Professor of Medicine (tenured)
Infectious Disease; Oncology
I care for hospitalized patients and outpatients at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, where I am head of Infectious Diseases. My area of clinical expertise relates to infections in patients with cancer and stem cell transplant recipients, and I have served on several national panels that establish guidelines for preventing, diagnosing, and managing infections in these patients. I also have a specific interest in patients with primary phagocytic disorders (e.g., chronic granulomatous disease).
Roswell Park is the site of my clinical teaching. At Roswell Park, I serve asChair of the Dept. of Internal Medicine and Chief of Infectious Diseases. I teach medical students in lecture settings and in small group sessions in their first and second years, including courses in lung pathophysiology and microbiology-immunology. I mentor residents in their clinical training and in research. I also teach fellows in all aspects of their training and mentor those who perform their research projects in my lab. I have mentored a large number of trainees in lab research, including high school and college students on summer rotations, medical students, doctoral students, and post-doctoral fellows.
Our lab research has focused on innate immune responses to infection and injury. Over the past several years, we have extended our interest in innate responses to the cancer microenvironment with the overall goals of understanding mechanisms that drive tumor progression and developing novel prognostic biomarkers and therapeutic approaches. We find that the immune pathways that mediate antimicrobial host defense can also promote metastasis and impair anti-tumor immunity. Our most recent work points to neutrophils acquiring a suppressor function within the tumor microenvironment that results in suppression of T cell proliferation and activation required for anti-tumor immunity. We identified mechanisms driving this neutrophil suppressor phenotype, including complement signaling, that are potential targets for therapeutic modulation to enhance anti-tumor immunotherapy.