Multidisciplinary Research Programs

Many CCIR investigators are part of large, multidisciplinary research programs (MRPs) that are designed to accelerate the translation of discoveries made in basic immunology research into the development of various forms of cancer immunotherapy.   A list of currently and previously funded MRPs is shown below. Sponsors of CCIR-affiliated MRPs include Stand Up to Cancer-Cancer Research Institute (SU2C/CRI), the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the W. M. Keck Foundation,  the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS).  

Currently Funded MRPs 

  1. SU2C/CRI Immunology Dream Team: Immune Checkpoint Blockade and Adoptive Cell Transfer in Cancer Therapy
    Award Period: January 1, 2013 - December 31, 2016
    Leaders: James Allison, Ph.D.; Antoni Ribas, M.D., Ph.D.
    Co-leaders: Drew Pardoll, M.D., Ph.D.; Cassian Yee, M.D.
    With MD Anderson collaborators: Padmanee Sharma, M.D., Ph.D.; Patrick Hwu, M.D.; Lynda Chin, M.D.; Louis Pisters, M.D.; Patricia Troncoso, M.D.; Christopher Wood, M.D.; Peter Thall, Ph.D.; Surena Matin, M.D.; John Ward, M.D.; Ana Aparicio, M.D.; and Priya Rao, M.D.
    Institutions: MD Anderson, UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins University, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, California Institute of Technology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and the Netherlands Cancer Institute
  2. NCI P50:  MD Anderson Multiple Myeloma SPORE
    Award Period: July 1, 2010 – June 30, 2015
    Principal Investigator:  Robert Orlowski, M.D.
    Project Leader: Larry W. Kwak, M.D., Ph.D.
    Core Leader: R. Eric Davis, M.D., Ph.D.
    Institutions:  MD Anderson, University of Pennsylvania, and Virginia Commonwealth University
  3. NCI PO1*:  Activation of Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cells (pDCs) to Induce Antitumor Activity
    Award Period:  September 10, 2008 – August 31, 2013
    Principal Investigators:  Patrick Hwu, M.D.; Yong-Jun Liu, M.D., Ph.D.
    Project Leader: Willem Overwijk, Ph.D.
    With CCIR Collaborators: Laszlo Radvanyi, Ph.D., Luis Vence, Ph.D.
    Institution:  MD Anderson

*click the title of the MRP to open a web page or pdf with an overview of the program's goals and strategies

Previously Funded MRPs

  1. NIAMS RC2: Transcriptome and epigenome analysis of helper T cell specification and plasticity
    Award Period:  September 29, 2009 – August 31, 2012
    Principal Investigator:  Chen Dong, Ph.D.
    Project Leaders: Roza Nurieva, Ph.D.; Stephanie Watowich, Ph.D.
    Institutions:  MD Anderson, Baylor College of Medicine, and Institute for Systems Biology
  2. NCI P50:  MD Anderson Lymphoma SPORE
    Award Period:  September 1, 2009 – August 31, 2012
    Principal Investigator:  Anas Younes, M.D.; Co-investigator:  Larry W. Kwak, M.D., Ph.D.
    Institutions:  MD Anderson, University of Nebraska Medical Center
  3. W. M. Keck Foundation*:  Research Center for Cancer Vaccines
    Award Period:  January 1, 2008 – December 31, 2011
    Principal Investigator: Larry Kwak, M.D., Ph.D.; Co-investigator:  Patrick Hwu, M.D.
    Institution:  MD Anderson
  4. LLS Specialized Center of Research (SCOR)*:  Translational Development of Novel Vaccine Therapies
    Award Period:  October 1, 2007 – September 30, 2012
    Principal Investigator:  Larry W. Kwak, M.D., Ph.D.
    Institution:  MD Anderson
  5. NIAID U19:  Asthma and Allergic Diseases Cooperative Research Center
    Award Period: July 1, 2006 - June 30, 2011
    Principal Investigator: Yong-Jun Liu, M.D., Ph.D.
    Institutions: MD Anderson, Baylor College of Medicine, and Benaroyal Research Institute


  • NIAID Cooperative Research Center for Asthma and Inflammation:  Laura Bover, Ph.D.; Chen Dong, Ph.D.; Yong-Jun Liu, M.D., Ph.D.; and Kui Voo, Ph.D.

  • W. M. Keck Foundation Research Center for Cancer Vaccines:  Patrick Hwu, M.D.; Larry Kwak, M.D., Ph.D.; and Yong-Jun Liu, M.D., Ph.D.

  • Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Specialized Center of Research (SCOR):  Chen Dong, Ph.D.; Jeffrey Molldrem, M.D.; Larry Kwak, M.D., Ph.D.; Yong-Jun Liu, M.D., Ph.D.; Laura Bover, Ph.D.; and Kui Voo, Ph.D.

  • National Cancer Institute P01:  Laszlo Radvanyi, Ph.D.; Willem Overwijk, Ph.D.; Patrick Hwu, M.D.; Yong-Jun Liu, M.D. Ph.D.; Michel Gilliet, M.D.; and Luis Vence, Ph.D.