Jennifer A. Wargo, M.D., M.M.S.c.
Professor, Surgical Oncology & Genomic Medicine
Program Director for PRIME TR
Jennifer A. Wargo, M.D., M.MS.c. has significantly contributed to the knowledge of resistance mechanisms and the effect of targeted therapy on anti-tumor immunity. She joined MD Anderson in September 2013 to build a program collecting serial biopsies in patients, particularly those with melanoma, being treated with chemotherapy, targeted therapy and immunotherapy. The goal of this program is to better understand responses to therapy and develop novel strategies to combat resistance.
By studying patients with metastatic melanoma initially treated with immune checkpoint blockade, Wargo's research program uncovered important biomarkers of response. Potential mechanisms of therapeutic resistance to immune checkpoint blockade were also identified. These findings were published in the Summer 2016 edition of Cancer Discovery and have far-reaching implications for the use of immune checkpoint blockade in precision medicine.
Currently, her team is examining the microbiome — the collective population of microorganisms that live in and on humans — to determine the role it plays in patient response to cancer therapy. In 2020, Dr. Wargo started PRIME TR - Program for Innovative Microbiome and Translational Research at MD Anderson.
Wargo Team Members
Nadim Ajami, Ph.D.
Director of Scientific Research for PRIME TR
Nadim joins Dr. Wargo's team from Baylor College of Medicine. Through translational applications of microbiome science, Nadim has developed research for academic and commercial teams and programs using a genomics-driven approach to study microbe-host interactions in the context of human diseases. He has joined the team to help lead the newly developed PRIME TR program.
Matthew Wong, B.S.
Sr. Scientific Applications Specialist for PRIME TR
Matt comes from Baylor College of Medicine, as a Bioinformatics Programmer and Analyst with over twelve years of work experience, specializing in microbiome and metagenomic sequence data analysis, pipeline engineering, automation and sequencing Q.C.
Elizabeth Burton, MBA
Director, Research Planning and Develpment, Surgical Oncology
Elizabeth (Liz) serves as the Director for Research Planning and Development for the Melanoma Moon Shot® and its high-priority projects including basic and translational research projects, clinical research, behavioral science interventions and legislative/policy initiatives. Liz has is instrumental in the success of Dr. Wargo's Lab.
Program Manager for PRIME TR
Christine has extensive administrative experience in the legal and law enforcement fields, and has supported Dr. Wargo since 2016. As Program Manager of PRIME TR, she provides day-to-day oversight and support of the Program and Wargo Lab with an emphasis on detailed organization and planning.
Current Wargo Lab Staff
Alexandria Cogdill, M.Eng., Graduate Research Assistant, Surgical Oncology
Robert Szczepaniak Sloane - Graduate Research Assistant, Surgical Oncology
Md Abdul "Wadud" Khan, Ph.D. - Postdoctoral Fellow, Surgical Oncology
Sarah B. Johnson - Research Investigator, Surgical Oncology
Gabriel O. Ologun - T32 Candidate, Surgical Oncology
Golnaz Morad, Postdoctoral Fellow, Surgical Oncology
Michael G. White - Fellow, Surgical Oncology
Erez N. Baruch - UTH Rotating Resident
Past Wargo Lab Members and Contributors
Zachary Cooper, Ph.D.
Peter A. Prieto, M.D., M.P.H.
Luigi Nezi, Ph.D.
Hong Jiang, Ph.D.
Alexandre Reuben, Ph.D.
Christine Spencer, M.P.H.
Vancheswaran "Deepak" Gopalakrishnan, Ph.D.
Sangeetha Reddy, M.D., MSci
Pierre-Olivier Gaudreau, M.D.
Miles Andrews, Ph.D.
Beth Helmink - Fellow, Surgical Oncology
Thomas Chapman, Student
Joey Toker, Student
Rohit Thakur - Postdoctoral Fellow, Surgical Oncology
Reetakshi Arora, Ph.D.
Jingjing Wang- Postdoctoral Fellow, Surgical Oncology