The Cancer Immunoprevention Laboratory develops and tests novel cancer preventive agents, including vaccines, chemoprevention agents, and small molecules, in mouse models in collaboration with several extramural institutions under the sponsorship of the National Cancer Institute.  The laboratory is helping develop vaccines to prevent the onset of a variety of cancers, including HPV-driven, prostate, ovarian, lung, pancreatic, and Lynch syndrome cancers. 

Developing novel cancer-prevention agents

CIPL develops preventive cancer vaccines for specific high-risk populations, such as people with Lynch syndrome, would build pre-emptive anticancer immunity before disease onset.  

Combining immunology, vaccine development, and mouse tumor model expertise 

Our laboratory characterizes and optimizes novel cancer vaccines in peptide-, RNA-, and particle-based formats using multiple immunological assays that measure robust T- and B-cell responses. The laboratory develops and characterizes mouse models for preclinical vaccine testing and identifies liquid biopsy biomarkers for clinical trial monitoring and early cancer detection. In addition, the laboratory tests splicing modulators as a potential strategy for reversing splicing site mutations and screens natural products libraries for immune response-enhancing candidates.  

Pursuing mRNA vaccines for cancer prevention

The Cancer Immunoprevention Laboratory collaborates with diverse institutions, including Cornell University, Johns Hopkins University, the Cleveland Clinic, and HDT Bio, Inc. to develop cancer-targeting mRNA vaccines for prostate, ovarian, lung, pancreatic, and Lynch syndrome colorectal cancers.  We manufacture and package mRNA vaccines in-house and are developing several mouse models to study vaccine-induced immunity and anticancer efficacy.

Collaboration Opportunities

VICD laboratories collaborate with partners across the globe. We have established strong technological capabilities and resources that support pre-clinical and clinical studies in immunology with in-house validated assays that generated a wealth of data in high-impact studies.

We work closely with National Institutes of Health and centers worldwide that are interested in conducting studies from preclinical to clinical trials, in vaccine development, assay development and validations, and critical reagents acquisition. VICD engages with external centers through partnership mechanisms, which are primarily Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs) and Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA).

To connect or collaborate with VICD, contact Bo Park, Director, Administrative and Finance.

Our capabilities and specializations

Vaccine-induced immune response characterization 

We measure the in vitro and in vivo effects of vaccines on anticancer immune responses, such as innate and adaptive, T-cell, and B-cell responses, using mouse models and assays that measure these aspects of vaccine immunity.

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  • ELISA 


  • Flow cytometry 

  • In vivo cytotoxicity 

  • Immune cell subset identification 

  • Cell-based neutralization assays 

  • Luminex 

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Frameshift mutation detection in cancer 

Our laboratory develops a sensitive assay that detects frameshift mutations at mononucleotide repeat regions in liquid biopsy samples from mismatch repair deficient/high microsatellite instability tumors. 

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  • cfDNA extraction from plasma or serum 

  • Target enrichment using ArcherDX reagents  

  • Next-generation sequencing 

  • Archer Analysis with background error correction 

  • Biomarker panel validation  

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Development and characterization of mouse cancer models 

We develop and characterize cancer mouse models, including mesothelioma and Lynch syndrome models.

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  • Genetically engineered mouse and syngraft models 

  • Imaging modalities in efficacy studies include MRI, ultrasound, and bioluminescence

  • Spatial phenotyping

  • Capillary gel electrophoresis for fragment size analysis

  • Next-generation sequencing