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Jennifer Wargo, MD, MMSc

Jennifer Wargo, MD, MMSc

Associate Professor, Department of Surgical Oncology, Division of Surgery; Associate Professor, Department of Genomic Medicine, Division of Cancer Medicine

Biography

Dr. Wargo’s career commitment is to advance the understanding and treatment of disease through science. After completing her medical degree, she entered surgical residency training at the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School where she became interested in the biology and treatment of cancer. During her training, she completed two fellowships in surgical oncology with a focus on immunotherapy for cancer. Dr. Wargo was recruited to the Division of Surgical Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital in July 2008 and had an active research laboratory focusing on melanoma tumorigenesis and immunotherapy for cancer. One exciting finding involved data describing the effect of BRAF-targeted therapy on tumor antigen expression in melanoma as a basis for combining targeted therapy and immunotherapy in the treatment of this disease. Dr. Wargo validated those findings in patients treated with BRAF inhibitors. She has continued critical studies to better understand the effects of BRAF inhibition on immune responses in melanoma, and established a unique set of serial tumor biopsies and blood samples from patients enrolled on clinical trials on BRAF inhibitors. Through analysis of these samples, she contributed significantly to the world literature regarding resistance mechanisms and the effect of targeted therapy on anti-tumor immunity. Dr. Wargo was recruited to UT MD Anderson Cancer Center in September 2013 to continue this work and to build a program to collect serial biopsies in patients with melanoma and other cancers on targeted therapy and immunotherapy, and to better understand responses to therapy and to develop novel strategies to combat resistance.

Education & Training

  • 1990: Gwynedd-Mercy College, Gwynedd Valley, PA, AS, With distinction, Nursing
  • 1994: Gwynedd-Mercy College, Gwynedd Valley, PA, BS, summa cum laude, Biology
  • 1998: Medical College of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, MD, Medicine
  • 1999: Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, Clinical Internship, General Surgery
  • 2001: Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, Clinical Residency, General Surgery
  • 2003: University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, Research Fellowship, Surgical Oncology
  • 2005: Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, Clinical Residency, General Surgery
  • 2008: National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD, Clinical Fellowship, Surgical Oncology
  • 2012: Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, MMSc, Medical Science

Awards & Honors

  • 2014: Rising STARS Award, The University of Texas System; The Regents' Health Research Scholars Award, The University of Texas System; Outstanding Young Investigator Award, Society for Melanoma Research
  • 2012: Patient's Choice Award, Patient's Choice
  • 2011: Cancer Center 100 Award, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • 2010: Claflin Distinguished Scholar Award, Harvard University, Center for Faculty Development; Patient's Choice Award, Patient's Choice
  • 2009: Gynecologic Oncology Teaching Award, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • 2004: Excellence in Teaching, Tufts Medical School
  • 2003: Harvey Baker Traveling Fellowship, Society of Surgical Oncology
  • 1998: Alpha Omega National Medical Honor Society; Award for Excellence, Medical College of Pennsylvania; Dean's Award, Medical College of Pennsylvania; Donald R. Cooper Award, Medical College of Pennsylvania; Janet Glasgow Memorial Achievement Citation, American Medical Women's Association; Paula Bernocchi Award, Medical College of Pennsylvania; Student Government Association Award, Medical College of Pennsylvania; Student Research Award, Association for Academic Surgery
  • 1997: Student Research Award, NIH/American Medical Student Association
  • 1994: Departmental Honors (Biology), Gwynedd-Mercy College
  • 1990: Recipient of St. Catherine's Medal, Kappa Gamma Pi, National Catholic Honor Society

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