Head, Center of Excellence in Immunology
National Cancer Institute, NIH
Nicholas P. Restifo, MD is the Head of the Center of Excellence in Immunology, National Cancer Institute, NIH. He received his undergraduate degree with honors from The Johns Hopkins University and his medical degree from NYU. He performed post-doctoral training at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and was recruited to the NCI in 1989.
Dr. Restifo has focused his entire scientific career on doing groundbreaking research on the curative role of T lymphocytes in the anti-tumor immune response. He built the first transgenic animal models showing that naturally-occurring T cells are able to reject every last cancer cell. He used these animal models to elucidate the principals of T cell-based cancer immunotherapy that were then used in human clinical trials. Dr. Restifo demonstrated that special class of stem cell-like T cells capable of eradicating cancer cells. Dr. Restifo is intimately involved in clinical trial activities using the adoptive transfer of large numbers of highly-reactive anti-tumor T lymphocytes. These clinical trials have recently had considerable success against a growing list human malignancies including melanoma, sarcoma, leukemia and lymphoma. Dr. Restifo has published more than 300 scientific papers and two dozen book chapters on cancer immunotherapy that have been cited more than 55,000 times according to Google Scholar. His work continues apace and within the past few years he has reported major findings in journals including Cell, Science and Nature. The data analytics firm Thomson Reuters has recently named him as one of the “World's most influential scientific minds.”