Skip to content
Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy
Search Close

Research Projects

Our research team aims to answer immunotherapy’s most fundamental questions. What happens to the immune system when a patient gets cancer? How can we make immunotherapy kill all types of tumors so more patients can live a cancer-free life? We work with the best in academia and industry to find answers, fast. And we’re building an arsenal of new tools – from cancer vaccines to next-gen cell therapies – so we can end cancer. For good.


Research Collaborators


PICI-Supported research projects

What We Do

  • Science, unlocked. If cancer is a puzzle, immunotherapy could be the key. To unlock the answers, we study the fundamental science at the intersection of immunology and cancer.
  • A collaborative force. We bring together the best players from different disciplines – including immunology, oncology, chemistry and engineering – to generate solutions using multiple perspectives.
  • Speed up science for patients. We support pre-clinical research programs that directly translate to the clinic so that discoveries can more quickly turn into new treatments for patients.
  • Build new weapons to fight cancer. With our partners, we develop novel treatments such as therapeutic vaccines and cell therapies, from the ground up.

Meet Our Experts


John Connolly, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer

Lisa Butterfield, PhD
Vice President, PICI Research Center

Samantha Bucktrout, PhD
Director, Research

Nadine Defranoux, PhD
Program Manager, Research

Sara Marr, MS
Program Manager, Research

Translational Research

Theresa LaVallee, PhD
Vice President, Translational Medicine and Regulatory Affairs


Nikesh Kotecha, PhD
Vice President, Informatics

Daniel (Danny) Wells, PhD
Principal Data Scientist

Pier Federico Gherardini, PhD
Director, Informatics

Lacey Kitch, PhD
Director, Informatics

Nicholas Bayless, PhD
Senior Research Scientist

Christine (Chris) Spencer, PhD
Senior Research Scientist

Research Operations

Cheryl Selinsky, PhD
Vice President, Research Operations

Christopher Perry
Associate Director, Biospecimen Operations

Research Projects


A first-of-its-kind data analysis engine for scientific discovery.


Can we outsmart cancer by learning from the past?


A data-driven approach to metastatic triple negative breast cancer