Photo of Lisa Coussens, Ph.D.

Lisa Coussens Ph.D.

  • (503) 494-7811
    • Professor of Cell, Developmental and Cancer Biology School of Medicine
    • Hildegard Lamfrom Endowed Chair in Basic Science
    • Associate Director for Basic Research OHSU Knight Cancer Institute School of Medicine
    • Cell and Developmental Biology Graduate Program School of Medicine
    • Cancer Biology Graduate Program School of Medicine
    • Program in Molecular and Cellular Biosciences School of Medicine

Dr. Coussens is the Chair of the Department of Cell, Developmental & Cancer Biology, and Associate Director for Basic Research in the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Sciences University (OHSU) and holds the Hildegard Lamfrom Chair in Basic Science.  She received her Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry from UCLA in 1993, and completed her postdoctoral fellowship in Cancer Biology at UCSF in Douglas Hanahans' laboratory.  Dr. Coussens research focus is on elucidating the roles of immune cells and their mediators as critical regulators of solid tumor development.  Her lab reported that lymphocytes selectively regulate myeloid cell functions in mouse models of squamous and mammary carcinoma, mesothelioma, and pancreatic adenocarcinoma, and that selective inhibition of key factors regulating either myeloid recruitment or function significantly enhances efficacy of chemo- and radiation therapy, and thereby extend long term survival of tumor-bearing mice.  These discoveries are currently being translated into the clinical realm; Dr. Coussens is Lead PI on a KOMEN Promise grant conducting an investigator-initiated multi-center Phase Ib/II clinical trial evaluating a novel macrophage-antagonist in combination with chemotherapy in women with metastatic triple negative breast cancer.  More recently, Dr. Coussens was awarded a Stand Up To Cancer – Lustgarten Foundation Pancreatic Cancer Convergence Dream Team Translational Research grant focused on clinical evaluation of immune-based therapies in pancreas cancer.  Her contributions to this international team are based on her laboratories identification of B cells and humoral immune-mediated factors regulating T cells and immune suppression in squamous and pancreas cancer.  Specifically, her studies are supporting evaluation of a Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor plus chemotherapy in Phase Ib/II clinical trials of pancreatic cancer and Head and Neck cancer patients.  Dr. Coussens has received the prestigious Gertrude B. Elion Award from the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR), the Mallinckrodt Award for Medical Science, a V Foundation Scholar Award, and two sequential Era of Hope Scholar Awards from the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program.  In 2012, she was the recipient of the AACR-Women in Cancer Research Charlotte Friend Memorial Lectureship, and the 2015 recipient of the 13th Rosalind E. Franklin Award from the National Cancer Institute.

Areas of interest

  • cancer, inflammation, tumor immunology, preclinical mouse models


  • Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles California 1993


  • "Quantitative Multiplex Immunohistochemistry Reveals Myeloid-Inflamed Tumor-Immune Complexity Associated with Poor Prognosis." Cell Reports In: , Vol. 19, No. 1, 04.04.2017, p. 203-217.
  • "Colorectal Cancer Liver Metastasis : Evolving Paradigms and Future Directions." CMGH Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology In: , Vol. 3, No. 2, 01.03.2017, p. 163-173.
  • "Trim32 Deficiency Enhances Th2 Immunity and Predisposes to Features of Atopic Dermatitis." Journal of Investigative Dermatology  In: , Vol. 137, No. 2, 01.02.2017, p. 359-366.
  • "MicroRNA regulation of endothelial TREX1 reprograms the tumour microenvironment." Nature Communications  In: , Vol. 7, 13597, 25.11.2016.
  • "Iron oxide nanoparticles inhibit tumour growth by inducing pro-inflammatory macrophage polarization in tumour tissues." Nature Nanotechnology  In: , Vol. 11, No. 11, 01.11.2016, p. 986-994.
  • "The Basis of Oncoimmunology." Cell In: , Vol. 164, No. 6, 10.03.2016, p. 1233-1247.
  • "Distinct clinical patterns and immune infiltrates are observed at time of progression on targeted therapy versus immune checkpoint blockade for melanoma." OncoImmunology In: , Vol. 5, No. 3, 03.03.2016.
  • "Bruton tyrosine kinase–Dependent immune cell cross-talk drives pancreas cancer." Cancer Discovery In: , Vol. 6, No. 3, 01.03.2016, p. 270-285.
  • "Erratum : Sustained endothelial expression of HoxA5 in vivo impairs pathological angiogenesis and tumor progression (PLoS ONE (2015) 10: 3 (E0121720) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0121720)." PLoS One  In: , Vol. 11, No. 2, e0148833, 01.02.2016.
  • "Lymphatic vessels, inflammation, and immunity in skin cancer." Cancer Discovery In: , Vol. 6, No. 1, 01.01.2016, p. 22-35.
  • "Senescence and cancer : An evolving inflammatory paradox." Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Reviews on Cancer In: , Vol. 1865, No. 1, 01.01.2016, p. 14-22.
  • "Immune Response to Cancer Therapy : Mounting an Effective Antitumor Response and Mechanisms of Resistance." Trends in Cancer In: , Vol. 1, No. 1, 01.09.2015, p. 66-75.
  • "Myeloid Cells as Targets for Therapy in Solid Tumors." Cancer Journal (United States) In: , Vol. 21, No. 4, 05.07.2015, p. 343-350.
  • "T2-polarized CD4 T Cells and macrophages limit efficacy of radiotherapy." Cancer immunology research In: , Vol. 3, No. 5, 01.05.2015, p. 518-525.
  • "Macrophages and therapeutic resistance in cancer." Cancer Cell In: , Vol. 27, No. 4, 13.04.2015, p. 462-472.
  • "Sustained endothelial expression of HoxA5 in vivo impairs pathological angiogenesis and tumor progression." PLoS One  In: , Vol. 10, No. 3, e0121720, 30.03.2015.
  • "Macrophage IL-10 Blocks CD8+ T Cell-Dependent Responses to Chemotherapy by Suppressing IL-12 Expression in Intratumoral Dendritic Cells." Cancer Cell In: , Vol. 26, No. 5, 10.11.2014, p. 623-637.
  • "Manipulating MicroRNAs to regulate macrophage polarization in gliomas." Journal of the National Cancer Institute In: , Vol. 106, No. 8, dju230, 01.08.2014.
  • "B cells regulate macrophage phenotype and response to chemotherapy in squamous carcinomas." Cancer Cell In: , Vol. 25, No. 6, 16.06.2014, p. 809-821.
  • "Duality of the immune response in cancer : lessons learned from skin." The Journal of investigative dermatology In: , Vol. 134, No. e1, 2014, p. E23-E28.
  • "Manipulating microRNAs to regulate macrophage polarization in gliomas." Journal of the National Cancer Institute In: , Vol. 106, No. 8, 2014.
  • "Classification of current anticancer immunotherapies." Oncotarget  In: , Vol. 5, No. 24, 2014, p. 12472-12508.
  • "A listeria vaccine and depletion of t-regulatory cells activate immunity against early stage pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasms and prolong survival of mice." Gastroenterology In: , Vol. 146, No. 7, 2014.
  • "Mammary gland involution as an immunotherapeutic target for postpartum breast cancer." Journal of Mammary Gland Biology and Neoplasia  In: , Vol. 19, No. 2, 2014, p. 213-228.
  • "Poker face no more : cancer recurrence reveals its hand." Nature Medicine In: , Vol. 19, No. 12, 12.2013, p. 1569-1570.
  • "Dendritic cells, inflammation, and breast cancer." Cancer Journal (United States)  In: , Vol. 19, No. 6, 11.2013, p. 511-516.
  • "Cathepsin C is a tissue-specific regulator of squamous carcinogenesis." Genes and Development In: , Vol. 27, No. 19, 01.10.2013, p. 2086-2098.
  • "Tumor-infiltrating regulatory T cells inhibit endogenous cytotoxic T cell responses to lung adenocarcinoma." Journal of Immunology In: , Vol. 191, No. 4, 15.08.2013, p. 2009-2017.
  • "B cells and their mediators as targets for therapy in solid tumors." Experimental Cell Research In: , Vol. 319, No. 11, 01.07.2013, p. 1644-1649.
  • "Some dcs are "b"etter." Immunity  In: , Vol. 38, No. 4, 18.04.2013, p. 626-628.

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