Improving Cancer Immunotherapy through Metabolic Modulation

2020 Emerging Leader Award

Greg Delgoffe, PhD, The University of Pittsburgh

Dr. Delgoffe is exploring ways to improve the metabolic function of T cells used in cell-based immunotherapies. The tumor microenvironment (TME) puts T cells under severe metabolic stress, limiting their ability to sustain a prolonged antitumor immune response. Researchers in the Delgoffe laboratory will enhance the quality and efficacy of therapeutic T cells either by making alterations to the cell production process that will increase metabolic health or by genetically engineering the cells to better adapt to and function in the metabolically challenging TME. Dr. Delgoffe received his BS from Western Michigan University before completing PhD training at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. After postdoctoral training at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, he began his own research group in 2014. His laboratory studies how T cells meet their energetic needs in metabolically challenging microenvironments, especially those found within solid tumors. Dr. Delgoffe works to understand the metabolic demands associated with cancer immunotherapy and develops strategies to bolster the immune system to combat malignancy.

published research

Scharping NE, Rivadeneira DB, Menk AV, Vignali PDA, Ford BR, Rittenhouse NL, Peralta R, Wang Y, Wang Y, DePeaux K, Poholek AC, Delgoffe GM. Mitochondrial stress induced by continuous stimulation under hypoxia rapidly drives T cell exhaustion. Nat Immunol. 2021.

Watson MJ, Vignali PDA, Mullett SJ, Overacre-Delgoffe AE, Peralta RM, Grebinoski S, Menk AV, Rittenhouse NL, DePeaux K, Whetstone RD, Vignali DAA, Hand TW, Poholek AC, Morrison BM, Rothstein JD, Wendell SG, Delgoffe GM. Metabolic support of tumour-infiltrating regulatory T cells by lactic acid. Nature. 2021.

DePeaux K, Delgoffe GM. Metabolic barriers to cancer immunotherapy. Nat Rev Immunol. 2021.