Immuno-Oncology and Microbiome

Three men in white lab coats and gloves talk with each other in a lab.

The scientific mission of the Immuno-Oncology and Microbiome (IOM) research program at the University of Florida Health Cancer Center is to improve cancer outcomes through innovative therapeutic research on microbiome-immunotherapy interactions influencing epithelial and immune cell function, engaging clinicians and basic scientists to partner on innovative investigator-initiated trials (IITs).

The program develops and translates immunotherapy modalities, such as RNA-based vaccines, adoptive cellular therapies, genetically modified T cells and microbiome-based therapy, into first-in-human studies. The Comparative Oncology Initiative has allowed IOM investigators to validate new technologies in pet dog trials while a cadre of clinical trialists move these and other UF findings into human application. Through the I2T3, structured processes have been developed for translation of basic concepts into human studies. IOM thus advances preclinical through clinical evaluation of novel patient-specific therapies to address priority cancers of the catchment area, engaging the Office of Community Outreach and Engagement and members of the Community Advisory Board in the review and design of clinical trials.


The aims of the IOM program are to elucidate principles of cancer immunobiology relevant to developing or improving immuno-oncology therapeutics; define the microbiome contribution to cancer development, therapeutics and immunoactivity; and translate scientific discoveries into early-phase clinical trials.

Program Members

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NamemyNCBI LinkResearch ProgramTitleDepartmentLab PageCollegeResearch Interest Topics
Ashley Ghiaseddin, MD

myNCBIImmuno-Oncology & Microbiome (IOM)Clinical Associate ProfessorNeurosurgeryMedicineChemotherapy; Epidemiology; Health Disparities; Quality of Life Issues; Targeted Cancer Therapy
Bently Doonan, MD, MS


myNCBIImmuno-Oncology & Microbiome (IOM)Assistant ProfessorMedicineMedicineImmunotherapy; Metastasis; Skin/Melanoma; Targeted Cancer Therapy
Bikash Sahay, BVSc & AH, MVSc, PhD

 Bikash Sahay
myNCBIImmuno-Oncology & Microbiome (IOM)Research Associate ProfessorInfectious Diseases and ImmunologyVeterinary MedicineGastro-Intestinal; Head & Neck; Immunoregulation & Suppression; Immunotherapy
Blanka Sharma, PhD

Immuno-Oncology & Microbiome (IOM)Associate ProfessorBiomedical EngineeringLabEngineeringBone & Soft Tissue Sarcomas; Breast; Gene Therapy; Metastasis; Nanotechnology; Plastic Surgery/Reconstruction; Stem Cell; Targeted Cancer Therapy
Brian Ramnaraign, MD


Immuno-Oncology & Microbiome (IOM)Clinical Assistant ProfessorMedicineMedicineGastro-Intestinal; Genital-Urinary/Prostate
Carlos Rinaldi, PhD

myNCBIImmuno-Oncology & Microbiome (IOM)ProfessorChemical EngineeringLabEngineeringNanotechnology; Targeted Cancer Therapy; Imaging; Immunotherapy; Gene Therapy; Drug Delivery; Brain; Breast; Head & Neck; Metastasis
Catherine Flores, PhD

Flores, Catherine
Immuno-Oncology & Microbiome (IOM)Associate ProfessorNeurosurgeryLabMedicineImmunotherapy
Christian Jobin, PhD

myNCBIImmuno-Oncology & Microbiome (IOM)ProfessorMedicineLabMedicineCancer Prevention; DNA Damage & Repair; Environment; Gastro-intestinal; Immunoregulation & Suppression; Immunotherapy; Microbiome; Host-Microbe Interaction
Dominick Lemas, PhD

myNCBIImmuno-Oncology & Microbiome (IOM)Assistant ProfessorHealth Outcomes and Biomedical InformaticsMedicineBioinformatics; Breast; Cancer Prevention; Epidemiology; Gastro-Intestinal; Health Disparities; Immunoregulation & Suppression; MicroRNAs
Duane Mitchell, MD, PhD

myNCBIImmuno-Oncology & Microbiome (IOM)ProfessorNeurosurgeryLabMedicineImmunoregulation & Suppression; Immunotherapy; Nanotechnology; Neuro-Oncology; Tumor Virology/Virus-Host Interactions
Elias Sayour, MD, PhD

Immuno-Oncology & Microbiome (IOM)Associate ProfessorNeurosurgeryLabMedicineImmunotherapy; Nanotechnology; Neuro-Oncology; Pediatric Oncology
Ellen Zimmermann, MD


myNCBIImmuno-Oncology & Microbiome (IOM)ProfessorMedicineMedicineGastro-Intestinal; Epigenetics & Gene Regulation; Immunoregulation & Suppression; Noninvasive Imaging/Tomography
Erin Dean, MD

Immuno-Oncology & Microbiome (IOM)Assistant ProfessorMedicineMedicineHematologic Malignancies/Blood & Marrow Transplant; Immunotherapy; Lymphoma; Noninvasive Imaging/Tomography
Guy El Helou, MD

El Helou
Immuno-Oncology & Microbiome (IOM)Clinical Assistant ProfessorMedicineMedicineInfection Control; Stem Cell
Helen Moore, PhD

Immuno-Oncology & Microbiome (IOM)Associate ProfessorMedicineMedicineCell Signaling Pathways; Chemotherapy; Hematologic Malignancies/Blood & Marrow Transplant; Immunoregulation & Suppression; Immunotherapy; Skin/Melanoma
Ilyas Sahin, MD

myNCBIImmuno-Oncology & Microbiome (IOM)Clinical Assistant ProfessorMedicineMedicineDrug Resistance; Gastro-Intestinal; Immunotherapy
Jack Hsu, MD

Immuno-Oncology & Microbiome (IOM)Clinical ProfessorMedicineMedicineHematologic Malignancies/Blood & Marrow Transplant; Leukemia
Jeffrey Harrison, PhD

myNCBIImmuno-Oncology & Microbiome (IOM)ProfessorPharmacology and TherapeuticsMedicineCell Signaling Pathways; Immunoregulation & Suppression; Immunotherapy; Neuro-Oncology; Targeted Cancer Therapy
Jianping Huang, MD, PhD

Immuno-Oncology & Microbiome (IOM)Research Associate ProfessorNeurosurgeryMedicineGene Therapy; Immunoregulation & Suppression; Immunotherapy
John Fort, MD

Immuno-Oncology & Microbiome (IOM)Clinical Associate ProfessorPediatricsMedicineHematologic Malignancies/Blood & Marrow Transplant; Leukemia
John Hiemenz, MD

Immuno-Oncology & Microbiome (IOM)Clinical ProfessorMedicineMedicineHematologic Malignancies/Blood & Marrow Transplant; Leukemia
John Ligon, MD

myNCBIImmuno-Oncology & Microbiome (IOM)Assistant ProfessorPediatricsMedicineBone & Soft Tissue Sarcomas; Hematologic Malignancies/Blood & Marrow Transplant; Immunotherapy; Leukemia; Nanotechnology; Pediatric Oncology; Quality of Life Issues
Jonathan Chatzkel, MD


Immuno-Oncology & Microbiome (IOM)Clinical Assistant ProfessorMedicineMedicineChemotherapy; Genital-Urinary/Prostate; Immunotherapy; Kidney; Metastasis; Quality of Life Issues
Jordan Milner, MD

Immuno-Oncology & Microbiome (IOM)Clinical Assistant ProfessorPediatricsMedicineHematologic Malignancies/Blood & Marrow Transplant; Stem Cell
Joseph Katz, DMD


myNCBIImmuno-Oncology & Microbiome (IOM)ProfessorOral and Maxillofacial Diagnostic SciencesDentistryEpidemiology; Head & Neck; Hematologic Malignancies/Blood & Marrow Transplant
Laura Solt, PhD

Immuno-Oncology & Microbiome (IOM)Associate ProfessorScripps Biomedical ResearchMedicineAutoimmune Disease; Cancer Immunotherapy; Immunometabolism; Mucosal immunology; Neuroimmunology
Lei Jin, PhD

Immuno-Oncology & Microbiome (IOM)Associate ProfessorMedicineLabMedicineCancer Susceptibility; Immunoregulation & Suppression; Immunotherapy;
Liang Zhou, MD, PhD

Immuno-Oncology & Microbiome (IOM)ProfessorInfectious Diseases and ImmunologyVeterinary MedicineEpigenetics & Gene Regulation; Gastro-Intestinal; Immunoregulation & Suppression; Infection Control
Loic Deleyrolle, PhD

myNCBIImmuno-Oncology & Microbiome (IOM)Assistant ProfessorNeurosurgeryMedicineCancer Genetics; Cell Signaling Pathways; Immunoregulation & Suppression; Immunotherapy; Neuro-Oncology; Pediatric Oncology; Stem Cell; Targeted Cancer Therapy
Lynn El Haddad, PhD


myNCBIImmuno-Oncology & Microbiome (IOM)Assistant ProfessorMedicineMedicineGastro-Intestinal; Bioinformatics; Cancer Survivorship; Drug Resistance; Epidemiology; Hematologic Malignancies/Blood & Marrow Transplant; Immunotherapy; Infection Control; Quality of Life Issues
Mariola Ferraro, PhD

 Mariola Ferraro
myNCBIImmuno-Oncology & Microbiome (IOM)Associate ProfessorMicrobiology & Cell ScienceAgricultural and Life SciencesImmunoregulation & Suppression; Infection Control
Maryam Rahman, MD

Immuno-Oncology & Microbiome (IOM)Associate ProfessorNeurosurgeryLabMedicineCancer Genetics; Chemotherapy; Drug Resistance; Health Disparities; Immunotherapy; Neuro-Oncology; Stem Cell; Surgical Oncology; Targeted Cancer Therapy
Matthew J. Cascio, DO

Immuno-Oncology & Microbiome (IOM)Assistant ProfessorPediatricsMedicineImmunotherapy; Bone & Soft Tissue Sarcoma
Matthew Pipkin, PhD

Immuno-Oncology & Microbiome (IOM)Associate ProfessorScripps Biomedical ResearchMedicineCD8 T Cell; Chemical biology
Michalina Janiszewska, PhD

myNCBIImmuno-Oncology & Microbiome (IOM)Assistant ProfessorScripps Biomedical ResearchMedicineCancer Genetics; Epigenetics & Cancer; Epigenetics & Gene Regulation; Neuro-Oncology; Stem Cell
Paul Castillo Caro, MD

Immuno-Oncology & Microbiome (IOM)Assistant ProfessorPediatricsMedicineImmunotherapy; Hematologic Malignancies; Leukemia
Paulo Vilar Saavedra, DVM, MS, PhD

 Paulo Vilar Saavedra
myNCBIImmuno-Oncology & Microbiome (IOM)Clinical Associate ProfessorSmall Animal Clinical SciencesVeterinary MedicineApoptosis & Cell Death Pathwats; Cancer Genetics; Cell Signaling Pathwats; Chemotherapy; Drug Design; Drug Resistance; Epidemiology; Genetic Determinants of Cancer; Immunotherapy; Lymphoma
Raad Z. Gharaibeh, PhD

Immuno-Oncology & Microbiome (IOM)Research Assistant ProfessorMedicineMedicineMicrobiome; Host-Microbe Interactio; Bioinformatics
Rowan Milner, BCVSc, MMedVet

Immuno-Oncology & Microbiome (IOM)ProfessorSmall Animal Clinical SciencesVeterinary MedicineImmunotherapy; Bone & Soft Tissue Sarcoma; Radiation Oncology
Roy Curtiss, PhD

Immuno-Oncology & Microbiome (IOM)ProfessorInfectious Diseases and ImmunologyLabVeterinary MedicineAnti-Tumor Vaccines
Ryan Thomas, MD

myNCBIImmuno-Oncology & Microbiome (IOM)Associate ProfessorSurgeryMedicineCancer Genetics; Cell Signaling Pathways; Drug Resistance; Surgical Oncology
Satya Narayan, PhD

myNCBIImmuno-Oncology & Microbiome (IOM)ProfessorAnatomy and Cell BiologyMedicineCell Signaling Pathways; Chemotherapy; DNA Damage & Repair; Targeted Cancer Therapy
Sherise Rogers, MD

Immuno-Oncology & Microbiome (IOM)Clinical Assistant ProfessorMedicineMedicineGastro-Intestinal; Targeted Cancer Therapy; Cancer Genetics; Cancer Prevention; Cancer Surveillance; Cancer Survivorship; Liver
Song Han, MD, PhD

Immuno-Oncology & Microbiome (IOM)Associate ScientistSurgeryMedicineApoptosis & Cell Death Pathways; Bioinformatics; Cancer Communications; Cancer Genetics; Cell Signaling Pathways; Drug Resistance; Epigenetics & Cancer; Gastro-intestinal; Immunotherapy; Metastasis; MicroRNAs; Surgical Oncology; Targeted Cancer Therapy
Stephen Staal, MD

Immuno-Oncology & Microbiome (IOM)Clinical ProfessorMedicineMedicineBreast; Cell Signaling Pathways; Chemotherapy; Drug Design; Nutrition, Dietary Supplements & Cancer
Steven Bruner, PhD


Immuno-Oncology & Microbiome (IOM)ProfessorChemistryLabLiberal Arts and SciencesDrug Design; Cell Signaling Pathways;
Steven Hughes, MD

myNCBIImmuno-Oncology & Microbiome (IOM)ProfessorSurgeryMedicineApoptosis & Cell Death Pathways; Gastro-Intestinal; Immunoregulation & Suppression; Immunotherapy; MicroRNAs; Surgical Oncology; Targeted Cancer Therapy
Tung Wynn, MD

Immuno-Oncology & Microbiome (IOM)Clinical Associate ProfessorPediatricsMedicineCancer Survivorship; Health Disparities; Integrative Medicine; Nutrition, Dietary Supplements & Cancer; Pediatric Oncology; Thyroid
Weizhou Zhang, PhD

myNCBIImmuno-Oncology & Microbiome (IOM)ProfessorPathology, Immunology and Laboratory MedicineMedicineAngiogenesis; Breast; Immunoregulation & Suppression; Tumor Immunology & Immunotherapy
Zeina Al-Mansour, MD

Almansour Zeina
Immuno-Oncology & Microbiome (IOM)Clinical Associate ProfessorMedicineMedicineQuality of Life Issues; Stem Cell; Cancer Survivorship; Health Disparities; Hematologic Malignancies/Blood & Marrow Transplant; Leukemia
Zhigang Li, PhD

myNCBIImmuno-Oncology & Microbiome (IOM)Associate ProfessorBiostatisticsLabPublic Health and Health ProfessionsBioinformatics; Biostatistics; Cancer Survivorship; Environment; Epidemiology; Pain; Palliative Medicine; Quality of Life Issues; RNA Processing
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