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


  • "Understanding the tumor immune microenvironment (TIME) for effective therapy." Nature Medicine In: , Vol. 24, No. 5, 01.05.2018, p. 541-550.
  • "B cells as biomarkers : Predicting immune checkpoint therapy adverse events." Journal of Clinical Investigation In: , Vol. 128, No. 2, 01.02.2018, p. 577-579.
  • "TIM-3 Regulates CD103 Dendritic Cell Function and Response to Chemotherapy in Breast Cancer." Cancer Cell  In: , Vol. 33, No. 1, 08.01.2018, p. 60-74.e6.
  • "Gut microbiome modulates response to anti-PD-1 immunotherapy in melanoma patients." Science In: , Vol. 359, No. 6371, 05.01.2018, p. 97-103.
  • "Tumor Cell-Intrinsic Factors Underlie Heterogeneity of Immune Cell Infiltration and Response to Immunotherapy." Immunity In: , 01.01.2018.
  • "To Help or To Harm : Dynamic Roles of CD4 T Helper Cells in Solid Tumor Microenvironments."  Immunology: Immunotoxicology, Immunopathology, and Immunotherapy. Vol. 1 Elsevier, 2017. p. 97-116.
  • "Immune escape in breast cancer during in situ to invasive carcinoma transition." Cancer Discovery  In: , Vol. 7, No. 10, 01.10.2017, p. 1098-1115.
  • "Workshop on challenges, insights, and future directions for mouse and humanized models in cancer immunology and immunotherapy : A report from the associated programs of the 2016 annual meeting for the Society for Immunotherapy of cancer." Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer In: , Vol. 5, No. 1, 77, 19.09.2017.
  • "Multiplexed immunohistochemistry image analysis using sparse coding."  2017 39th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society: Smarter Technology for a Healthier World, EMBC 2017 - Proceedings. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc., 2017. p. 4046-4049 8037744.
  • "Surgical Procedures and Methodology for a Preclinical Murine Model of De Novo Mammary Cancer Metastasis." Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE In: , No. 125, 29.07.2017.
  • "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.
  • "Inflammation and Cancer."  Immunity to Pathogens and Tumors. Vol. 4 Elsevier Inc., 2016. p. 406-415.
  • "208O_PR : CRS-207 with chemotherapy (chemo) in malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM): Results from a phase 1b trial." Journal of Thoracic Oncology In: , Vol. 11, No. 4, 01.04.2016, p. S156.
  • "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.

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