Pittet

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Mikael Pittet's Lab

My laboratory performs a research program on the host immune response in vivo with the main goal to offer valuable new ways to combat cancer. We use various modalities, including in vivo imaging, to study where, when and how immune cells are produced, traffic, and mediate regulatory or effector functions. The studies make use of both genetic mouse models, which allow manipulations and analyses of mechanisms and causality, and human patient material, to ensure that the results are anchored in clinical correlates. This dual approach gives opportunities for discovery of novel contributions of the immune response to tumor progression, new biomarkers useful for diagnosis and prognosis, and novel targets for therapeutic intervention. Dr. Pittet directs Cancer Immunology Program at CSB and collaborates with several immunology programs at Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


In vivo imaging of immune cells at different scales. Imaging modalities include single photon emission computed tomography - X-ray computed tomography (SPECT-CT), fluorescence mediated tomography (FMT), microscopic fiber optics, and intravital multiphoton microscopy (IVM).

Recent Publications (more...)

Siwicki M, Engblom C, Pittet MJ
Gal3 Links Inflammation and Insulin Resistance.
Cell Metab. 2016;24(5):655-656 - PMID: 27829136
Engblom C, Pfirschke C, Pittet MJ
The role of myeloid cells in cancer therapies.
Nat Rev Cancer. 2016;16(7):447-62 - PMID: 27339708
Spiegel A, Brooks MW, Houshyar S, Reinhardt F, Ardolino M, Fessler E, Chen MB, Krall JA, DeCock J, Zervantonakis IK, Iannello A, Iwamoto Y, Cortez-Retamozo V, Kamm RD, Pittet MJ, Raulet DH, Weinberg RA
Neutrophils suppress intraluminal NK-mediated tumor cell clearance and enhance extravasation of disseminated carcinoma cells.
Cancer Discov. 2016;6(6):630-49 - PMID: 27072748 - PMCID: PMC4918202
Pucci F, Rickelt S, Newton AP, Garris C, Nunes E, Evavold C, Pfirschke C, Engblom C, Mino-Kenudson M, Hynes RO, Weissleder R, Pittet MJ
PF4 Promotes Platelet Production and Lung Cancer Growth.
Cell Rep. 2016;17(7):1764-1772 - PMID: 27829148 - PMCID: PMC5108525

Recent News (more...)

2016-12-01: Today, the Swiss Cancer League awarded its most prestigious research prize to Dr. Mikael Pittet from the Center for System Biology at MGH, Boston. Dr. Pittet has done fundamental work in the field of immuno-therapies, in particular investigating the myeloid cells contribution. Immunotherapies - the treatments that support the body's immune system in the suppression of cancer cells - are a mainstream hope in the current fight against cancer.
2016-11-22: This presentation of Mikael Pittet laboratory's latest work on cancer immunotherapy was given at the 2016 World Medical Innovation Forum.
2016-08-18: Two CSB fellows - Kisoo Park, PhD and Christina Pfirschke, PhD - have been selected to receive a MGH ECOR Tosteson Postdoctoral Fellowship Award. The Tosteson Awards are given to the top-ranked applicants for the Fund for Medical Discovery Postdoctoral Awards. Congratulations, Kisoo and Christina!
2016-08-01: CSB investigators - Mikael Pittet, PhD, Matthias Nahrendorf, MD, PhD, and John Chen, MD, PhD - have been named Distinguished Investigators of the Academy of Radiology Research. Congratulations!
2016-03-21: An immune cell that protects against cancer. Macrophages are mostly viewed as tumor-promoting cells. They can infiltrate solid tumors in high numbers, and their presence at the tumor site is often associated with decreased patient survival. However, much less is known about macrophages located outside the tumor stroma. Mikael Pittet and colleagues now show that a population of lymph node macrophages, called subcapsular sinus (SCS) macrophages, unexpectedly protects against melanoma. The study was published in Science on March 17, 2016 and is available for download.