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Welcome to The MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Houston Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences graduate program in Immunology. The Immunology Graduate Program is designed to provide high-quality, comprehensive education and research training in the exciting field of immunology, allowing graduates to successfully pursue careers as independent investigators in academia or industry.

Train with Us

Principles of immunology have been applied to create numerous preventative and curative therapeutics for many types of human disease. The GSBS Program in Immunology is an inter-institutional activity with faculty and laboratories located in the UTHealth McGovern Medical School and School of Dentistry, and the MD Anderson Cancer Center, all committed to excellence in graduate student education and research. 

We currently have 74 faculty members from both MD Anderson and The University of Texas Health Science Center-Houston representing 26 departments. Collectively, research conducted by our faculty reflects the complexity and diversity of the immune system. Main areas of faculty research include cancer immunology, infectious diseases, and inflammation with special interests in innate responses, adaptive responses, immune regulation, development of prophylactic vaccines, and development of vaccines or immunotherapy for a form of cancer, allergy or autoimmunity. Faculty members are committed to fostering a highly interactive and supportive environment that enables students to complete our rigorous curriculum and receive advanced training in basic and translational immunology research.

Antibodies attacking a virus Immunology Header


Andrea Hernandez earns NIDCR supplement, forges her own way forward

Andrea Hernandez earns NIDCR supplement, forges her own way forward

Andrea Hernandez—a PhD student in the Immunology program—joined the lab of Simon Young, DDS, MD, PhD, because her interest in translational work led her to a passion in improving cancer immunotherapy...
May 10, 2023
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Lorenz named 2023 McGovern teaching award winner

Lorenz named 2023 McGovern teaching award winner

Graduate School students selected Michael C. Lorenz, PhD, as the recipient of the 2023 John P. McGovern Award for Outstanding Teaching. Lorenz is a professor in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular...
April 10, 2023
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11 faculty members receive more than $8 million in CPRIT funding

11 faculty members receive more than $8 million in CPRIT funding

Since its inception, the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) has awarded more than $3 billion in grants for cancer research. Programs supported by CPRIT funding have brought...
March 3, 2023
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PhD student Ye Ethan Li discusses first-authoring papers as a non-native English speaker; emphasizes a focus on one’s audience

PhD student Ye Ethan Li discusses first-authoring papers as a non-native English speaker; emphasizes a focus on one’s audience

Ye Ethan Li is a PhD student in the Immunology program at the Graduate School, and joined the lab of Katy Rezvani, MD, PhD, to research novel treatment with cell-based immunotherapy in locating and removing...
January 30, 2023
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Jennifer Wargo, MD

Wargo, MD, receives TAMEST O’Donnell Award for pioneering microbiome research

Jennifer Wargo, MD, Graduate School faculty member and professor of Surgical Oncology and Genomic Medicine at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, has received...
January 19, 2023
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A super-resolution microscopy image of a T cell


New Program Director and Co-Director join Immunology

July 1st marked day one for the new Immunology Program Director, Dr. Seyed Moghaddam, and Co-Director, Dr. Momoko Yoshimoto. Drs. Moghaddam and Yoshimoto will serve the Immunology community for a three-year term.


Dr. Seyed Moghaddam
Immunology Program Director
Associate Professor
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center


Dr. Momoko Yoshimoto
Immunology Program Co-Director
Associate Professor
McGovern Medical School at UTHealth

Student Achievements

  • Research Award Recipients

    Congratulations to these Immunology Program students for their accomplishments during the 2021 Immunology Virtual Program Retreat:

    Post-Candidacy Student Talk Winners


    Anu Srinivasamani
    Advisor: Dr. Michael Curran
    “Deciphering the underlying biology and translational relevance of PDL2”


    Heather Sonneman
    Advisor: Dr. Gregory Lizee
    “Determining the role of Vestigial-like 1 (VGLL1) in cancer tumorigenesis”


    Ethan (Ye) Li
    Advisor: Dr. Katy Rezvani
    "Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) Mediated Trogocytosisin Natural Killer Cells and its Impact on Self-killing and Tumor Antigen Escape”

    Pre-Candidacy Student Talk Winners


    Cheryl Jiang
    Advisor: Dr. Katy Rezvani
    “Combination therapy of oncolytic adenovirus with NK therapy for the treatment of aggressive solid tumors”


    Meredith Frank
    Advisor: Dr. Alexandre Reuben
    "Phenotypic Characterization of Tumor-ReactveT Cells in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer”


    Sumedha Pareek
    Advisor: Dr. Keri Schadler
    “Does exercise reduce immunosuppression in the pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma tumor microenvironment?

  • 2022-2023 Scholarship Award Recipients

    Congratulations to these Immunology Program students for their accomplishments during the 2022-2023 Academic Year:

    • Ben Whitfield (Advisor: Jason Huse): Recipient of the Andrew Sowell-Wade Huggins Scholarship
    • Spencer Lea (Advisor: Michael Curran): Recipient of Andrew Sowell-Wade Huggins Scholarship
    • Jielin Liu (Advisor: Sharma Padmanee): Recipient of Andrew Sowell-Wade Huggins Scholarship
    • Ye Li (Advisor: Katy Rezvani): Recipient of T.C. Hsu Memorial Scholarship

  • 2021-2022 Scholarship Award Recipients


    Congratulations to these Immunology Program students for their accomplishments during the 2021-2022 Academic Year:

    • Akash Boda (Advisor: Michael Curran, PhD): Recipient of the George M. Stancel, Ph.D. Fellowship
    • Meredith Frank (Advisor: Alexandre Reuben, PhD): Recipient of the 2021-2022 GSBS Endowment Scholarship
    • Cheryl Jiang (Advisor: Kary Rezvani, PhD): Recipient of the Antje Wuelfrath Gee and Harry Gee, Jr. Family Legacy Scholarship
    • Vikram Kulkarni (Advisor: Scott Evans, MD): Recipient of the City Federation of Women’s Clubs Endowed Scholarship
    • Arthur Liu (Advisor: Michael Curran, PhD): Recipient of the Andrew Sowell-Wade Huggins Scholarship
    • Wei-Hsin Liu (Advisor: Yair Reisner, PhD): Recipient of the Steve Lasher and Janiece Longoria Graduate Student Research Award
    • Sumedha Pareek (Advisor: Keri Schadler, PhD): Recipient of the 2021-2022 Pauline Altman-Goldstein Foundation Discovery Fellowship
    • Krithikaa Bhanu Rajkumar (Advisor: Michael Curran, PhD): Recipient of the GSBS Endowment Scholarship
    • Heather Sonneman (Advisor: Gregory Lizee, PhD): Recipient of the 2021-2022 American Legion Auxiliary Fellowship in Cancer Research
    • Heather Sonneman (Advisor: Gregory Lizee, PhD): Recipient of the 2021-2022 Linda M. Wells GSBS Outreach Award
    • Yimo Sun (Advisor: Gregory Lizee, PhD): Recipient of the Andrew Sowell-Wade Huggins Scholarship
    • Charmelle Williams (Advisor: Matthew Gubin, PhD): Recipient of the Sylvan Rodriguez Foundation Scholarship honoring George M. Stancel, Ph.D.
    • Zecheng Yang (Advisor: Wantong Yao, PhD): Recipient of the Ralph B. Arlinghaus, Ph.D. Scholarship

Student Activities

  • Immunology Club

    Each month the GSBS Immunology Program students hold an Immunology Club meeting to host workshops and faculty-led chalk-talks on varying subjects within or related to immunology, experimental methods, graduate school, and career advancement. Previous events include a patient advocacy group who described their patient-clinical perspective, an introduction to CyTOF workshop by MD Anderson’s co-director of the north campus flow cytometry core facility, and multi-perspective faculty chalk talks about their areas of immunology-related research. A number of social events for students are also held at this time. First year students are welcome to attend. For more information regarding Immunology Club, please contact Michael Clowers, Heather Sonnemann, or Michelle Winkler.

  • Faculty Seminar Series

    GSBS Immunology program will invite MD Anderson and UTHealth faculty researchers from the field of Immunology, and other related fields, to present his/her relevant research. The faculty seminar is open to all Immunology program students and faculty. Due to current COVID-19 restrictions, meetings will be held over Zoom for the foreseeable future. For more information regarding the Faculty Seminar Series, please contact Akash Boda, Anu Srinivasamani, or Yimo Sun

  • Forefront of Immunology Seminar Series

    The Forefront of Immunology Seminar Series is an extension of the Faculty Seminar Series that features lectures from external speakers who have done seminal work in the field. The goal of the series is to introduce Program students, postdocs, and faculty to the cutting-edge and current work being done in the field of Immunology while allowing opportunities to network and interact with faculty across institutions. 

    The Forefront in Immunology Seminar Series will occur at least four months out of the academic year. Due to current COVID-19 restrictions, meetings will take place over Zoom for the foreseeable future. The virtual meetings will include a research talk with time for Q&A, followed by a breakout session with the speaker and a few interested Program students. For more information regarding the Forefront of Immunology Seminar Series, please contact Akash Boda, Anu Srinivasamani, or Yimo Sun

    Forefront of Immunology Seminar Series Announcement for September 15

  • Program Retreat

    Each year the Immunology Program sponsors a student-organized research retreat, which includes student talks, poster sessions, and a keynote speaker. The retreat is considered to be valuable time away from the laboratory allowing students and faculty to become better acquainted with each other.

  • Seminar Series

    Students are encouraged to attend cancer immunology-related seminars offered by the Center for Cancer Immunology Research (CCIR) and the Center for Inflammation and Cancer (CIC); both Centers are based at MD Anderson and specializing in translational immunology research.  The seminars are wonderful opportunities for students to learn about research led by accomplished scientists.  The CCIR also holds seminars in which students, postdoctoral fellows and PhD-level research staff give talks about their projects, and in return they receive feedback regarding presentation style, experimental design and interpretation of results from faculty.  To be added to the mailing lists for future seminars contact Lauren Porter and specify one or all of the seminar series.

Student Committees

  • Immunology Club Committee

    Immunology Club is a forum for discussion of subjects relevant to immunology, graduate school, and career advancement and is held once a month. This activity is generally organized and run by senior students, i.e., post-candidacy.

    2022 Committee Members:
    o Meredith Frank
    o Madeline Steiner
    o Andrea Hernandez
    o Dr. Laura Bover, Faculty Advisor

  • Research Retreat Committee

    An annual retreat is organized by Program students who develop retreat sessions and invite a nationally renowned scientist to present at the plenary talk. All the students in the Program present their research either in a poster or oral presentation to Program faculty.

    2022 Committee Members:
    o Yating Li
    o Brittany Morrow
    o Rishika Prasad
    o Drew Boagni
    o Avantika Krishna
    o Dr. Jagan Sastry, Faculty Advisor
    o Dr. Roza Nurieva, Faculty Advisor

  • Media Committee

    Primary oversight of media related to the Immunology Program is provided by the Media Committee. Chief activities include maintaining the content on the Program website, as well as publicizing relevant information via social media platforms to help attract high-quality students and faculty to the Immunology community. 

    2022 Committee Members:
    o Yangxi Zheng
    o Cheryl Jiang
    o Sumedha Pareek
    o Pragya Sinha
    o Dr. Cassian Yee, Faculty Advisor

  • Faculty Seminar Committee

    The Faculty Seminar Committee is responsible for organizing seminar series consisting of Immunology Program Faculty presenters. The committee also invites and hosts exceptional outside speakers relevant to the research interests of the Program. Seminar speakers are selected for their relevance in the field of immunology (tumor immunology, checkpoint blockade, GVHD/GVL, infectious disease, inflammation, autoimmunity, etc.).

    2022 Committee Members:
    o Akash Boda
    o Sarah Schneider
    o Yimo Sun
    o Dr. Matthew Gubin, Faculty Advisor

  • Student Recruitment Committee

    The Student Recruitment Committee organizes all Program recruitment activities in an effort to attract first year GSBS students to the Program.

    2022 Committee Members:
    o Meredith Frank
    o Spencer Lea
    o Sara Murphy
    o Michelle Winkler
    o Dr. Seyed Moghadddam, Faculty Advisor
    o Dr. Momoko Yoshimoto, Faculty Advisor

Contact Us

Moghaddam Seyed Javad Moghaddam, MD
Immunology Program Director
Associate Professor, Department of Pulmanary Medicine
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Office: Zayed Building, Z9.5046
Tel: 713-563-0423
Yoshimoto_Momoko Momoko Yoshimoto, MD, PhD
Immunology Program Co-Director
Associate Professor, Center for Stem Cell Research and Regenerative Medicine
The University of Texas Health Science3 Center
Office: Institute of Molecular Medicine (IMM), SRB 637B
Tel: 713-500-2407

Ariel Scott 
Program Coordinator
BSRB S3.8328