The Immuno-Oncology for the Translational Research Short Course (ITRSC)

The Immuno-Oncology for the Translational Research Short Course (ITRSC)


Immuno-Oncology for the Translational Researcher Short Course

Ushma Neill, PhD, Margaret Callahan, MD, PhD, and Jedd Wolchok, MD, PhD

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK)
to Eastern Time, March 20-22, 2023
Delivery format: Virtual
Registration will close on March 3, 2023

Register Online

Questions: [email protected]

Course Overview

The objective of the course is to engage participants in an in-depth and participatory educational experience covering the topics relevant to clinical immunotherapy research and practice today: checkpoint blockade, novel immunomodulatory antibodies, cellular therapy, immune-monitoring, clinical trial design and development and points of integration with traditional cancer therapy.

Lectures will be interspersed with small group sessions focused on issues related to being a junior faculty member, mentoring lunches, and a practical sessions on flow cytometry and immune monitoring. For participants with less exposure to clinical oncology or basic immunology, we offer an abundant online lectures covering introductory material relevant to the rest of the course that are available in advance.

Course Schedule

Optional Pre-Course Content

Several optional lectures will be available before the course to introduce some of the basic terminology and topics in immunotherapy for participants that have not yet had significant exposure to this field (Immunology 101), and offer an introduction to oncology drug development and clinical trial conduct for an audience of non-clinicians (Clinical Trials 101).


  • Immunology 101
  • Cells of the Immune System
  • Antibodies
  • Cellular Therapy 
  • Clinical Trials 101
  • Oncology Drug Development
  • Clinical Trial Endpoints & why they matter
  • What Does it Take to Get FDA-approval? 

Day 1: Immunotherapy | March 20

Intensive education sessions will launch today with a focus on checkpoint blocking antibodies, experimental agonist antibodies that also modulate T cell function. There will be an emphasis on areas that are in active investigation (new agents with early clinical experience) and areas for future discovery. Interaction between the participants and lecturers will be encouraged and ample time for discussion and follow-up questions will be provided to keep the students engaged and facilitate the development of mentoring relationships.


  • Introduction and Overview of Checkpoint Blockade
  • Novel Checkpoint Blocking Antibodies in Development
  • Novel Agonist Antibodies in Development
  • Problem-based Learning Module-managing Common Toxicities Related to Checkpoint Blockade
  • Tumor Vaccines & Viruses
  • Beyond T cells: Other Modalities for Immunotherapy 

Day 2: Immunotherapy | March 21

After kickoff lectures on bone marrow transplantation and adoptive T cell therapies, this day will include case- based discussions of ethical considerations of immunotherapy research, the lecture topics below will also be supplemented with individual and small group mentoring sessions.


  • Bone Marrow Transplantation
  • Adoptive T Cell Approaches
  • Single Cell Analysis in Immunotherapy
  • Translational Opportunities in Immunotherapy Research

Day 3: Clinical Trials | March 22

This day of lectures on the topics below will end with a exposure to techniques in immune monitoring and data analysis and visualization.


  • Radiographic Endpoint for Immunotherapy Clinical Trial Design
  • Integrating Radiation Oncology into IO Treatment
  • Integrating Surgery and Loco-regional Therapy into IO Treatment
  • Clinical Trial Design and Statistical Consideration in the Development of IO

Course Faculty

The course will be led by Drs. Margaret Callahan, Ushma Neill, Jedd Wolchok, and Ruth Gotian, joined by 20 program faculty from MSK who are leaders across the spectrum of immuno-oncology development, research, and clinical practice. This multidisciplinary team has mentored hundreds of trainees and junior investigators who now are carrying out research and patient care across the U.S. and abroad. 

Who is eligible?

  • Current NCI K01, K07, K08, K22, K23, K25, R00, R21, or first R01-equivalent grantees (R01-equivalent grants are defined as activity codes DP1, DP2, DP5, R01, R23, R29, R37, R56, RF1, RL1, U01). 
  • Junior faculty (e.g., assistant professors, instructors, research scientists, or equivalent).
  • This course was originally conceived as part of the NCI Awardee Skills Development Consortium (NASDC) provides NCI-funded, junior faculty, educational opportunities to enhance their skills in areas that are not traditionally part of research training programs, but are critical for maintaining successful, long-term, academic research careers.  Other courses were hosted by colleagues at University of Utah (Advanced Course on Mentorship and Leadership on Cancer-Related Health Disparities ), Harvard University (Academic Career Skills: Leadership, Collaboration and Resilience), and University of Pennsylvania (The Cell and Gene Therapy Toolkit for Junior Faculty).