E. John Wherry, PhD

Dr. Wherry is the Barbara and Richard Schiffrin President’s Distinguished Professor, Chair of the Department of Systems Pharmacology and Translational Therapeutics in the Perelman School of Medicine and Director of the UPenn Institute for Immunology. Dr. Wherry’s research has focused on pioneering work to define the cellular and molecular nature of Immune Exhaustion – or failure of normal immune system function – in chronic infection and cancer. His work helped identify the role of the “checkpoint” molecule PD-1 and the ability to block this pathway and reinvigorate the immune function from exhausted T cells. He also has identified novel combinations of immune treatments including one of the first to demonstrate the efficacy of co-inhibitory receptor blockade that may be future therapeutics for cancer and infections. His laboratory has also been a pioneer in using transcriptomics, high dimensional cytometry, and systems immunology approaches to study immune oncology, human vaccine responses and human infectious disease. Ongoing work in his laboratory focuses on epigenetics of exhausted T cells and other immune cells, systems immunology approaches, vaccine responses and respiratory infections.