Anthony Rongvaux, PhD

faculty member

Anthony Rongvaux, PhD

Associate Professor
Translational Science and Therapeutics Division, Fred Hutch

Mail Stop: D3-100

Dr. Anthony Rongvaux studies how the immune system recognizes and responds to abnormal cells, like infected cells and cancer cells. His specialty is the innate immune system, the first responder of the body's defenses. Dr. Rongvaux studies the cells, genes and molecules that power innate immune responses using powerful laboratory tools he helped create to faithfully model the human immune system in all of its diversity. These new experimental models allow the Rongvaux team to manipulate particular aspects of the immune response and study its activities in depth.


Associate Research Scientist, Yale University; 2015

Postdoctoral Fellowship, Yale University; 2011

PhD, Molecular Biology; Free University of Brussels; 2006

BS, Molecular Biology, Free University of Brussels; Brussels, Belgium, 1999

Current Projects

Dr. Rongvaux’s ongoing research focuses on understanding what happens when the innate immune system gets it wrong, as when our immune system attacks our own cellular “power plants”; or when our immune system treacherously promotes disease.

In the first instance, he studies the immunogenic function of mitochondria, our powerhouses. Mitochondria originated from bacteria more than 1 billion years ago, and continue to live in synergy within our cells, producing the energy required for life. But because of their bacterial ancestry, mitochondria can be mistakenly recognized as foreign entities by our immune system. The Rongvaux lab studies the ‘tolerance’ mechanisms that can prevent such auto-immune responses against mitochondria, and the consequences on disease development in case this tolerance is broken.

In a second project, the Rongvaux lab studies the role of macrophages in the context of cancer. Macrophages are immune cells that protect us against diseases by eliminating pathogens, such as bacteria and viruses. But in the context of cancer, macrophages frequently turn against us, and promoting tumor progression metastasis, which is the main cause of cancer-related mortality. Understanding the precise molecular mechanisms by which these macrophages dysfunction may enable the future development of innovative immunotherapies.

"Fundamental research in immunology is the first step towards creating lifesaving advances."

 — Dr. Anthony Rongvaux

Find A Clinical Trial

Dr. Rongvaux in the News

Making a monkey out of MISTRG mice

Science Spotlight - February 18, 2019

Dr. Tijana Martinov named a 2019 Parker Scholar

Hutch News - February 07, 2019

‘Let the cells tell the story’

Hutch News - December 24, 2018

For the Media

The Media Relations team at Fred Hutch is available to assist members of the news media who would like to arrange interviews with faculty.

Email or call 206.667.2210