Mary L. (Nora) Disis, MD

Cancer Immunotherapy Trials Network

Mary L. (Nora) Disis, MD

Co-Investigator of the CITN

Dr. Disis is the Co-Investigator responsible for immune monitoring. Dr. Disis is the Associate Dean for Translational Health Sciences in the UW School of Medicine, Professor of Medicine and Adjunct Professor of Pathology and Obstetrics and Gynecology at UW, and a Member of the FHCRC. She is the Director of both the UW Institute of Translational Health Science and the Center for Translational Medicine in Women’s Health.

Dr. Disis is an expert in translational research in general and breast and ovarian cancer immunology and immunotherapy, specifically. Her research interest is in the discovery of new molecular immunologic targets in breast and ovarian cancer for the development of vaccine and T cell therapy for those malignancies. Her group evaluates the use of the immune system to diagnosis of cancer and develops novel assays and approaches to quantify and characterize human immunity.

Dr. Disis holds several patents in the fields of targeted cancer therapy and cancer diagnostics. Over the last decade, Dr. Disis has designed and executed more than 15 clinical trials of immunotherapeutic agents under investigator-initiated Investigational New Drug (IND) applications. The scope of clinical trials conducted in her group, the Tumor Vaccine Group (TVG), ranges from cancer vaccines (peptide, protein, and DNA) to general immunomodulatory agents, most recently, adoptive T cell therapy. Dr. Disis established the TVG Immunologic Monitoring Laboratory (IML) more than a decade ago. The IML became the focus of a U54 grant (U54 CA090818, Immunologic Correlates of Effective Immunization for Cancer Vaccines, 2001–2006), the purpose of which was to develop new immune assessment technologies for clinical use and to apply those techniques in monitoring cancer vaccine trials. The grant developed a national consortium to study immunologic monitoring, which consisted of investigators from UW/FHCRC and Duke University, and scientists from BD Biosciences and Beckman Coulter. The consortium published multiple papers on the development and standardization of immunologic assays, methods to support optimized function of those assays, and novel approaches to measuring immunity [9, 10, and 12]. The consortium continues to participate in national efforts to standardize assays and the reporting of assays results. The TVG IML is a fee for service shared resource at UW/FHCRC and is responsible for immunologic monitoring on internal clinical trials, and also conducts analyses for other investigators.

Dr. Disis received her MD degree from University of Nebraska. She completed her residency in Internal Medicine, University of Illinois.

View Dr. Disis' profile and publications