Department of Medicine

Department of Medicine

  Division of Hematology/Oncology

[Return To Index page]
photo Lazar Vujanovic, PhD

Research Instructor


Phone: 412-623-4661

Office: UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, Suite 1.33
5117 Centre Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Phone: 412-623-4661
Education and Training
Ph.D. in Immunology, University of Pittsburgh, 2006
Postdoctoral Associate, University of Pittsburgh, 2008
Research Interest
Dr. Vujanovic’s research is focused on the development of novel immune therapies to treat melanoma, hepatocellular carcinoma and other solid tumors. His research interests are: Identifying the mechanisms by which tumor-derived alpha fetoprotein impacts natural killer (NK) cell biology in hepatocellular carcinoma patients; Defining the mechanisms by which recombinant adenovirus-engineered dendritic cell (DC) vaccines recruit, engage and activate NK cells;
Developing novel DC-based vaccines for cancer therapy; Investigating new strategies to prevent acquired resistance to BRAF and MEK inhibitors in patients harboring BRAF mutant melanoma; Characterizing the role epitope mimicry plays in the development of tumor-specific T cell responses.
For my complete bibliography, Click Here.
Selected Publications:
Sobo-Vujanovic A, Vujanovic L, DeLeo AB, Conch-Benavente F, Ferris RL, Lin Y, Vujanovic NL. Inhibition of soluble tumor necrosis factor prevents chemically induced carcinogenesis in mice. Cancer Immunology Research. 2016; 4: 441-451.
Pardee AD, Yano H, Weinstein AM, Ponce AAK, Ethridge AD, Normolle DP, Vujanovic L, Mizejewski GJ, Watkins SC, Butterfield LH. Route of antigen delivery dictates the immunostimulatory activity of dendritic cell-based vaccines for hepatocellular carcinoma. Journal of ImmunoTherapy cancer. 2015; 3:32: doi10.1186/s40425-015-0077.
Vujanovic L, Shi J, Kirkwood JM, Storkus WJ, Butterfield LH. Molecular mimicry of MAGE-A6 and Mycoplasma penetrans HF-2 epitopes in the induction of anti-tumor CD8+ T-cell responses. Oncolimmunol. 2014; 3(8): e954501.
Baskic B, Vujanovic L, Arsenijevic N, Whiteside TL, Myers EN, Vujanovic NL. Suppression of natural killer-cell and dendritic-cell apoptotic tumoricidal activity in head and neck cancer patients. Head Neck. 2013; 35(3): 388-398.
Vujanovic L, Ballard W, Vujanovic NL, Butterfield LH. Adenovirus-engineered human dendritic cells induce natural killer cell chemotaxis via CXCL8/IL-8 and CXCL10/IP-10. Oncoimmunology. 2012; 1(4): 448-457.
Vujanovic L, Szymkowski DE, Alber S, Watkins SC, Vujanovic NL, Butterfield LH. Virally-Infected and Matured Human Dendritic Cells Activate Natural Killer Cells Via Cooperative Activity of Plasma Membrane-Bound TNF and IL-15. Blood. 2010; 116(4): 575-583.
Vujanovic L, Whiteside TL, Potter DM, Chu J, Ferrone S, Butterfield LH. Regulation of antigen presentation machinery in human dendritic cells by recombinant adenovirus. Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy. 2009; 58: 121-133.
Butterfield LH, Ribas A, Comin-Anduix B, Vujanovic L, Lee Y, Dissette VB, Yang JQ, Vu HT, Seja E, Oseguera DK, Potter DM, Glaspy JA, Economou JS. Adenovirus MART-1 Engineered Autologous Dendritic Cell Vaccine for Metastatic Melanoma. Journal of Immunotherapy. 2008; 31(3): 294-309.
Vujanovic L, Mandic M, Olson WC, Kirkwood JM, Storkus WJ. A Mycoplasma Peptide Elicits Heteroclitic CD4+ T Cell Responses against Tumor Antigen MAGE-A6. Clinical Cancer Research. 2007; 13(22): 6796-6806.
Vujanovic L, Ranieri E, Gambotto A, Olson WC, Kirkwood JM, Storkus WJ. IL-18 Gene-Modified Dendritic Cells Loaded with Tumor Antigen-Derived Peptides or Recombinant Protein Effectively Stimulate Specific Type-1 CD4+ T cell Responses From Normal Donors and Melanoma Patients In Vitro. Cancer Genetic Therapy. 2006; 13: 798-805.
Notable Achievements
AAI Trainee Abstract Award, 2008
Career Development Award - The SPORE in Skin Cancer of the Melanoma and Skin Cancer Program, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, 2009
Career Development Award - The SPORE in Skin Cancer Melanoma and Skin Cancer Program, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, 2010
Developmental Research Project Award - The SPORE in Skin Cancer Melanoma and Skin Cancer Program, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, 2015