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Personal profile

Research Interests

Our laboratory utilizes DNA sequencing, gene expression profiling, proteomic analyses, flow cytometric methodology and many other basic techniques to pursue goals that are ultimately translatable for improving health and overall survival in patients with brain cancer. Although our research is primarily focused on malignant glioma, with a special emphasis on glioblastoma, we are also interested in pursuing incurable pediatric brain tumors, as well as metastatic tumors that invade the brain/spinal cord. It is our sincere hope that, the basic mechanistic investigations that we carry out, uncover important and meaningful discoveries that translate into highly effective immunotherapeutic modalities for the benefit of patients with incurable cancer in the brain.

The primary goal of our research is to analyze the immune response in human brain tumors, as well as syngeneic and humanized mouse brain tumor models, with the intent to develop and evaluate novel immunotherapeutic strategies for malignant brain cancer. We aim to: 1) discover new targets that increase immunosuppression, 2) develop new drugs that inhibit immunosuppression, 3) and test novel treatment strategies for clinical translation into human patients with malignant glioma. Current Projects -Dissect the multiple roles of immunosuppressive indoleamine 2,3 dioxygenase 1 (IDO) in glioblastoma (GBM) -Determine how advanced age suppresses the effectiveness of immunotherapy for treatment of GBM -Investigate the psychosocial aspects of stress, anxiety and/or depression on the suppression of immunotherapeutic efficacy for GBM. -Characterize the gut microbiota of GBM patients, before and after treatment with immunotherapy

Training Experience

2013Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Chicago

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Loyola University-Chicago

… → 2009

MS, Loyola University-Chicago

… → 2004


  • Aging
  • Biologic Therapies
  • Brain Cancer / Nervous System Cancer
  • Cancer Biology
  • Immune Regulation
  • Immunology
  • Metabolism
  • Neuro-Oncology
  • Neurobiology
  • Neuroinflammation
  • Neuroscience
  • Psychology

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  • 19 Similar Profiles
Glioblastoma Medicine & Life Sciences
Brain Neoplasms Medicine & Life Sciences
Indoleamine-Pyrrole 2,3,-Dioxygenase Medicine & Life Sciences
Glioma Medicine & Life Sciences
Immunotherapy Medicine & Life Sciences
Neoplasms Medicine & Life Sciences
T-Lymphocytes Medicine & Life Sciences
Survival Medicine & Life Sciences

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Grants 2014 2023

Brain Neoplasms
Immune Evasion

Research Output 2008 2019

Commentary: preclinical efficacy of immune-checkpoint monotherapy does not recapitulate corresponding biomarkers-based clinical predictions in glioblastoma by Garg et al. (2017)

Zhai, L., Ladomersky, E., Lauing, K. L., Wu, M., Scholtens, D. M., Savoor, R., Zhang, B., Wu, J. D., Horbinski, C. M., Lukas, R. V., Binder, D. C. & Wainwright, D. A., Mar 4 2019, In : OncoImmunology. 8, 3, 1548242.

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

Computational Biology
Gene Expression
2 Citations (Scopus)

Imaging tryptophan uptake with positron emission tomography in glioblastoma patients treated with indoximod

Lukas, R. V., Juhász, C., Wainwright, D. A., James, C. D., Kennedy, E., Stupp, R. & Lesniak, M. S., Jan 15 2019, In : Journal of Neuro-Oncology. 141, 1, p. 111-120 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Indoleamine-Pyrrole 2,3,-Dioxygenase
Positron-Emission Tomography

The coincidence between increasing age, immunosuppression, and the incidence of patients with glioblastoma

Ladomersky, E., Scholtens, D. M., Kocherginsky, M., Hibler, E. A., Bartom, E. T., Otto-Meyer, S., Zhai, L., Lauing, K. L., Choi, J., Sosman, J. A., Wu, J. D., Zhang, B., Lukas, R. V. & Wainwright, D. A., Jan 1 2019, In : Frontiers in Pharmacology. 10, MAR, 200.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Central Nervous System

The interplay among psychological distress, the immune system, and brain tumor patient outcomes

Otto-Meyer, S., Lumibao, J., Kim, E., Ladomersky, E., Zhai, L., Lauing, K. L., Scholtens, D. M., Penedo, F., Amidei, C. M., Lukas, R. V. & Wainwright, D. A., Aug 1 2019, In : Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences. 28, p. 44-50 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Brain Neoplasms
Immune System
Phase III Clinical Trials
3 Citations (Scopus)

A Dendritic Cell-Targeted Adenoviral Vector Facilitates Adaptive Immune Response Against Human Glioma Antigen (CMV-IE) and Prolongs Survival in a Human Glioma Tumor Model

Kim, J. W., Kane, J. R., Panek, W. K., Young, J. S., Rashidi, A., Yu, D., Kanojia, D., Hasan, T., Miska, J. M., Gómez-Lim, M. A., Ulasov, I., Balyasnikova, I. V., Ahmed, A. U., Wainwright, D. A. & Lesniak, M. S., Oct 14 2018, In : Neurotherapeutics. 15, 4, p. 1127-1138 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Adaptive Immunity
Dendritic Cells