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BioQuant Seminar

Dissecting and overcoming different shades of cancer immune evasion

Dr. Benjamin Izar
Human Immune Monitoring Core, Columbia University

  2:00 PM     SR41


Human tumors are complex ecosystems whose fate is determined by a balance of interactions between cancer cells and the host. Cancer immune evasion is a requisite for the development and maintenance of cancers, and determines response or resistance to modern immunotherapies. Emerging technologies enable more precise, scalable, and refined interrogation of these complex, poorly understood interactions and pave the way toward improved therapies. Informed by multi-modal single-cell profiling of human tumors and analysis of population genetics, we employ functional screens to mechanistically define and tune genomic (e.g., chromosomal instability), adaptive (e.g., CD58-CD2 axis) and microenvironmental features (e.g., T cell states) impacting tumor immunity.


Dr. Izar received is a physician-scientist who completed his medical school training at the Justus Liebig University in Giessen, where he was graduated summa cum laude. He performed his clinical training and medical oncology at Harvard Medical School teaching hospitals, followed by post-doctoral work in the Garraway and Regev labs at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. In 2020, Ben started his laboratory at Columbia University, where is now holds the endowed Milstein Assistant Professorship of Medicine. Ben’s group leverages and develops novel technologies to study mechanisms at the intersection of cancer immune evasion, metastatic progression and organotropism, and immune engineering. Additionally, Ben continues a clinical practice focussing on the treatment of patients with advanced melanoma and lung cancer.

Selected Publications 

  1. Chris Frangieh et al.,  Nature Genetics, 2021 
  2. Johannes Melms et al.,  Nature, 2021
  3. Jana Biermann et al.  Cell, 2022
  4. Yiping Wang et al. Nature Genetics 2023
  5. Patricia Ho et al. Cancer Cell, 2023
  6. Meri Rogava et al., Nature Cancer, 2024
  7. Zachary Walsh et al.  Nature Biotechnology, 2024 

We received partial funding for his visit from Health and Life Sciences Alliance HD-Mannheim and the MULTI-SPACE.