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Inaki Etxeberria, PhD

Parker Scholar


As a doctoral student at the University of Navarra in Spain, Inaki Etxeberria integrated his specialization in cancer genetics with immunology, completing his PhD in Immunology under Ignacio Melero, MD, PhD. In his studies, Inaki developed a strategy to enhance the efficacy of adoptive T cell therapy utilizing transient gene engineering with mRNA encoding IL-12 and CD137L, as well as by intratumor administration. This strategy showed pronounced efficacy against injected and non-injected mouse tumors and demonstrated the clinical feasibility of the approach in a xenografted model treated with autologous IL-12-engineered TILs. Inaki was the first to suggest that intratumor release, transient IL-12 engineering and repeated administrations jointly constitute a safe, feasible and powerful cancer immunotherapy strategy. 

In 2020, Inaki became a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Christopher Klebanoff, MD, at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Focusing on translational research, he studies the determinants of T-cell responses to cancer neoantigens in patients to develop next-generation therapies.

He is a 2022 Parker Scholar transitioning from research to clinical translation to bring new cancer immunotherapies to patients. He earned his PhD in Immunology and Tumor Immunology from the University of Navarra in 2020.

Education & Training

  • 2020-present: Postdoctoral Fellow, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • 2020: University of Navarra, PhD, Immunology and Tumor Immunology
  • 2015: University of Southern Denmark, MS, Human/Medical Genetics
  • 2013: University of Navarra, BS, Biomedicine

Awards & Honors

  • 2022: Parker Scholar
  • 2021: Research Fellowship, Alfonso Martín Escudero Foundation
  • 2020: New Talent Award in Immunology, Francisco de Vitoria University and Merck Foundation
  • 2020: Extraordinary Doctorate Award, University of Navarra
  • 2020: Cum Laude PhD, University of Navarra
  • 2016: FPI PhD Fellowship, Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness