Kellie N. Smith, Ph.D.

Ph.D. – University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Assistant Professor
Department of Oncology
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Cancer Research Building I, Room 4M51
Baltimore, MD. 21287

Phone:  (410) 502-7523
E-mail:  [email protected]


Keywords: cancer, immunotherapy, T cells, immunogenomics

Research Activities

Dr. Smith’s group has developed a novel patent-pending technique to detect and monitor anti-tumor T cells using a simple liquid biopsy approach. This technique, termed MANAFEST (mutation associated neoantigen functional expansion of specific T-cells), is being used in 8 clinical trials and at 5 different research institutions and biotech companies to monitor responses to mutation associated neoantigens, endogenous retroviruses, tumor associated antigens, and viral antigens, including those derived from SARS-CoV-2. This approach has been used to identify neoantigen-specific responses in early stage and metastatic lung cancer patients. More recently, this approach was able to show for the first time that neoantigen-specific T cells are amplified in the periphery following neoadjuvant PD-1 blockade and that these responses may facilitate tumor regression and prevent relapse after surgical resection. Ongoing work includes linking the MANAFEST assay with single cell sequencing technologies to ascertain the intratumoral phenotype of anti-tumor T cells, with a specific interest in how checkpoint blockade treatment regimens augment anti-tumor immunity. This work will elucidate prognostic biomarkers of response and resistance to checkpoint blockade and will help stratify patients most likely to benefit from these treatments. Importantly, by coupling tumor specificity with transcriptional programming, we are in a unique position to identify new targets for combination immunotherapy.

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Contact Us

Miller Research Building
Suite 631
733 North Broadway
Baltimore, Maryland 21205

Office: (410) 955-2709

Email: [email protected]