Robert Eil


Dr. Eil is an Assistant Professor of Surgery and Cellular, Developmental, & Cancer Biology at Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine (OHSU). He is a surgeon-scientist focusing on applying immunotherapies to cancers involving the pancreas and liver. In the midst of his surgery residency at OHSU, Dr. Eil pursued a research fellowship at the Surgery Branch of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), gaining expertise in T-cell biology, tumor immunology, genetic engineering and cell transfer therapies.

During his time at the NCI, Dr. Eil identified unrecognized derangements within the tumor microenvironment that contribute to suppression of T-cell function and developed therapeutic approaches to restore T cell function based on these findings. All cancer immunotherapies rely upon the activity of T-cells.

Following completion of his clinical fellowship in surgical oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Dr. Eil was recruited back to OHSU to establish his research group. Here, he will continue to investigate the immune microenvironment and engineering T-cells to function within the context of cancers involving the liver and pancreas. His multidisciplinary expertise provides a unique perspective to reinvigorate T-cell function, ultimately improving the lives and outcomes of patients suffering from this disease.

Eil lab

Alex Bartlett

Alex Bartlett, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Scholar

Education: Ph.D., Cancer Biology, OHSU (2021); B.S., Biology and Mathematics, University of Portland (2015).

Jessica Briones

Jessica Briones
Graduate Student

Jessica is a Filipina-American scientist passionate about advancing immunotherapy for solid tumor cancers. After earning a Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from UC Davis, she immersed herself in CAR T cell research and pursued a Master’s degree under the mentorship of Dr. Wendell Lim. By leveraging synNotch receptors, she improved the ability of CAR T cells to precisely target brain tumors and avoid off-target toxicity. Eager to learn more about translational research, Jessica transitioned into industry and joined Lyell Immunopharma as a Senior Research Associate. There, she helped develop the Stim-R technology to enhance the function and persistence of CAR T cell products. Now, Jessica is a PhD student in the PBMS program and is thrilled to continue immune-tumor research under the guidance of Dr. Robert Eil. Outside of the lab, you can find Jessica at the bouldering gym or at a local coffee roaster.

Camille Collier

Camille Collier
Senior Research Assistant

Education: B.A. Candidate, Biology, University of Pennsylvania (2021)

Scientific interests: At Penn, I studied underlying mechanisms of stem cell behavior and tissue transformation. I bring this background to the Eil Lab, where I am interested in ascertaining and optimizing T cell physiology within the tumor microenvironment.

Chelsea Jenkins

Chelsea Jenkins, Ph.D.
Senior Research Associate

Education: Ph.D., Cancer Biology, OHSU.

Scientific interests: Chelsea earned her Ph.D. in Cancer Biology in the Tyner Lab at OHSU while studying leukemia cell signaling. She has worked on additional projects associated with solid tumors, lineage plasticity, and cell receptor function in tumorigenesis before joining the Eil lab.

Matthew McWhorter

Matthew McWhorter
Research Assistant

Education: B.A. Biochemistry and Biophysics, Oregon State University (2022)

Matthew joined the Eil Lab in 2022 manages our murine colony and pursues various projects within the lab, including ionic control of T-cells and CAR T-cell adoptive transfer models for solid tumors.

Eil lab, September 2021
Eil Lab, September 2021 (above)