About us

The Coussens Lab focuses on the role of immune cells and their mediators as critical regulators of cancer development. During the early development of cancer, many physiological processes occur in the vicinity of 'young tumor cells' that are similar to processes that occur during embryonic development and to healing of wounds in adult tissue, e.g., leukocyte recruitment and activation (inflammation), angiogenesis (development of new blood supply) and tissue remodeling.

During tumor development however, instead of initiating a 'healing' response, activated leukocytes provide growth-promoting factors that typically help tumors grow. We are interested in understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms that regulate leukocyte recruitment into neoplastic tissue, and the subsequent regulation those leukocytes exert on evolving cancer cells.

Past and current Coussens lab trainees with Lisa at AACR 2023
Past and present Coussens lab trainees with Lisa at AACR Annual Meeting 2023.

Left to Right: Sushil Kumar (2012-present, OHSU), Takahiro Tsujikawa (2014-2017, OHSU), David DeNardo (2005-2010, UCSF), Lisa Coussens, Eivind Valen Egeland (back row; 2018 – present, OHSU), Alissa Kimura (Tsujikawa lab, Japan; front row), Brian Ruffell (2008-2015, UCSF/OHSU), Terry Medler (2012-2017, OHSU), Karin de Visser (2002-2005, UCSF), Amanda Poissonnier (2017 – present, OHSU), Shamilene ‘Sam’ Sivagnanam (2020 – present, OHSU)

Funded by

Peer-reviewed funding

  • Stand Up To Cancer – Lustgarten Foundation Pancreatic Cancer Convergence Dream Team Translational Research Grant
  • Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program Era of Hope Scholar Expansion Award  
  • Susan B. Komen Foundation PROMISE Award 
  • Breast Cancer Research Foundation 
  • National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute 
  • OHSU Brenden-Colson Center for Pancreatic Health 

Industry-sponsored funding

  • Acerta Pharma 
  • Deciphera Pharmaceuticals 
  • Jansen Research & Development LLC