Robert L. Ferris, MD, PhD

Dr. Ferris is a co-Founder of Novasenta, is Hillman Professor of Oncology and Director at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, Associate Vice Chancellor for Cancer Research, and Professor of Otolaryngology, of Immunology, and of Radiation Oncology. Dr. Ferris currently serves on the Editorial Boards of JNCI, JCO, Clinical Cancer Research, Cancer Immunology Research and Section Editor for Cancer. He is Editor in Chief of Oral Oncology. Dr. Ferris has published over 380 peer-reviewed manuscripts and book chapters. Dr. Ferris’s publications have been cited over 30,000 times producing an h-index of 88. He was re-elected co-chair of the NCI Head and Neck Steering Committee until 2021 to facilitate prospective clinical trials. 

Dr. Ferris has been lead investigator of several practice-changing, prospective randomized trials, including Checkmate-141 which led to the FDA approval of Nivolumab immunotherapy for head and neck cancer, as well as ECOG 3311, testing radiation dose-deintensification after transoral robotic surgery (TORS) for HPV+ oropharynx cancer. The Ferris lab has been continuously funded by the NCI since 2005, focused on neoadjuvant “window” trials of immuno-oncology agents and biomarkers of response in the tumor microenvironment, collaborating with many early phase companies and therapeutic agents.