Stephanie K. Dougan, PhD

Photo of Stephanie Dougan, PhDDepartment of Cancer Immunology and Virology 
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Immunobiology, Harvard Medical School 


Bio       Research interests      Key publications    Dr. Dougan Lab website


Stephanie Dougan received her PhD in immunology from Harvard University, where she studied lipid antigen presentation by CD1d and NKT cell development with Richard Blumberg. She then performed a postdoctoral fellowship with Hidde Ploegh at Whitehead Institute, where she became adept in somatic cell nuclear transfer and embryo manipulations for the purpose of generating transnuclear and CRISPR genome-modified mice.

Dr. Dougan joined the faculty at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in 2014, where her lab uses unique mouse models to study the immune response to tumors. She is particularly interested in tumors that do not induce a CD8 T cell response at baseline, and has been using pancreatic cancer as a model to develop new immunotherapies for non-T cell infiltrated tumors.

Dr. Dougan is the course director for the Harvard Immunology Summer Undergraduate Program, the co-director for the graduate school class Immunology 201, and the course director for an Advanced Integrated Science course in immunology for third-year HMS medical students.

Research interests

My lab studies immunotherapy for cancer using novel mouse models. We have a particular interest in pancreatic cancer, given the deadly nature of this disease.

Our specific interest is in understanding why pancreatic cancers are so refractory to immunotherapy. In part, we do not fully understand how tumor-specific T cells infiltrate densely fibrotic pancreatic tumors, or how to recruit more activated T cells to the tumor mass. Our lab is developing novel strategies to address this question.

We take a comprehensive approach, combining in vitro immunology assays and novel transnuclear and CRISPR genome-edited mice to probe the determinants of anti-tumor immunity. We are collaborating with other members of the Hale Family Research Center to profile the pancreatic tumor microenvironment, and to test how targeted therapies affect the immune response to pancreatic cancer.

Key publications

All publications

Dougan M, Ingram JR, Jeong HJ, Mosaheb MM, Bruck PT, Ali L, Pishesha N, Blomberg O, Tyler PM, Servos MM, Rashidian M, Nguyen QD, von Andrian UH, Ploegh HL, Dougan SK. Targeting Cytokine Therapy to the Pancreatic Tumor Microenvironment Using PD-L1-Specific VHHs. Cancer Immunol Res. 2018;6(4):389-401. Epub 2018/02/21. doi: 10.1158/2326-6066.CIR-17-0495. PubMed PMID: 29459478; PMCID: PMC6079513.

Clancy-Thompson E, Ali L, Bruck PT, Exley MA, Blumberg RS, Dranoff G, Dougan M, Dougan SK. IAP Antagonists Enhance Cytokine Production from Mouse and Human iNKT Cells. Cancer Immunol Res. 2018;6(1):25-35. doi: 10.1158/2326-6066.CIR-17-0490. PubMed PMID: 29187357.

Tyler PM, Servos MM, de Vries RC, Klebanov B, Kashyap T, Sacham S, Landesman Y, Dougan M, Dougan SK. Clinical Dosing Regimen of Selinexor Maintains Normal Immune Homeostasis and T-cell Effector Function in Mice: Implications for Combination with Immunotherapy. Mol Cancer Ther. 2017;16(3):428-39. doi: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-16-0496. PubMed PMID: 28148714; PMCID: PMC5337137.

Ingram JR, Dougan M, Rashidian M, Knoll M, Keliher EJ, Garrett S, Garforth S, Blomberg OS, Espinosa C, Bhan A, Almo SC, Weissleder R, Lodish H, Dougan SK, Ploegh HL. PD-L1 is an activation-independent marker of brown adipocytes. Nat Commun. 2017;8(1):647. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-00799-8. PubMed PMID: 28935898; PMCID: PMC5608754.

Ingram JR, Blomberg OS, Sockolosky JT, Ali L, Schmidt FI, Pishesha N, Espinosa C, Dougan SK, Garcia KC, Ploegh HL, Dougan M. Localized CD47 blockade enhances immunotherapy for murine melanoma. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017;114(38):10184-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1710776114. PubMed PMID: 28874561; PMCID: PMC5617302.

Dougan SK. The Pancreatic Cancer Microenvironment. Cancer J. 2017;23(6):321-5. doi: 10.1097/PPO.0000000000000288. PubMed PMID: 29189327.

Dougan M, Dougan SK. Targeting Immunotherapy to the Tumor Microenvironment. J Cell Biochem. 2017;118(10):3049-54. doi: 10.1002/jcb.26005. PubMed PMID: 28332219.

Clancy-Thompson E, Chen GZ, Tyler PM, Servos MM, Barisa M, Brennan PJ, Ploegh HL, Dougan SK. Monoclonal Invariant NKT (iNKT) Cell Mice Reveal a Role for Both Tissue of Origin and the TCR in Development of iNKT Functional Subsets. J Immunol. 2017;199(1):159-71. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1700214. PubMed PMID: 28576977; PMCID: PMC5518629.

Sanecka A, Yoshida N, Dougan SK, Jackson J, Shastri N, Ploegh H, Blanchard N, Frickel EM. Transnuclear CD8 T cells specific for the immunodominant epitope Gra6 lower acute-phase Toxoplasma gondii burden. Immunology. 2016;149(3):270-9. doi: 10.1111/imm.12643. PubMed PMID: 27377596; PMCID: PMC5046057.

Dura B, Servos MM, Barry RM, Ploegh HL, Dougan SK, Voldman J. Longitudinal multiparameter assay of lymphocyte interactions from onset by microfluidic cell pairing and culture. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016;113(26):E3599-608. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1515364113. PubMed PMID: 27303033; PMCID: PMC4932925.

Dura B, Dougan SK, Barisa M, Hoehl MM, Lo CT, Ploegh HL, Voldman J. Profiling lymphocyte interactions at the single-cell level by microfluidic cell pairing. Nat Commun. 2015;6:5940. doi: 10.1038/ncomms6940. PubMed PMID: 25585172.

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