The PIIO faculty and staff will concentrate on the study of molecular and cellular mechanisms of immune tolerance and cancer immune evasion in preclinical human-relevant cancer models and patients with cancer. At the same time, they will work to develop first-in-class, first-in-man clinical IO agents and advance clinical IO with groundbreaking ideas. The ultimate goal is to invent IO agents/platforms that improve care for all patients with cancer.

Clinical Trials

The PIIO will aggressively pursue IO trials but will focus on investigator-initiated trials, especially the phase I program in testing first-in-man, first-in-class agents, novel IO combinatorial studies and other hypothesis-driven small clinical trials to help answer deep scientific questions.

As a National Cancer Institute (NCI)–designated comprehensive cancer center, the OSUCCC – James offers patients access to many sophisticated cancer clinical trials, including some that involve novel therapies available nowhere else. This means that, when additional treatment options are needed, patients can often find them at the OSUCCC – James.

If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, would like a second opinion or would like to speak with a cancer specialist about immunotherapy options, please call The James Line at 800-293-5066 or 614-293-5066 to make an appointment.

PIIO Research Cores

The PIIO is in the process of building the following cores to strengthen the technology platform for Immune Monitoring and Discovery (IMD). We anticipate that these cores will be available for use by the end of 2020.

Single-Cell Platform for Genomics and Immunology


A robust core is needed for performing single cell analysis for genomics, transcriptomics, metabolomics and immunomics. For example, mass cytometry allows the simultaneous detection of more than 40 markers on one cell. This technology has uncovered important cell-based biomarkers and special information in predicting responsiveness to immune checkpoint blockers in patients with cancer.

Tumor Microenvironment Core


By combining the high-dimensional Helios mass cytometer CyTOF platform with a laser ablation system, imaging mass cytometry (IMC) can be introduced to examine tumor tissues at high resolution. Similar high-dimensional multiplex systems shall be made available to PIIO investigators.

Antibody Core


This will include traditional hybridoma technology as well as the phage library-based method. Built into the core will also be services that allow for antibody engineering, humanization, affinity maturation, etc., either on campus or through outsourcing by forging partnerships with private biotechnology companies. The ability to clone natural antibodies from patients’ memory B cells can also be brought into this core. The service could eventually open to investigators outside of Ohio State to bring commercial value to the PIIO.

Cell Therapy Core


GMP facilities for allowing isolation, expansion, editing and manufacturing of T cells, natural killer (NK) cells and dendritic cells (DCs) are needed to support the cell therapy program at the PIIO.

Immuno-Informatics Core


We are actively recruiting 3 faculty level bioinformaticians who have expertise and interests in immuno-informatics. This is critically important for use to deeply probe big data and advance fundamental cancer immunology.

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Patient Story

Robyn Stacy Humphries

Robyn Stacy-Humphries

Robyn Stacy-Humphries joined an OSUCCC – James CAR T clinical trial in 2015 and is currently in remission for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

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