Headshot photo of Amy Moran, Ph.D.

Amy Moran, Ph.D.

  • Associate Professor of Cell, Developmental and Cancer Biology, School of Medicine
  • Program in Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, School of Medicine
  • Cancer Biology Graduate Program, School of Medicine


I have a long-standing interest in understanding how the T cell microenvironment shapes the immunological response upon T cell activation. I have a broad background in basic immunology with specific training and expertise T cell receptor signal strength and fate decisions, tumor models, and cancer immunotherapy. My current research seeks to understand the mechanism of action of single agent and combination therapies in models of prostate cancer. These studies parlay from work during my postdoctoral training that uncovered novel mechanisms of synergy between OX40 agonists and PD-L1 blockade in models of sarcoma and adenocarcinomas published in The Journal of Immunology and under review in Cancer Cell. Studies in my independent laboratory focus on understanding how hormone ablation therapies reverse immunesenescence in tumor bearing hosts with a particular interest in prostate cancer. These studies explore the metabolic health and plasticity of tumor-antigen specific T cells in aged hosts and the impact of sex steroid ablation and checkpoint blockade on increasing the bioenergetics potential of these cells. In addition, we explore the impact of restoring thymic function together with PD-1 inhibition in tumor-bearing hosts and the impact this has on the immune repertoire, function, and regulatory T cell differentiation.

Education and training

    • B.S., 2001, Gonzaga University
    • Ph.D., 2011, University of Minnesota

Memberships and associations:

  • 2013-Present Member, Society for the Immunotherapy of Cancer
  • 2011-Present Member, American Association of Immunologists


Selected publications

  • “Antigen-Independent Differentiation and Maintenance of Effector-like Resident Memory T cells in Tissues.” Journal of Immunology. May 15; 188(10): 4866-75. PMID: 22504644
  • “The TNFRs OX40, 4-1BB, and CD40 as targets for cancer immunotherapy.” Current Opinion in Immunology. Apr 25(2):230-7. PMID:23414607
  • “Immunotherapy expands and maintains the function of high affinity tumor infiltrating CD8 T cells in situ.” (2016). The Journal of Immunology. September 15; 197(6):2509-21.
  • “Enhanced bioenergetic potential supports the expansion and effector differentiation of T cells after aOX40 plus aPDL1 combination therapy.” Under review; Cancer Cell.


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