Mary Philip, Ph.D., M.D.

Assistant Professor
Faculty Appointments
Assistant Professor of Medicine Assistant Professor of Pathology, Microbiology and ImmunologyAssistant Professor of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology
M.D., University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, Chicago, IllinoisPh.D., University of Chicago, Chicago, IllinoisB.S., Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
Office Address
1161 21st Ave.
MCN A3208C
Nashville, TN 37232
Research Description
Dr. Philip has long focused on understanding how the immune system interacts with cancer and harnessing the power and specificity of the immune system to fight cancer, particularly in patients with metastatic or therapy-resistant disease. Dr. Philip received her BS in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University and her MD and PhD in cancer biology from the University of Chicago. Her thesis work uncovered new mechanisms of tumor-specific antigen generation and presentation to T cells. She completed Internal Medicine Residency training at the University of Chicago before going to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center/University of Washington in Seattle for Hematology/Oncology fellowship training. There she received an NCI K08 career development award and an American Society of Hematology Scholar Award for her research on metabolic regulation of T cell development. Dr. Philip then built on her knowledge of T cell differentiation to decipher mechanisms of T cell dysfunction in solid tumors at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

In 2017, Dr. Philip joined Vanderbilt University Medical Center as an Assistant Professor of Medicine (Division of Hematology and Oncology) and Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology. Dr. Philip has published seminal work on the epigenetic and transcriptional regulation of tumor-specific T cell dysfunction in cancer (Nature 2017, 2019). Dr. Philip received the V Foundation Scholar Award in 2018 and the National Cancer Institute Early-Stage Investigator Merit Award (R37) in 2022. Dr. Philip’s research group at Vanderbilt aims to understand how transcription factor-driven chromatin/epigenetic remodeling regulates CD8 T cell differentiation in cancer, infection, and autoimmunity. Dr. Philip’s clinical area of expertise is in caring for patients with hematologic malignancies, particular lymphomas. As a physician-scientist, Dr. Philip’s goal is to use clinically-relevant mouse models of cancer to dissect the molecular mechanisms underlying T cell function/dysfunction and to design novel strategies to transform tumor-specific T cells into potent anti-tumor agents.
Research Keywords
Cancer,Tumor immunology, T cells, epigenetics, autoimmunity, differentiation, single-cell analysis, flow cytometry, next-generation sequencing, ATAC-Seq, RNA-Seq, genetically engineered mouse models
Philip M, Schietinger A. CD8+ T cell differentiation and dysfunction in cancer. Nat Rev Immunol [print-electronic]. 2022 Apr; 22(4): 209-23. PMID: 34253904, PMCID: PMC9792152, PII: 10.1038/s41577-021-00574-3, DOI: 10.1038/s41577-021-00574-3, ISSN: 1474-1741.

Shakiba M, Zumbo P, Espinosa-Carrasco G, Menocal L, Dündar F, Carson SE, Bruno EM, Sanchez-Rivera FJ, Lowe SW, Camara S, Koche RP, Reuter VP, Socci ND, Whitlock B, Tamzalit F, Huse M, Hellmann MD, Wells DK, Defranoux NA, Betel D, Philip M, Schietinger A. TCR signal strength defines distinct mechanisms of T cell dysfunction and cancer evasion. J Exp Med [print-electronic]. 2022 Feb 2/7/2022; 219(2): PMID: 34935874, PMCID: PMC8704919, PII: 212936, DOI: 10.1084/jem.20201966, ISSN: 1540-9538.

Roetman JJ, Apostolova MKI, Philip M. Viral and cellular oncogenes promote immune evasion. Oncogene [print-electronic]. 2022 Feb; 41(7): 921-9. PMID: 35022539, PMCID: PMC8851748, PII: 10.1038/s41388-021-02145-1, DOI: 10.1038/s41388-021-02145-1, ISSN: 1476-5594.

Lynch RC, Cassaday RD, Smith SD, Fromm JR, Cowan AJ, Warren EH, Shadman MS, Shustov A, Till BG, Ujjani CS, Libby EN, Philip M, Coye H, Martino CN, Bhark SL, Morris K, Rasmussen H, Behnia S, Voutsinas J, Gopal AK. Dose-dense brentuximab vedotin plus ifosfamide, carboplatin, and etoposide for second-line treatment of relapsed or refractory classical Hodgkin lymphoma: a single centre, phase 1/2 study. Lancet Haematol. 2021 Aug; 8(8): e562-e571-e571. PMID: 34329577, PMCID: PMC8457616, PII: S2352-3026(21)00170-8, DOI: 10.1016/S2352-3026(21)00170-8, ISSN: 2352-3026.

Philip M. CD226 Throttles up CD8+ T Cell Antitumor Activity. Immunity. 2020 Oct 10/13/2020; 53(4): 704-6. PMID: 33053327, PII: S1074-7613(20)30407-6, DOI: 10.1016/j.immuni.2020.09.013, ISSN: 1097-4180.

Li Z, Philip M, Ferrell PB. Alterations of T-cell-mediated immunity in acute myeloid leukemia. Oncogene [print-electronic]. 2020 Apr; 39(18): 3611-9. PMID: 32127646, PMCID: PMC7234277, PII: 10.1038/s41388-020-1239-y, DOI: 10.1038/s41388-020-1239-y, ISSN: 1476-5594.

Blank CU, Haining WN, Held W, Hogan PG, Kallies A, Lugli E, Lynn RC, Philip M, Rao A, Restifo NP, Schietinger A, Schumacher TN, Schwartzberg PL, Sharpe AH, Speiser DE, Wherry EJ, Youngblood BA, Zehn D. Defining 'T cell exhaustion'. Nat Rev Immunol [print-electronic]. 2019 Nov; 19(11): 665-74. PMID: 31570879, PMCID: PMC7286441, PII: 10.1038/s41577-019-0221-9, DOI: 10.1038/s41577-019-0221-9, ISSN: 1474-1741.

Ngwa VM, Edwards DN, Philip M, Chen J. Microenvironmental Metabolism Regulates Antitumor Immunity. Cancer Res [print-electronic]. 2019 Aug 8/15/2019; 79(16): 4003-8. PMID: 31362930, PMCID: PMC6697577, PII: 0008-5472.CAN-19-0617, DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-19-0617, ISSN: 1538-7445.

Scott AC, Dündar F, Zumbo P, Chandran SS, Klebanoff CA, Shakiba M, Trivedi P, Menocal L, Appleby H, Camara S, Zamarin D, Walther T, Snyder A, Femia MR, Comen EA, Wen HY, Hellmann MD, Anandasabapathy N, Liu Y, Altorki NK, Lauer P, Levy O, Glickman MS, Kaye J, Betel D, Philip M, Schietinger A. TOX is a critical regulator of tumour-specific T cell differentiation. Nature [print-electronic]. 2019 Jul; 571(7764): 270-4. PMID: 31207604, PMCID: PMC7698992, PII: 10.1038/s41586-019-1324-y, DOI: 10.1038/s41586-019-1324-y, ISSN: 1476-4687.

Philip M, Schietinger A. Heterogeneity and fate choice: T cell exhaustion in cancer and chronic infections. Curr Opin Immunol [print-electronic]. 2019 Jun; 58: 98-103. PMID: 31181510, PMCID: PMC7608527, PII: S0952-7915(19)30034-2, DOI: 10.1016/j.coi.2019.04.014, ISSN: 1879-0372.

Philip M, Fairchild L, Sun L, Horste EL, Camara S, Shakiba M, Scott AC, Viale A, Lauer P, Merghoub T, Hellmann MD, Wolchok JD, Leslie CS, Schietinger A. Chromatin states define tumour-specific T cell dysfunction and reprogramming. Nature [print-electronic]. 2017 May 5/25/2017; 545(7655): 452-6. PMID: 28514453, PII: nature22367, DOI: 10.1038/nature22367, ISSN: 1476-4687.

Schietinger A, Philip M, Krisnawan VE, Chiu EY, Delrow JJ, Basom RS, Lauer P, Brockstedt DG, Knoblaugh SE, Hämmerling GJ, Schell TD, Garbi N, Greenberg PD. Tumor-Specific T Cell Dysfunction Is a Dynamic Antigen-Driven Differentiation Program Initiated Early during Tumorigenesis. Immunity [print-electronic]. 2016 Aug 8/16/2016; 45(2): 389-401. PMID: 27521269, PMCID: PMC5119632, PII: S1074-7613(16)30284-9, DOI: 10.1016/j.immuni.2016.07.011, ISSN: 1097-4180.

Cowan AJ, Stevenson PA, Cassaday RD, Graf SA, Fromm JR, Wu D, Holmberg LA, Till BG, Chauncey TR, Smith SD, Philip M, Orozco JJ, Shustov AR, Green DJ, Libby EN, Bensinger WI, Shadman M, Maloney DG, Press OW, Gopal AK. Pretransplantation Minimal Residual Disease Predicts Survival in Patients with Mantle Cell Lymphoma Undergoing Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation in Complete Remission. Biol. Blood Marrow Transplant [print-electronic]. 2016 Feb; 22(2): 380-5. PMID: 26348890, PMCID: PMC4716882, PII: S1083-8791(15)00596-0, DOI: 10.1016/j.bbmt.2015.08.035, ISSN: 1523-6536.

Philip M, Chiu EY, Hajjar AM, Abkowitz JL. TLR Stimulation Dynamically Regulates Heme and Iron Export Gene Expression in Macrophages. J Immunol Res [print-electronic]. 2016; 2016: 4039038. PMID: 27006955, PMCID: PMC4783552, DOI: 10.1155/2016/4039038, ISSN: 2314-7156.

Cassaday RD, Stevenson PA, Gooley TA, Chauncey TR, Pagel JM, Rajendran J, Till BG, Philip M, Orozco JJ, Bensinger WI, Holmberg LA, Shustov AR, Green DJ, Smith SD, Libby EN, Maloney DG, Press OW, Gopal AK. High-dose CD20-targeted radioimmunotherapy-based autologous transplantation improves outcomes for persistent mantle cell lymphoma. Br. J. Haematol [print-electronic]. 2015 Dec; 171(5): 788-97. PMID: 26455717, PMCID: PMC4715476, DOI: 10.1111/bjh.13773, ISSN: 1365-2141.

Onishi M, Graf SA, Holmberg L, Behnia S, Shustov AR, Schiavo K, Philip M, Libby EN, Cassaday RD, Pagel JM, Roden JE, Maloney DG, Green DJ, Till BG, Press OW, Smith SD, Gopal AK. Brentuximab vedotin administered to platinum-refractory, transplant-naïve Hodgkin lymphoma patients can increase the proportion achieving FDG PET negative status. Hematol Oncol [print-electronic]. 2015 Dec; 33(4): 187-91. PMID: 25236531, PMCID: PMC4366342, DOI: 10.1002/hon.2166, ISSN: 1099-1069.

Philip M, Schietinger A. Beyond Genomics: Multidimensional Analysis of Cancer Therapy Resistance. Trends Immunol [print-electronic]. 2015 Nov; 36(11): 665-7. PMID: 26440701, PMCID: PMC5104493, PII: S1471-4906(15)00220-3, DOI: 10.1016/, ISSN: 1471-4981.

Graf SA, Stevenson PA, Holmberg LA, Till BG, Press OW, Chauncey TR, Smith SD, Philip M, Orozco JJ, Shustov AR, Green DJ, Libby EN, Bensinger WI, Pagel JM, Maloney DG, Zhou Y, Cassaday RD, Gopal AK. Maintenance rituximab after autologous stem cell transplantation in patients with mantle cell lymphoma. Ann. Oncol [print-electronic]. 2015 Nov; 26(11): 2323-8. PMID: 26347113, PMCID: PMC4621031, PII: mdv364, DOI: 10.1093/annonc/mdv364, ISSN: 1569-8041.

Philip M, Funkhouser SA, Chiu EY, Phelps SR, Delrow JJ, Cox J, Fink PJ, Abkowitz JL. Heme exporter FLVCR is required for T cell development and peripheral survival. J. Immunol [print-electronic]. 2015 Feb 2/15/2015; 194(4): 1677-85. PMID: 25582857, PMCID: PMC4323866, PII: jimmunol.1402172, DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.1402172, ISSN: 1550-6606.

Phipps C, Gopal AK, Storer BE, Cassaday RD, Press OW, Till BG, Pagel JM, Palanca-Wessels MC, Philip M, Bensinger WI, Holmberg LA, Shustov AR, Green DJ, Chauncey T, Maloney DG, Libby EN. Autologous transplant for relapsed follicular lymphoma: impact of pre-transplant rituximab sensitivity. Leuk. Lymphoma [print-electronic]. 2015 Jan; 56(1): 92-6. PMID: 24707941, PMCID: PMC4269586, DOI: 10.3109/10428194.2014.911866, ISSN: 1029-2403.

Cassaday RD, Guthrie KA, Budde EL, Thompson L, Till BG, Press OW, Chauncey TR, Pagel JM, Petersdorf SH, Palanca-Wessels MC, Philip M, Bensinger WI, Holmberg LA, Shustov A, Green DJ, Libby EN, Maloney DG, Gopal AK. Specific features identify patients with relapsed or refractory mantle cell lymphoma benefitting from autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation. Biol. Blood Marrow Transplant [print-electronic]. 2013 Sep; 19(9): 1403-6. PMID: 23871782, PMCID: PMC3788600, PII: S1083-8791(13)00299-1, DOI: 10.1016/j.bbmt.2013.07.005, ISSN: 1523-6536.

Schietinger A, Philip M, Liu RB, Schreiber K, Schreiber H. Bystander killing of cancer requires the cooperation of CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells during the effector phase. J. Exp. Med [print-electronic]. 2010 Oct 10/25/2010; 207(11): 2469-77. PMID: 20921286, PMCID: PMC2964573, PII: jem.20092450, DOI: 10.1084/jem.20092450, ISSN: 1540-9538.

Philip M, Schietinger A, Schreiber H. Ribosomal versus non-ribosomal cellular antigens: factors determining efficiency of indirect presentation to CD4+ T cells. Immunology [print-electronic]. 2010 Aug; 130(4): 494-503. PMID: 20331471, PMCID: PMC2913260, PII: IMM3258, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2567.2010.03258.x, ISSN: 1365-2567.

Schietinger A, Philip M, Schreiber H. Specificity in cancer immunotherapy. Semin. Immunol [print-electronic]. 2008 Oct; 20(5): 276-85. PMID: 18684640, PMCID: PMC3644553, PII: S1044-5323(08)00054-7, DOI: 10.1016/j.smim.2008.07.001, ISSN: 1044-5323.

Schietinger A, Philip M, Yoshida BA, Azadi P, Liu H, Meredith SC, Schreiber H. A mutant chaperone converts a wild-type protein into a tumor-specific antigen. Science. 2006 Oct 10/13/2006; 314(5797): 304-8. PMID: 17038624, PII: 314/5797/304, DOI: 10.1126/science.1129200, ISSN: 1095-9203.

Philip M, Rowley DA, Schreiber H. Inflammation as a tumor promoter in cancer induction. Semin. Cancer Biol. 2004 Dec; 14(6): 433-9. PMID: 15489136, PII: S1044579X04000495, DOI: 10.1016/j.semcancer.2004.06.006, ISSN: 1044-579X.

Wu TH, Pabin CN, Qin Z, Blankenstein T, Philip M, Dignam J, Schreiber K, Schreiber H. Long-term suppression of tumor growth by TNF requires a Stat1- and IFN regulatory factor 1-dependent IFN-gamma pathway but not IL-12 or IL-18. J. Immunol. 2004 Mar 3/1/2004; 172(5): 3243-51. PMID: 14978132, ISSN: 0022-1767.

Yu P, Lee Y, Liu W, Chin RK, Wang J, Wang Y, Schietinger A, Philip M, Schreiber H, Fu YX. Priming of naive T cells inside tumors leads to eradication of established tumors. Nat. Immunol [print-electronic]. 2004 Feb; 5(2): 141-9. PMID: 14704792, PII: ni1029, DOI: 10.1038/ni1029, ISSN: 1529-2908.

Mumberg D, Monach PA, Wanderling S, Philip M, Toledano AY, Schreiber RD, Schreiber H. CD4(+) T cells eliminate MHC class II-negative cancer cells in vivo by indirect effects of IFN-gamma. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 1999 Jul 7/20/1999; 96(15): 8633-8. PMID: 10411927, PMCID: PMC17568, ISSN: 0027-8424.

Available Postdoctoral Position Details
Posted: 4/19/2018

Postdoctoral Position in Tumor Immunology:

We are seeking highly-motivated candidates for a post-doctoral research position at Vanderbilt University in Nashville to study molecular and epigenetic mechanisms of T cell differentiation and dysfunction in cancer, following up on our recent publication in Nature 545, 452–456 (25 May 2017) doi:10.1038/nature22367.

Qualified applicants must have strong knowledge and research experience in immunology and/or cancer biology and one or more of the following areas: gene editing/CRISPR/Cas9, molecular biology/cloning, computational biology/NGS data analyses, or genetically engineered mouse models. The qualified applicant must possess a PhD or MD/PhD and a strong publication record (1st author peer-reviewed publications).

The position offers a competitive salary and excellent potential for career advancement.

Applicants who are interested in this position should email 1) statement of research interests and career goals, 2) curriculum vitae including bibliography, 3) names and contact information of three references to:

Mary Philip MD PhD

Departments of Medicine and Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology

Division of Hematology-Oncology