Marcin Kortylewski, Ph.D.

  • Associate Professor, Department of Immuno-Oncology

Marcin Kortylewski, Ph.D.

Research Focus :
  • Cancer Immunotherapy
  • Oligonucleotide Therapeutics
  • siRNA
  • Signal Transduction
  • Tumor Immunology
  • Immuno-Oncology
Other Languages Spoken
  • Polish
  • German
  • 2015-Present, Associate Professor, Immuno-Oncology, City of Hope, Duarte, CA
  • 2010-2015, Assistant Professor, Immuno-Oncology, City of Hope, Duarte, CA
  • 2005-2009, Assistant Research Scientist, Immuno-Oncology, City of Hope, Duarte, CA
  • 2005, Research Scientist, Immunology Program, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL
  • Immuno-Oncology
  • Gene Therapy


  • 1999 - University School of Medical Sciences, Poznan, Poland, Molecular Biology, Ph.D.
  • 1991-1996 - Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland, M.S., Biotechnology


  • 1996-1998 - RWTH Aachen, Germany, Department of Biochemistry, Graduate Student
  • 2002 - 2005, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL, Immunology Program, Post-doctoral Fellow
  • 1999-2002, RWTH Aachen, Germany, Department of Biochemistry, Post-doctoral Fellow

We focus on the development of novel oligonucleotide therapeutics for cancer immunotherapy. Our research validates therapeutic targets selected from signaling molecules which are involved in tumor-promoting inflammation. Our two-step immunotherapeutic strategy is first to disarm tumor defense systems, and then to activate immune attack from within using a single oligonucleotide molecule.

Research Interests

Fighting cancer by activating the immune system to search and destroy tumor cells with high precision could overcome the problem of serious side-effects observed after conventional cancer treatments. Recent advances in the understanding of interactions between tumors and the immune system identified that immune cells accumulated within tumor tissue are essential therapeutic targets for cancer immunotherapy. Dysfunctional immune cell populations within the tumor microenvironment secrete growth factors, promote blood vessel formation and disarm the immune system. Targeting immune cells in tumors poses problems due to the lack of specific therapeutics. We previously developed a novel reagent, which utilizes fragments of DNA for cell-specific delivery of therapeutic agents into certain immune cell populations. We used this approach to block function of tumor-supporting immune cells using RNA interference to block oncogenic and immunosupressive STAT3 protein, thereby generating potent antitumor immune responses in mice. Our recent studies suggest that CpG-STAT3 inhibitors could restore the anti-tumor immune responses in cancer patients. We currently optimize this approach for use against metastatic tumors and multiple gene targets, which should generate novel, more effective and safer therapeutics, expanding treatment options for the benefit of cancer patients.

Contact Information

To request expert commentary on Immunotherapy, contact Media Relations at 800-888-5323 or media@coh.org.

To reach me or my staff, call 626-256-4673, ext. 84120.

Tomasz Adamus, Post-doctoral Fellow
626-256-4673, ext. 32122  

Priyanka Duttagupta, Post-doctoral Fellow
626-256-4673, ext. 64437

Dayson Friaca Moreira, Post-doctoral Fellow
626-256-4673, ext. 64437

Yu-Lin Su, Post-doctoral Fellow
626-256-4673, ext. 32122

Hae Jung Won, Post-doctoral Fellow
626-256-4673, ext. 64437

Zhuoran Zhang, Post-doctoral Fellow
626-256-4673, ext. 32122

Xingli Zhao, Pre-doctoral Fellow
626-256-4673, ext. 32122

  • 2012, American Soc. for Gene & Cell Therapy, Olignonucleotide/RNAi Therapeutics Cmte. 2015-2018
  • 2011, Soc. for Immunotherapy of Cancer
  • 2011, Oligonucleotide Therapeutics Soc., Scientific Advisory Cmte. 2015-2017
  • 2003, American Assoc. of Cancer Research
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