People

Lisa Coussens, Ph.D.

Lisa M. Coussens, Ph.D.
Hildegard Lamfrom Endowed Chair in Basic Science
Professor and Chairwoman, Department of Cell, Developmental and Cancer Biology
Associate Director for Basic Research, Knight Cancer Institute

Email Dr. Coussens
PubMed search and CV

Graduate Program in Molecular and Cellular Biosciences
Cancer Biology
Cell and Developmental Biology
OHSU Center for Spatial Systems Biomedicine

1980 – Biology, B.A., San Francisco State University
1993 – Biological chemistry, Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles 

Fellowship: Post doctoral fellow, Univ. of Calif., San Francisco; Lab of Douglas Hanahan, Ph.D.

1981-1988 – Research Associate, Molecular and  Developmental Biology, Genentech, Inc.
1997-1999 – Assistant Research biochemist, Hormone Research Institute, UCSF
1999-2004 – Assistant Professor (in residence), Department of Pathology and Cancer Res. Inst., UCSF
2004-2006 – Associate Professor (in residence), Department of Pathology and Cancer Res. Inst., UCSF
2006-2007 – Associate Professor, Department of Pathology and Cancer Research Institute, UCSF
2007-2012 – Professor, Department of Pathology and Cancer Research Institute, UCSF
2012-2015 – Adjunct Professor, University of California, San Francisco
2011-present – Professor and Chair of Cell, Developmental and Cancer Biology, OHSU
2011-present – Associate Director for Basic Research, Knight Cancer Institute, OHSU

Other positions held concurrently

1989-1992 – Lecturer, Biology Department, Whittier College
1992 – Scientific Consultant, Department of Legal Affairs, Genentech, Inc.
2000-2012 – Co-director, Mouse Pathology Core, Hellen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
2007-2009 – Senior and Deputy Editor, Tumor Microenvironment Section, Cancer Research
2009-2012 – Co-leader, Program in Cancer Immunity and Microenvironment, UCSF
2009-2012 – Deputy Editor, Breaking Advances, Cancer Research
2013-present – Senior Editor, General, Cancer Immunology Research
2012-present – Co-leader, Program in Cancer Biology, Knight Cancer Institute, OHSU
2017-present – Scientific Consultant, Antibody development, Cell Signaling Technologies

  • American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Gertrude B. Elion Award (2001)
  • AACR-Women in Cancer Research Charlotte Friend Memorial Lectureship (2012)
  • 13th Rosalind E. Franklin Award from the National Cancer Institute (2015)
  • Doctor Honoris Causa from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina (2018)
  • 2th AACR-Princess Takamatsu Memorial Lectureship (2018)
  • Career Award from the European Academy of Tumor Immunology (2018)
  • 2018 Susan G. Komen Brinker Award for Scientific Distinction in Basic Science,
  • Elected as Fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS; 2018)
  • Fellow of the AACR Academy (2019)

Coussens Lab

Sushil Kumar, Ph.D.

Sushil Kumar, Ph.D. 
Research Assistant Professor

Education: Ph.D., Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Munich, Germany, 2007

Postdoctoral training: Institute of Molecular Cancer Research, University of Zurich, Switzerland, 2008 - 2011; Oregon Health & Science University 2012 - 2014

Scientific interests: My scientific interests are to understand the molecular basis of tumor related inflammation and translation of this knowledge into modern cancer therapy.

Courtney Betts, Ph.D.

Courtney Betts, Ph.D.
Scientific Project Manager

Education: Ph.D. in cell and developmental biology, Oregon Health & Science University; M.S. in cell biology and cancer research, Albany Medical College (2010); B.S. in biology, Hobart and William Smith Colleges (2007)

Scientific interests: Monitoring immune contexture of human cancers to advance the development and efficacy of immunotherapy. 

Takahiro Tsujikawa, M.D., Ph.D.

Takahiro Tsujikawa, M.D., Ph.D.
Adjunct Assistant Professor

Education: M.D., Ph.D., Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Japan, 2013

Scientific interests: My research focus has been the cancer-microenvironment interactions for cancer development. My long-term goal is to develop therapeutic strategies targeting the immunological tumor microenvironment in head and neck cancer.

Honors and Awards: Recipient of the 2019 best young physician scientists in Japan, by the Otorhinolaryngological Society of Japan.

Nicky Beelen

Nicky Beelen
Visiting Ph.D. Student

Education: PhD student, Maastricht University, The Netherlands; M.S. in Biomedical Sciences, Maastricht University; B.S. in Health Sciences, Maastricht University.

Scientific interest: To better understand the communication between cancer cells and the environment, specifically with natural killer cells, and to apply this knowledge to improve immunotherapy

Photo of Eric Berens

Eric Berens, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Scholar

Education: Postdoc at the University of California - San Francisco (with Zena Werb, 2018-2020); Ph.D. in Tumor Biology, Georgetown University (2018), M.S. in Integrated Biosciences, University of Minnesota (2012); B.A. in Biology, St. Olaf College (2008) 

Scientific Interests: Anything and everything related to tumor metastasis. Most recently, I'm intrigued by the phenomenon of breast cancer cells acquiring specific immune surface markers when they disseminate. My research is addressing the extent to which metastasis shares parallels with the physiologic trafficking of immune cells.

Konjit Betre

Konjit Betre, B.S.
Research Assistant 2

Education: B.S. in biochemistry, University of Minnesota, December 2006, B.S. in in genetics, cell biology and development, University of Minnesota, May 2002

Scientific interests: Immunotherapeutic treatments of cancer and identifying new biomarkers that could potentially improve cancer screening, diagnosis and treatment. 

Eivind Valen Egeland, Ph.D.

Eivind Valen Egelan, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Scholar

Education: Ph.D., Department of Tumor Biology, Oslo University Hospital, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway, 2016

Scientific interests: I am interested in how macrophages and cancer cells communicate, and how this contributes to tumor progression. 

Ana Ferreira

Ana Howells-Ferreira, M.S.
Computational Biologist

Education: M.S. in Bioinformatics and Genomics, University of Oregon (2018); B.S. in Biology, Georgia State University(2008); women's volleyball scholarship recipient, member of Women in Science, Portland.

Scientific Interests: T cell biology and the tumor microenvironment. I enjoy working on effective communication by applying data visualization principles, generating interactive reports and making use of best practices in software development to work with researchers as a team. 

Giovanney Gonzalez

Giovanney Gonzalez, B.S.
Research Assistant 2

Education: B.S. in biochemistry and molecular biology, Linfield College

Scientific interests: Immunotherapy and utilizing new advances to personalize cancer treatment.

Female silhouette with text "Photo Coming Soon"

Christian Huisman, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Scholar

Education: Coming soon!

Scientific Interests: Coming soon!

Nell Kirchberger

Nell Kirchberger, B.A.
Research Assistant 2

Education: B.A., Biology, NYU, 2019, minors in Chemistry and Bioethics.

Scientific Interests: My research interests involve how cancer metabolism shapes the tumor microenvironment, particularly its effect on immune cells, and how these interactions can provide insight into drug responsiveness.

Meghan Lavoie

Meghan Lavoie, B.S.
Senior Research Assistant

Education: B.S. health studies, concentration in community health, Portland State University

Scientific interests: Proactive and preventative health care, efficient cancer diagnostic and treatment approaches, and epidemiology. 

Dhaarini Murugan, Ph.D.

Dhaarini Murugan, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Scholar

Education: Ph.D., Molecular Medicine program, Hannover Medical School, Germany, 2014

Scientific interests:  To assess the changes in T and B cell repertoire diversity and clonality as biomarkers to evaluate the efficacy of cancer immunotherapy. To further study the antigenic specificity of selected clonotypes with the aim of designing antigen-loaded dendritic cells for cancer vaccination.

Amanda Poissonnier, Ph.D.

Amanda Poissonnier, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Scholar

Education: Ph.D., French National Institute of Health and Medical Research, Rennes, France. 2017

Scientific interests: I’m interested in many aspects of cancer biology, especially the complex relationship between immunity and tumor pathogenesis. It is a key point to understand why inflammation can be a hallmark of cancer progression and how we can foster anti-tumor responses by modulating the tumor microenvironment. My work is focused on new combination therapies in order to improve efficacy of chemotherapy treatments for TNBC patients.

Sam Sivagnanam, M.S.

Sam Sivagnanam, M.S.
Research Associate, Computational Biology

Education: M.S. in bioinformatics and genomics, University of Oregon (2016); molecular bioscience, University of Kansas (2007).

Scientific interests: Fascinated by cancer biology, I aim to provide quantitative analysis, and develop automated image analysis pipelines for predictive models and biomarker discovery in cancer using biology, art and code to extract meaning from biological images.

Jacklyn Woods

Jacklyn Woods, Ph.D.
Lab & Facilities Operations Manager

Education: PhD in Biomedical Engineering from University of California, Davis (2019); MS in Bioengineering from University of California, Riverside (2014); BS in Bioengineering from California Lutheran University (2013) 

Scientific Interests: I apply engineering principles to medicine. My previous research focused on cell-based tissue engineered therapies. I look forward to gaining knowledge in regards to cancer biology.  

Teresa Beechwood

Teresa Beechwood, B.S.

Gina Choe

Gina Choe, B.S.

Tiziana Cotechini

Tiziana Cotechini, Ph.D.

Femke Ehlers, M.S.

Femke Ehlers, M.S.

Patrick Flynn

Patrick Flynn, B.S.

Charlie Gast, Ph.D.

Charlie Gast, Ph.D.

Cecil Gomes, Ph.D.

Cecil Gomes, Ph.D.

Huanhuan (Mahsa) He, Ph.D.

Huanhuan (Mahsa) He, Ph.D.

Wes Horton

Wes Horton, M.S.

Rie Kawashima D.D.S., Ph.D.

Rie Kawashima D.D.S., Ph.D.

Will Larson

Will Larson, B.S.

Kenna Leis

Kenna Leis, B.S.

Elaine Lin, M.D., Ph.D.

Elaine Lin, M.D., Ph.D.

Shannon Liudahl

Shannon Liudahl, Ph.D.

 Lauren Maloney

 Lauren Maloney, B.S.

Zenette McCoy

Zenette McCoy, B.S.

Terry Medler

Terry Medler, Ph.D.

Padraic Robinson, B.S.

Padraic Robinson, B.S.

Brian Ruffell, Ph.D.

Brian Ruffell, Ph.D.

Justin Tibbitts, M.S., M.B.A

Justin Tibbitts, M.S., M.B.A.
University of Minnesota

Jennifer Wherley, MD, MS

Jennifer Wherley, M.D., M.S.

Coussens Lab researchers dining out together, 2019.
Coussens Lab, summer 2019 (above)
Coussens Lab researchers together, outside among trees.
Coussens Lab 2017