Tina Cascone, M.D., Ph.D., is a physician-scientist and associate professor in Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center. She received her medical (summa cum laude) and doctorate degrees from the University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli in Naples, Italy. Dr. Cascone completed her postdoctoral studies at MD Anderson, where she studied the impact of antiangiogenic therapy on the tumor microenvironment. Following her clinical residency in internal medicine at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, she joined MD Anderson as a clinical fellow in medical oncology and later as an instructor in the Cancer Medicine Advanced Scholar Program. She was then appointed assistant professor tenure-track in Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology.
Dr. Cascone leads a basic laboratory and translational research program that focuses on identifying mechanisms of tumor response and resistance to immunotherapy. She also serves as principal investigator (PI) on several clinical trials evaluating neoadjuvant and perioperative immunotherapies for patients with operable non-small cell lung cancer, including the NEOSTAR, NeoCOAST, NeoCOAST-2 and CheckMate-77T studies. Her research program is supported by multiple peer-reviewed grants and awards, including an NIH/NCI MPI R01 and the Lung SPORE, a Mark Foundation Endeavor Award, the Lung Cancer Moon Shot Program and a Sabin Family Foundation Award. She uses information generated from preclinical models and patient-derived samples to identify predictive biomarkers of response and to develop novel therapeutic strategies. Dr. Cascone is a graduate of the MD Anderson Physician Scientist Program and a past recipient of an ASCO Career Development Award and an ASCI Young Physician Scientist Award. She has published widely in leading journals, including Journal of Clinical Investigation, Cell Metabolism, Cancer Discovery and Nature Medicine.
John T. Le
Research Laboratory Coordinator
B.S. University of Houston
John T. Le joined the Cascone Lab in June 2022. Prior to joining the Cascone team, he was the lab manager in The Gordon and Mary Cain Pediatric Neurology Research Foundation Laboratories at Baylor College of Medicine in the Dept. of Pediatrics. John’s responsibilities are the planning and organizing administrative operations of the laboratory in addition to performing routine laboratory procedures for in vivo experiments.
Li Liu, Ph.D.
Research Associate II
Li Liu earned her Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology from the Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. She received multi-postdoctoral training and gained experience in conducting in vitro functional studies of immune cells as well as preclinical studies utilizing genetically engineered mouse models and xenografts models. In the Cascone Lab, Dr. Liu is involved in conducting in vitro and in vivo studies of immunochemotherapy and maintaining cancer cell lines and inventories.
Wei Hu, M.D., Ph.D.
Wei Hu received her M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the Tongji Medical College of Huazhong University of Science and Technology. Her main research interests focus on identifying predictive markers of therapeutic efficacy in cancer. In the Cascone Lab, Dr. Hu is responsible for overseeing translational research projects and collaborative efforts across disciplines from preclinical work to clinical correlates data analysis.
Xin Sun, Ph.D.
Xin Sun received her Ph.D. in bioengineering from Northeastern University, where she investigated how to engineer the immune adaptor STING towards cancer immunotherapy. In the Cascone Lab, her work aims specifically to discover and target the mechanisms of tumor response and resistance to novel immune-based therapies in resectable and spontaneously metastatic lung cancer.
Undergraduate College Student
Michael Wang is an undergraduate student at Rice University. He is interested in how novel targeted and immune-based therapies can be used to treat resectable NSCLC. Currently, Michael assists other lab members with their procedures and projects.
Lili Chen, Ph.D.
Monika Pradhan, Ph.D.
Mona Yazdani, Ph.D.
Haiping Renee Guo, Ph.D.
Visiting Medical Students (U54 Program)