career!!!

Congratulations to Dr. Lakshmi Bollu Ph.D. for accepting a Senior Scientist of Immuno-Oncology position at Eli Lilly. We will miss you but are excited for this huge advance in your scientific career!!!

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Selected Publications

Zhai L, Bell A, Ladomersky E, Lauing KL, Bollu L, Nguyen B, Genet M, Kim M, Chen P, Mi X, Wu JD, Schipma MJ, Wray B, Griffiths J, Unwin RD, Clark SJ, Acharya R, Bao R, Horbinski C, Lukas RV, Schiltz GE, Wainwright DA. 2021. Tumor cell IDO enhances immune suppression and decreases survival independent of tryptophan metabolism in glioblastoma. Clinical Cancer Research. In Press. PMID: 34479957

Kim M, Ladomersky E, Mozny A, Kocherginsky M, O’Shea K, Reinstein ZZ, Zhai L, Bell A, Lauing KL, Bollu L, Rabin E, Dixit K, Kumthekar P, Platanias LC, Hou L, Zheng Y, Wu JD, Zhang B, Hrachova M, Merrill SA, Mrugala MM, Prabhu VC, Horbinski C, James CD, Yamini B, Ostom QT, Johnson MO, Reardon DA, Lukas RV, Wainwright DA. 2021. Glioblastoma as an age-related neurological disorder in adults. Neuro-Oncology Advances. In Press.

Zhai L, Bell A, Ladomersky E, Lauing KL, Bollu L, Sosman JA, Zhang B, Wu JD, Miller SD, Meeks JJ, Lukas RV, Wyatt E, Doglio L, Schiltz GE, McCusker RH, Wainwright. 2020. Immunosuppressive IDO in cancer: mechanisms of action, animal models, and targeting strategies. Frontiers in Immunology. 11:1185. PMID: 32612606

Ladomersky E, Zhai L, Lauing KL, Bell A, Xu J, Kocherginsky M, Zhang B, Wu JD, Podojil JR, Platanias LC, Mochizuki AY, Prins RM, Kumthekar P, Raizer JJ, Dixit K, Lukas RV, Horbinski C, Wei M, Zhou C, Pawelec G, Campisi J, Grohmann U, Prendergast GC, Munn DH, Wainwright DA. 2020. Advanced age increases immunosuppression in the brain and decreases immunotherapeutic efficacy in subjects with glioblastoma. Clinical Cancer Research. 26(19):5232-5245. PMID: 32546647

Zhai L, Bell A, Ladomersky E, Lauing KL, Bollu LR, Sosman JA, Zhang B, Wu JD, Miller SD, Meeks JJ, Lukas RV, Wyatt E, Doglio L, Schiltz GE, McCusker RH, Wainwright DA. 2020. Immunosuppressive IDO in cancer: mechanisms of action, animal models, and targeting strategies. Frontiers in Immunology. 11:1185. PMID: 32612606

Otto-Meyer S, DeFaccio R, Dussold C, Ladomersky E, Zhai L, Lauing KL, Bollu LR, Amidei C, Lukas RV, Scholtens DM, Wainwright DA. 2020. A retrospective survival analysis of glioblastoma patients treated with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity - Health. pii: 100025. PMID: 32190845

Zhai L, Ladomersky E, Bell A, Dussold C, Cardoza K, Qian J, Lauing KL, Wainwright DA. 2019. Quantification of IDO1 enzyme activity in normal and malignant tissues. Methods in Enzymology. 629:257-267. PMID: 31727243

Lukas RV, Wainwright DA, Ladomersky E, Sachdev S, Sonabend AM, Stupp R. Newly diagnosed glioblastoma: a review on clinical management. 2019. Oncology Live. 33(3): 91-100. PMID: 30866031

Otto-Meyer S, Lumibao J, Kim E, Ladomersky E, Zhai L, Lauing KL, Scholtens DM, Penedo F, Amidei C, Lukas RV, Wainwright DA. The interplay among psychological distress, the immune system, and brain tumor patient outcomes. 2019. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences. 28: 44-50. PMID: 31049368

Ladomersky E, Scholtens DM, Kocherginsky M, Hibler EA, Bartom ET, Otto-Meyer S, Zhai L, Lauing KL, Choi J, Sosman JA, Wu JD, Zhang B, Lukas RV, Wainwright DA. The coincidence between increasing age, immunosuppression, and the incidence of patients with glioblastoma. 2019. Frontiers in Pharmacology. 10: 200. PMID: 30971917

Zhai L, Ladomersky E, Lauing KL, Wu M, Scholtens DM, Savoor R, Zhang B, Wu JD, Horbinski C, Lukas RV, Binder DC, Wainwright DA. 2018. Commentary: preclinical efficacy of immune checkpoint monotherapy does not recapitulate corresponding biomarkers-based clinical predictions in glioblastoma by Garg et al. (2017). Oncoimmunology. 8(3): 1548242. PMID: 30723577

Binder DC, Ladomersky E, Lenzen A, Zhai L, Lauing KL, Otto-Meyer SD, Lukas RV, Wainwright DA. 2018. Lessons learned from rindopepimut treatment in patients with EGFRvIII-expressing glioblastoma. Translational Cancer Research. 7(Suppl 4):S510-S513. PMID: 30283731.

Ladomersky E, Zhai L, Lenzen A, Lauing KL, Qian J, Scholtens DM, Gritsina G, Sun X, Liu Y, Yu F, Gong W, Liu Y, Jiang B, Tang Z, Patel R, Platanias LC, James CD, Stupp R, Lukas RV, Binder DC, Wainwright DA. 2018. IDO1 inhibition synergizes with radiation and PD-1 blockade to durably increase survival against advanced glioblastoma. Clinical Cancer Research. 24(11):2559-2573. PMID: 29500275

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Derek Wainwright, PhD

Derek Wainwright, PhD
Assistant Professor in Neurological Surgery

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