Our Contributors

Group Leader

Dr. Carlos Rogerio Figueiredo is a biological scientist, has a PhD in Immunology and Microbiology and is an adjunct Professor of Immunology at the University of Turku. He has extensive training in cancer research with emphasis on experimental oncology, cancer immune biology, and immunotherapy. Dr. Figueiredo’s vision includes investigating new avenues for breaking tumor-induced systemic immune tolerance, a critical step to restore cancer immunosurveillance and more durable anti-tumor immune responses, unleashing the power of immunotherapy in refractory patients.

Link to Dr Figueiredo’s Publications

Project Collaborators

George Holt Chair in Pathology, United Kingdom (Collaborator) – Prof. Coupland is a senior Consultant Histopathologist at the Liverpool University Foundation Hospital Trusts with expertise in Ophthalmic Pathology, Haematopathology, Molecular Pathology, and Biobanking. She is the head of Liverpool Ocular Oncology Research Group (Loorg), and enables trainees from UK & overseas to experience ocular & molecular pathology. Prof Coupland is a collaborator in the Academy of Finland project providing access to Uveal Melanoma tumors and a pathologist advisor in uveal melanomas.

Link to Professor Sarah Coupland’s Publications

Group Contributor – Dr. Helen Kalirai is a senior postdoctoral research fellow with a strong background in biobanking (custodian of the Liverpool Ocular Oncology Biobank) and molecular pathology (Manager of the Liverpool Ocular Oncology Molecular Pathology Service). Dr. Kalirai is also developing several areas of research within LOORG: The developmental origin of uveal melanocytes from cells of the neural crest suggests that primitive multipotent remnants of these cells may be present in the uveal tract and/or that neural crest developmental signaling pathways have been harnessed by the uveal melanoma cells permitting metastatic spread and colonization.  

Link to Helen’s Publications

Project Contributors

Professor of Immuno-Oncology (Project Contributor) – Professor Christian Ottensmeier runs a laboratory program examining the role and interplay of innate and adaptive immune cells in lung cancer and head and neck cancer. His research is underpinned by systematic tissue collection, to which thousands of patients have been recruited since 2015. He has a keen interest in developing early phase immunotherapy trials. He manages a broad portfolio of clinical trials in solid cancers; he has co-developed a number of national NCRI studies in melanoma and lung cancer. Christian is a talented intellectual contributor to our projects and scientific, clinical consultant. One of our missions is to develop new treatments for cancer, and Christian is able to advise our group for future development of clinical trials with new or established repurposed agents with the financial and technical support of existing collaborations with pharma.

Link to Christian’s Publications

Postdoctoral Researcher (Project Contributor)

Dr. Azevedo’s research is focused on tumor immunology, with emphasis on melanoma. As a postdoctoral researcher, Dr. Azevedo studies the suppressive microenvironment of cold tumors and develops combinatorial treatments to unleash the response of T cells to current immunotherapies using immune checkpoint inhibitors.

Link to Ricardo’s Publications

Clinical Trial Leader (Project collaborator) – Dr Carvajal is the Director of Experimental Therapeutics and Melanoma Services at Columbia University Medical Center. Dr. Carvajal is focused on developing novel therapies for patients with melanoma and other cancers, with the overall objective of controlling and curing these diseases. Dr Carvajal is our most recent contributor and clinical researcher partner to collaborate with ongoing projects related with prognostication of immunotherapies for metastatic melanoma.

Link to Richard’s Publications

Clinical Trial Leader (Project Contributor) – Dr Sacco studied Medicine at the University of Zimbabwe. He is a Clinical Senior Lecturer in Medical Oncology at the University of Liverpool and Consultant Medical Oncologist at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre. He is actively involved in the recruitment and follow-up of patients on phase Ib, II, and III trials, in melanoma and head and neck cancer, with a subspeciality interest in uveal melanoma.

Link to Joseph’s Publications

Professor of Molecular Physiology (Project Contributor) – Judy joined the University of Liverpool in 2001 as a Lecturer on a research and teaching path, gaining a PG certificate (distinction) in learning and teaching in Higher Education in 2004. She is currently a Reader in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology, where she runs a research group funded by NWCR, BLF, and the Wellcome Trust. She collaborates with several PIs in Physiology, Cancer Medicine, and IGH. Judy is a member of the NWCR center and ITM Research Committees and is the ITM lead for mentoring.

Link to Judy Coulson’s Publications

Newest MIORG Research Associates and Their Fields of Expertise

Prof. Menashe Bar-Eli – Professor at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston.

Prof. Garry P. Nolan – Rachford and Carlota A. Harris Professor, Stanford University, Stanford, USA.

Prof. Satu Mustjoki – Director of Translational Immunology Research Program, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Finland.

Prof. Tero Aittokallio – Professor of Statistics and Applied Mathematics, University of Turku – Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland Helsinki Institute for Information Technology, University of Helsinki.

Dr. Maria Sundvall – Adjunct professor, Institute of Biomedicine; Specialist Physician in Clinical Oncology. Head of Cancer Research Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Turku.