Cancer Immunology Lab

Michele Ardolino profile picture

Contact Information

Michele Ardolino, PhD
613-737-8899 ext 77257
mardolino@ohri.ca

Michele Ardolino

Scientist, Cancer Therapeutics Program
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology
University of Ottawa

Research Interests

The immune system is an incredible weapon against tumors and yet, cancer is still one of the leading causes of death. It is of extreme importance to have a more detailed knowledge of the complex interactions between immune cells and cancer in order to design more tailored and effective immunotherapies. My group is interested in understanding why a subset of immune cells named Natural Killer (NK) cells are often unable to kill tumor cells and to find new ways to harness the activity of NK cells against cancer.

Brief Biography

As a young student, I found myself amazed by the combination of elegance and efficiency displayed by the immune system. Once I completed my master in Biotechnology, I enthusiastically joined the Immunological Science program at the University of Rome as a Ph.D student. In the laboratory directed by Angela Santoni, I studied how two populations of immune cells, T cells and NK cells, interact with each other in the human system. After graduation, I decided to move to the US for my post-doctoral training, and in 2010 I joined the group of David Raulet at the University of California, Berkeley. In David’s lab, I have investigated the mechanisms that underlie the failure of the immune response to tumors. I received invaluable training in mouse and tumor immunology during my time in the Raulet lab and I became an expert in the immuno-oncology field. In 2016, I was recruited by a joint effort of the University of Ottawa and the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute to lead a group in cancer immunology. My laboratory is interested in understanding the complex interactions between immune cells and tumors to find new ways to harness the immune system against cancer.

Selected Publications

1. Hsu J.+, Hodgins J.J.+, Marathe M., Nicolai C.J., Bourgeois-Daigneault M.C., Trevino T.N., Azimi C.S., Scheer A.K., Randolph H.E., Thompson T.W., Zhang L., Iannello A., Mathur N., Jardine K.E., Kirn G.A., Bell J.C., McBurney M.W., Raulet D.H. and Ardolino M. Contribution of NK cells to immunotherapy mediated by PD-1/PD-L1 blockade. The Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2018, 128(10):4654-4688
2.  Ardolino M., Azimi C.S., Iannello A., Trevino T.N., Horan L., Zhang L., Deng W., Ring A. Fischer S., Garcia K.C., Raulet D.H. Cytokine therapy reverses NK cell anergy in MHC-deficient tumors. The Journal of Clinical Investigation, 2014, 124 (11):4781-94
3.  Ardolino M., Zingoni A., Cerboni C., Cecere F., Soriani A., Iannitto M.L., Santoni A. DNAM-1 ligands expression on Ag-stimulated T lymphocytes is mediated by ROS-dependent activation of DNA-damage response: relevance for NK-T-cell interaction. Blood, 2011, 117 (18); 4778-86

Diseases, conditions and populations of interest


Blood cancer; Brain cancer; Breast cancer; Cancer; Colorectal cancer; Head and neck cancer; Liver cancer; Lung cancer; Ovarian cancer; Pancreatic cancer; Prostate cancer; Skin cancer; Soft tissue sarcoma



Research and clinical approaches


Basic research; Cell therapy; Clinical research; Disease models; Immunization; Immunization; Immunotherapy; Immunotherapy; Model organisms; Molecular and cellular biology; Transgenic/knockout models; Translational research