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...)

Arlauckas SP*, Garris CS*, Kohler RH, Kitaoka M, Cuccarese MF, Yang KS, Miller MA, Carlson JC, Freeman GJ, Anthony RM, Weissleder R, Pittet MJ
In vivo imaging reveals a tumor-associated macrophage–mediated resistance pathway in anti–PD-1 therapy
Sci Transl Med. 2017;9(389):eaal3604 - PMID: 28490665 - Cover
Pfirschke C, Siwicki M, Liao HW, Pittet MJ
Tumor Microenvironment: No Effector T Cells without Dendritic Cells.
Cancer Cell. 2017;31(5):614-615 - PMID: 28486102
Cuccarese MF, Dubach JM, Pfirschke C, Engblom C, Garris C, Miller MA, Pittet MJ, Weissleder R
Heterogeneity of macrophage infiltration and therapeutic response in lung carcinoma revealed by 3D organ imaging.
Nat Commun. 2017;8:14293 - PMID: 28176769 - PMCID: PMC5309815
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...)

2017-05-12: Best of 2016: An article by Pfirschke and Engblom from the Pittet laboratory on how to improve cancer immunotherapy is listed in the 2016 edition of “Best of Immunity” as one of the ten most-accessed articles from the Journal. Immunity publishes papers that report the most important advances in immunology research.
2017-05-11: Checking out checkpoints: Immune checkpoint blockers (ICBs) are designed to activate the immune system against cancer. These drugs can be extraordinarily effective in some patients but not in others. Now, Mikael Pittet and colleagues have used molecular imaging to track ICBs in real time within tumors. Their study, published in Science Translational Medicine, uncovers a mechanism of treatment resistance, which can be overcome with additional chemical modifications. See also: the Journal Cover illustrating the “Tug-of-war with anti-PD-1” and interview with the authors.
2017-04-27: The MGH Graduate Student Division is pleased to announce that Mikael Pittet, PhD is the winner of the 2017 MGH GSD Principal Investigator (PI) Mentoring Award. This award is given to an MGH PI who has contributed to the success of PhD graduate student(s) at MGH and demonstrated excellence in a number of ways.
2017-04-26: Marie Siwicki (Pittet Lab) has been selected to receive the Landry Cancer Research Fellowship. The award, through Harvard’s Landry Cancer Biology Consortium, funds graduate research with an emphasis on multi-disciplinary approaches to cancer biology. Congratulations Marie!