Michael Nishimura, PhD






  • Cancer immunology
  • T cell receptor genetics, structure and function
  • Chimeric antigen receptor functions


I am a Professor in the Department of Surgery with a secondary appointment in Cancer Biology.  My postdoctoral fellowship at the California Institute of Technology is where the roots of my current research, the study of the genetics and biology of T cell receptor (TCR) genes and TCR gene modified T cells, began.  When I joined the Surgery Branch, NCI, I began a more translational and clinical approach to study TCRs by developing the TCR gene transfer approach for generating anti-cancer T cells for adoptive cell therapy in cancer patients.  The last 35+ years of studying T cells and tumor immunology has led to three clinical trials and 28 patients treated with gene modified T cells.


  • BA in Biological Sciences, University of Maryland Baltimore County
  • MS in Genetics, University of Maryland Baltimore County
  • PhD in Cancer Immunology, University of Maryland Baltimore County
  • Postdoctoral fellowship, California Institute of Technology


  • A class-mismatched TCR bypasses MHC restriction via an unorthodox but fully functional binding geometry  Singh, NK; Alonso, JA; Devlin, JR; Keller, GLJ; Gray, GI; Chiranjivi, AK; Foote, SG; Landau, LM; Arbuiso, AG; Weiss, LI; Rosenberg, AM; Hellman, LM; Nishimura, MI; Baker, BM  Nature Communications  2022 Nov 23;13(1):7189. doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-34896-0. PMID: 36424374; PMCID: PMC9691722
  • Siglec-5 is an inhibitory immune checkpoint molecule for human T cells  Vuchkovska, A; Glanville, DG; Scurti, GM; Nishimura, MI; White, P; Ulijasz, AT; Iwashima, M  Immunology  2022 Jun;166(2):238-248. doi: 10.1111/imm.13470. Epub 2022 Apr 1. PMID: 35290663
  • Genetic modification of T cells for the immunotherapy of cancer Quinn, S; Lenart, N; Dronzek, V; Scurti, GM; Hossain, NM; Nishimura, MI  Vaccines (Basel)  2022 Mar 16;10(3):457. doi: 10.3390/vaccines10030457. PMID: 35335089; PMCID: PMC8949949
  • Human CD36hi monocytes induce Foxp3+ CD25+ T cells with regulatory functions from CD4 and CD8 subsets  Lee, JG; Jaeger, KE; Seki, Y; Wei, Lim Y; Cunha, C; Vuchkovska, A; Nelson, AJ; Nikolai, A; Kim, D; Nishimura, M; Knight, KL; White, P; Iwashima, M  Immunology  2021 Jul;163(3):293-309. doi: 10.1111/imm.13316. Epub 2021 Mar 7. PMID: 33524161; PMCID: PMC8207412
  • Melanoma reactive TCR-modified T cells generated without activation retain a less differentiated phenotype and mediate a superior in vivo response  Wang, SY; Moore, TV; Dalheim, AV; Scurti, GM; Nishimura, MI  Science Reports  2021 Jun 25;11(1):13327. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-92808-6. PMID: 34172810; PMCID: PMC8233420
  • HDAC inhibition prevents transgene expression downregulation and loss-of-function in T-cell-receptor-transduced T cells  Moore, TV; Scurti, GM; DeJong, M; Wang, SY; Dalheim, AV; Wagner, CR; Hutchens, KA; Speiser, JJ; Godellas, CV; Fountain, C; Fleser, J; Moudgil, T; Thomas, M; Murray, D; Curti, BD; Clark, JI; Fox, BA; Nishimura, MI Molecular Therapy – Oncolytics  2021 Jan 26;20:352-363. doi: 10.1016/j.omto.2021.01.014. PMID: 33614916; PMCID: PMC7878989
  • Endothelin-1-mediated drug resistance in EGFR-mutant non-small cell lung carcinoma  Pulido, I; Ollosi, S; Aparisi, S; Becker, JH; Aliena-Valero, A; Benet, M; Rodríguez, ML; López, A; Tamayo-Torres, E; Chuliá-Peris, L; García-Cañaveras, JC; Soucheray, M; Dalheim, AV; Salom, JB; Qiu, W; Kaja, S; Fernández-Coronado, JA; Alandes, S; Alcácer, J; Al-Shahrour, F; Borgia, JA; Juan, O; Nishimura, MI; Lahoz, A; Carretero, J; Shimamura, T  Cancer Research  2020 Oct 1;80(19):4224-4232. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-20-0141. Epub 2020 Aug 3. PMID: 32747363; PMCID: PMC7541638
  • Identification of human CD4+ T cell populations with distinct antitumor activity  Nelson, MH; Knochelmann, HM; Bailey, SR; Huff, LW; Bowers, JS; Majchrzak-Kuligowska, K; Wyatt, MM; Rubinstein, MP; Mehrotra, S; Nishimura, MI; Armeson, KE; Giresi, PG; Zilliox, MJ; Broxmeyer, HE; Paulos, CM  Science Advances  2020 Jul 1;6(27):eaba7443. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aba7443. PMID: 32937437; PMCID: PMC7458458
  • Improved MHC II epitope prediction - a step towards personalized medicine  Moore, TV; Nishimura, MI  Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology 2020 Feb;17(2):71-72. doi: 10.1038/s41571-019-0315-0. PMID: 31836878; PMCID: PMC7223749
  • Late events after CD-19 CAR-T treatment  Hossain, NM; Nishimura, MI Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation  2020 Jan;26(1):e1-e2. doi: 10.1016/j.bbmt.2019.10.020. Epub 2019 Oct 25. PMID: 31669398

 Michael Nishimura Publications