George Coukos obtained his MD in 1986 at the University of Modena and his PhD in 1991 at the University of Patras. He completed training in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Modena in 1991. He did a post-doc at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia in cell biology (1991-1994), and he completed residency training in obstetrics and gynecology (1994-1997) and fellowship training in gynecologic oncology (1997-2000) at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2000 he became Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. He became Associate Professor in 2006 and Full Professor in 2010. At UPenn, George Coukos founded (2007) and directed the Ovarian Cancer Research Center, and served as Associate Director of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology. George Coukos relocated to Switzerland in 2012, to become Director of the new Department of Oncology at the University Hospital of Lausanne (CHUV-UNIL) in 2013. He is also the Head of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research at the University of Lausanne (LICR@UNIL) and Director of the Swiss Cancer Center, Lausanne.
Prof. Coukos is interested in elucidating fundamental mechanisms in the tumor microenvironment (TME) that determine the fate of antitumor immunity, focusing on the study of the deregulation of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs). These studies are expected to yield novel pharmacologic approaches to restore antitumor immunity as well as novel methodologies to select and expand TILs for adoptive therapy. He is also involved in the study of the tumor vasculature as a barrier to effective T cell infiltration in many tumors, but also as a potential target for therapy. Prof. Coukos is pursuing T cell engineering approaches as a means to address the deregulation of T cells in the TME, and for redirecting them against relevant tumor targets, including the vasculature, with the ultimate goal of translating basic discovery to the clinic.
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