Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University
Lou and Jean Malnati Brain Tumor Institute

Maciej (Matt) S Lesniak, MD

Professor, Neurological Surgery; Feinberg School of Medicine

Maciej (Matt) S Lesniak, MD

Research Program


maciej.lesniak( at )


Selected Publications

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Cancer-Focused Research

As a physician-scientist, I am passionate about advancing the care of brain tumor patients. Although I am a neurosurgeon by training, for the past decade I have been actively involved in NIH-R01 funded research that focuses on gene therapy, immunotherapy, stem cell-based therapy, and nanotechnology applications for malignant brain cancer. These approaches may appear diverse at first glance, however, they focus on a single disease and allow a unique cross-pollination which has led to over 170 publications in high impact journals and education/training of numerous post-doctoral scientists and fellows who successfully secured F31, F32, K99/R00, and R01 funding ( During my career, I have been intricately involved in the development of translational therapies from bench to bedside and several projects developed in my laboratory have entered phase I clinical trials (Oncogel, Ad-IL12, IDO inhibition, TBio-NSCs) for malignant glioma. In fact, we just filed an IND involving the using of neural stem cells for delivery of oncolytic virus using stem cell carrier. This will represent the first ever human clinical trial of its kind and we anticipate enrolling patients in 2017. Having been the PI of over 30 clinical trials for patients with brain cancer, I have experience with the IND process and the FDA, and believe that just as in the past, the discoveries and technologies proposed in this application will ultimately find their way into a human clinical trial. My work has been recognized by the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy as I am the recipient of the Outstanding Young Investigator Award. In 2015, I was also selected to receive the National Cancer Institute’s Outstanding Investigator Award. In summary, I believe that I have the appropriate expertise in neuro-oncology and cancer research (stem cell biology, gene therapy, nanotechnology), the leadership capabilities to run a successful research program (as documented by our publications and funding record) and the motivation to advance the therapy for glioma patients (as shown in our multiple clinical trials and educational activities) to successfully carry out the proposed work.

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