Memorial Hospital Research Laboratories

The Vinod Balachandran Lab


Pictured: Dr. Vinod Balachandran
Vinod Balachandran, MD

Our laboratory investigates the fundamental relationships between antigens and T cells in solid tumors. We are interested in understanding how the spectrum of cancer antigens modulate T cell phenotype, function, fate, and plasticity in human cancer. Our group has specifically focused on human pancreatic cancer, and has used immunologic, genomic, molecular, and computational techniques to identify T cell antigens in rare pancreatic cancer survivors, as a platform for novel biomarker and target discovery, and to uncover principles governing antigen-T cell interactions. Our primary objective is to deepen our understanding of T cell immunobiology in cancer, and to facilitate development of novel cancer vaccines and immunotherapies.

The Vinod Balachandran Lab


Moral JA, Leung J, Rojas LA, Ruan J, Zhao J, Sethna Z, Ramnarain A, Gasmi B, Gururajan M, Redmond D, Askan G, Bhanot U, Elyada E, Park Y, Tuveson DA, Goen M, Leach SD, Wolchok JD, DeMatteo RP, Merghoub T & Balachandran VP. ILC2s amplify PD-1 blockade by activating tissue-specific cancer immunity. Nature. 2020 Feb 19.

Balachandran VP, Łuksza M, Zhao JN, Makarov V, Moral JA, Remark R, Herbst B, Askan G, Bhanot U, Senbabaoglu Y, Wells DK, Cary CIO, Grbovic-Huezo O, Attiyeh M, Medina B, Zhang J, Loo J, Saglimbeni J, Abu-Akeel M, Zappasodi R, Riaz N, Smoragiewicz M, Kelley ZL, Basturk O; Australian Pancreatic Cancer Genome Initiative; Gönen M, Levine AJ, Allen PJ, Fearon DT, Merad M, Gnjatic S, Iacobuzio-Donahue CA, Wolchok JD, DeMatteo RP, Chan TA, Greenbaum BD, Merghoub T, Leach SD. Identification of unique neoantigen qualities in long-term survivors of pancreatic cancer. Nature. 2017 Nov 8. doi: 10.1038/nature24462. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 29132146

Łuksza M, Riaz N, Makarov V, Balachandran VP, Hellmann MD, Solovyov A, Rizvi NA, Merghoub T, Levine AJ, Chan TA, Wolchok JD, Greenbaum BD. A neoantigen fitness model predicts tumour response to checkpoint blockade immunotherapy. Nature. 2017 Nov 8. doi: 10.1038/nature24473. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 29132144

Balachandran VP, Cavnar MJ, Zeng S, Bamboat ZM, Ocuin LM, Obaid H, Sorenson EC, Popow R, Ariyan C, Rossi F, Besmer P, Guo T, Antonescu CR, Taguchi T, Yuan J, Wolchok JD, Allison JP, DeMatteo RP. Imatinib potentiates antitumor T cell responses in gastrointestinal stromal tumor through the inhibition of Ido. Nature Medicine. 2011 Aug 28;17(9):1094-100. doi: 10.1038/nm.2438. PMID: 21873989

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Pictured: Dr. Vinod Balachandran

Vinod Balachandran, MD

  • Surgeon scientist Vinod Balachandran investigates T cell immunobiology in pancreatic cancer.
  • MD, State University of New York at Stony Brook
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Masataka Amisaki

Research Scholar

Kaitlin A. Aviles
Kaitlin Aviles

Office Coordinator

Pablo Guasp Baratech
Pablo Guasp Baratech

Research Fellow

Zagaa Odgerel
Zagaa Odgerel

Lab Manager

Luis A. Rojas

Research Fellow

Zachary Sethna, PhD
Zachary Sethna

Research Scholar

Rebecca Yu

Research Technician

Abderezak Zebboudj
Abderezak Zebboudj

Research Fellow

Lab Alumni
Christian Brodala

Administrative Assistant

Joanne Leung, Ph.D.
Joanne Leung

Postdoctoral Research Scholar

John Alec Moral

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Karina Ng
Karina Ng

Summer Student 2018

Jenni Ruan

Research Technician

Julia Nanyi Zhao

Research Technician

Lab Affilations


  • Pershing Square Sohn Prize (2020)
  • Society of Immunotherapy for Cancer Presidential Award (2017)
  • National Cancer Institute Cancer Moonshot Award (2017)
  • Damon Runyon Clinical Investigator Award (2017)
  • AACR/Pancreatic Cancer Action Network Career Development Award (2017)
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  • NCI Paul Calabresi Career Development Award (2016)
  • Society of Surgical Oncology Harvey Barker Award (2015)
  • David and Monica Gorin Fellow Award (2013)
  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Chairman’s Award for Best Basic Science Research (2010)
  • Society of University Surgeons Research Fellowship Award (2009)
  • Alpha Omega Alpha

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