Immunology Faculty Member - Catherine Wu, M.D.

Catherine Wu, MD

Dana Farber Cancer Institute
Dana Building, Room 520C
44 Binney St.
Boston, MA 02115
Tel: 617-632-5943
Fax: 617-632-6380
Visit my lab page here.

Research in the Wu Lab focuses on how best to effectively mount human immune responses to recognize and eradicate cancer, with dedicated effort on the discovery and targeting of tumor antigens. A longstanding theme of our studies has been how best to launch immunotherapeutic efforts in a personalized fashion, initially through studies in the area of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) together with whole tumor cell vaccination (Burkhardt JCI 2013) and more recently through the implementation of personal neoantigen-targeting cancer vaccines (Ott & Hu Nature 2017; NCT 01970358). Key to our antigen discovery efforts has been our pioneering of approaches to leverage the recent availability of next-generation massively parallel sequencing technologies to perform comprehensive genomic dissection of leukemia cells. Our efforts have led to the discovery of key mutated genes and pathways involved in the pathogenesis of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) (N Engl J Med, 2011), understanding of the vast clonal heterogeneity of leukemia samples and its impact on clonal evolution (Cell, 2013; Cancer Cell 2014), and the development of resistance to therapy (Nature 2015, Nat Comm 2016). We have further leveraged these sequencing technologies to pioneer computational tools for the comprehensive discovery of potential personal tumor-specific neoantigens (Blood 2014; Nat Biotech 2015). Neoantigens are a promising novel class of cancer targets created by the personal mutations found in each patient’s tumor. Because these mutations generate peptides that are distinct from “self”-peptides, the resulting epitopes are expected to escape the immune dampening effects of central tolerance.

Other associated activities

Translational Immunogenomics Laboratory (TIGL) [website coming soon], which uses state-of the-art genomic technologies and systems for molecular and cellular analysis of immune response to cancer therapeutics

DFCI CIMAC –CIDC Network, an initiative of the NCI Cancer Moonshot that provides cutting-edge technology and expertise in genomic, proteomic, and functional molecular analysis to enhance clinical trials in cancer immune therapies.

Last Update: 6/18/2018


For a complete listing of publications click here.



Shukla SA*, Bachireddy P*, Schilling B, Galonska C, Zhan Q, Bango C, Langer R, Lee PC, Gusenleitner D, Keskin DB, Babadi M, Mohammad A, Gnirke A, Clement K, Cartun ZJ, Van Allen EM, Miao D, Huang Y, Snyder A, Merghoub T, Wolchok JD, Garraway LA, Meissner A, Weber JS, Hacohen N, Neuberg D, Potts PR, Murphy GF, Lian CG, Schadendorf D, Hodi FS, Wu CJ. Cancer-Germline Antigen Expression Discriminates Clinical Outcome to CTLA-4 Blockade. Cell. 2018 Apr 19;173(3):624-633.e8. PubMed

Ott PA*, Hu Z*, Keskin DB, Shukla SA, Sun J, Bozym DJ, Zhang W, Luoma A, Giobbie-Hurder A, Peter L, Chen C, Olive O, Carter TA, Li S, Lieb DJ, Eisenhaure T, Gjini E, Stevens J, Lane WJ, Javeri I, Nellaiappan K, Salazar A, Daley H, Seaman M, Buchbinder EI, Yoon CH, Harden M, Lennon N, Gabriel S, Rodig SJ, Barouch DH, Aster JC, Getz G, Wucherpfennig K, Neuberg D, Ritz J, Lander ES, Fritsch EF, Hacohen N, Wu CJ. An Immunogenic Personal Neoantigen Vaccine for Melanoma Patients. Nature 2017; Jul 13; 547:217-21. PubMed

Wang L*, Fan J*, Francis JM, Georghiou G, Hergert S, Li S, Gambe R, Zhou CW, Yang C, Xiao S, Dal Cin P, Bowden M, Kotliar D, Shukla SA, Brown JR, Neuberg D, Alessi DR, Kharchenko PV, Livak KJ, Wu CJ. Integrated single cell genetic and transcriptional analysis suggests novel private drivers of chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Genome Research 2017; Aug;27(8):1300-11. PubMed

Purroy N. Wu CJ. Coevolution of Leukemia and Host Immune Cells in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med 2017. PubMed

Abelin JG*, Keskin DB*, Sarkizova S*, Hartigan CR, Zhang W, Sidney J, Stevens J, Lane W, Zhang GL, Eisenhaure TM, Clauser KR, Hacohen N, Rooney MS, Carr SA, Wu CJ. Mass Spectrometry Profiling of HLA-Associated Peptidomes in Mono-allelic Cells Enables More Accurate Epitope Prediction. Immunity 2017; Feb 21;46(2):315-26. PubMed

Kipps TJ, Stevenson FK, Wu CJ, Croce CM, Packham G, Wierda WG, O'Brien S, Gribben J, Rai K. Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. Nat Rev Dis Primers 2017, Jan 19; 3:16096. PubMed

Wang L*, Brooks AN*, Fan J*, Wan Y*, Gambe R, Li S, Hergert S, Yin S, Freeman SS,
Levin JZ, Fan L, Seiler M, Buonamici S, Smith PG, Chau KF, Cibulskis CL, Zhang W,
Rassenti LZ, Ghia EM, Kipps TJ, Fernandes S, Bloch DB, Kotliar D, Landau DA, Shukla
SA, Aster JC, Reed R, DeLuca DS, Brown JR, Neuberg D, Getz G, Livak KJ, Meyerson
MM, Kharchenko PV, Wu CJ. Transcriptomic Characterization of SF3B1 Mutation
Reveals Its Pleiotropic Effects in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. Cancer Cell 2016;
30:750-763. PubMed

Landau DA*, Tausch E*, Taylor-Weiner AN*, Stewart C, Reiter JG, Bahlo J, Kluth S, Bozic I, Lawrence M, Bottcher S, Carter SL, Cibulskis K, Mertens D, Sougnez CL, Rosenberg M, Hess JM, Edelmann J, Kless S, Kneba M, Ritgen M, Fink A, Fischer K, Gabriel S, Lander ES, Nowak MA, Dohner H, Hallek M, Neuberg D, Getz G, Stilgenbauer S and Wu CJ. Mutations driving CLL and their evolution in progression and relapse. Nature 2015, Oct 22; 526(7574):525-30. PubMed

© 2016 President and Fellows
of Harvard College