Heather Gibson

Heather Gibson

Heather Gibson

Position Title

Assistant Professor - Tenure Track
Basic Science

Office Location

Karmanos Cancer Institute
Hudson-Webber Cancer Research Center - 823
4100 John R.
Detroit, MI 48201

Mailing Address

Karmanos Cancer Institute
4100 John R.
HWCRC - 823
Detroit, MI 48201

Office Phone


Education Training

(2011) Ph.D. Immunology, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
(2004) B.S. Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Michigan State University, Lansing, MI

Postgraduate Training
(2016-2018) Research Scientist, Department of Oncology, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
(2014-2016) Research Associate, Department of Oncology, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
(2014-2015) Innovation Fellowship Program, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
(2011-2014) Post-Doctoral Fellow, Department of Oncology, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI

Professional Experience

Faculty Appointments
(2018-Present) Assistant Professor - Research, Department of Oncology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI

Major Professional Societies

(2016-Present) American Association of Immunologists
(2016-Present) European Academy for Tumor Immunology
(2012-Present) American Association for Cancer Research


Honors and Awards

(2021) College Teaching Award, Wayne State University School of Medicine
(2016) TRCCC Young Investigator Award, Translational Research Cancer Centers Consortium
(2015) AAI Young Investigator Award, American Association of Immunologists
(2014) AAI Young Investigator Award, American Association of Immunologists
(2013) TRCCC Travel Award, Karmanos Cancer Institute
(2012) TRCCC Travel Award, Karmanos Cancer Institute
(2010) 2nd place poster award, Translational Research Cancer Centers Consortium
(2005) Oral presentation winner, Henry Ford Health System Research Symposium

Courses taught

CB7210 - Fundamentals of Cancer Biology
CB7300 - Grant Writing Workshop
CB7410 - Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy (Course Director)
CB8920 - Principles of Clinical and Translational Cancer Research
IM7010 - Biomedical Immunobiology
IM7300 - Molecular Biology of Viruses
PHC7410 - Principles of Toxicology
CHM7680/6680 - Clinical and Molecular Aspects of Cancer


Cancer immunotherapy breakthroughs have shown tremendous promise, but there remains an urgency to determine which patients will respond and why many do not. My lab uses functional genomics and genetically diverse animal models to pinpoint genes and/or pathways involved in immunotherapy resistance. We have discovered putative regulators of both immune checkpoint inhibitors and anti-tumor antibody, also known as targeted immunotherapy. The goal is to identify both biomarkers and actionable targets to improve clinical outcomes. Additionally, we have multiple ongoing collaborative projects aimed at developing new strategies to engage the immune system against cancer.

Research Interests

- Genetic regulation of immune response, particularly in the context of anti-tumor immunity.
- Development of new immunotherapy strategies.
- Regulation of T cell trafficking and activation in the tumor microenvironment (TME).
- Modulation of macrophages in the TME.
- Imaging modalities to monitor immune activity in situ.


PubMed - Heather M. Gibson, PhD

Faculty Status

Basic Science

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