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Derek A Wainwright, PhD

Assistant Professor, Neurological Surgery; Feinberg School of Medicine

Derek A Wainwright, PhD

Research Program


derekwainwright( at )


Cancer-Focused Research

The primary goal of our research is to analyze the immune response in human brain tumors, as well as syngeneic and humanized mouse brain tumor models, with the intent to develop and evaluate novel immunotherapeutic strategies for malignant brain cancer. We aim to: 1) discover new targets that increase immunosuppression, 2) develop new drugs that inhibit immunosuppression, 3) and test novel treatment strategies for clinical translation into human patients with malignant glioma. Current Projects - Dissect the multiple roles of immunosuppressive indoleamine 2,3 dioxygenase 1 (IDO) in glioblastoma (GBM) - Determine how advanced age suppresses the effectiveness of immunotherapy for treatment of GBM - Investigate the psychosocial aspects of stress, anxiety and/or depression on the suppression of immunotherapeutic efficacy for GBM. - Characterize the gut microbiota of GBM patients, before and after treatment with immunotherapy